Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment’s Big Update Won’t Be Built Into The Western Release

By Spencer . July 7, 2014 . 3:14am


Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is getting a large update with roughly 30 extra hours of playable content. The update has new areas, date event scenes with Sachi, and more monsters.


"The update won’t be built into the Western release of Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment," producer Yosuke Futami said in an interview with Siliconera. "We’re currently considering to bring the large scale update from Japan over."


Futami explained since Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is a pseudo-MMORPG he wanted to release future updates for it similar to how other MMORPGs have regular updates. "Argo uses a dagger and how he plays is similar to Silica. Originally, Sachi wasn’t available to date. After the update, you will be able to hold her hand and carry her." Futami confirmed Sachi will have new event scenes, but couldn’t say what those are.


"There are three main bosses [in the update]. One type is a giant boss that is slow, but more powerful. The second one is a nimble boss that’s fast and smaller. The third one is a combination of the two. Players will have to come up with different strategies to defeat these bosses," Futami said about the new enemies.


Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment comes out on August 19 in North America and August 20 in Europe as a PlayStation Vita download.

Read more stories about & on Siliconera.

  • Their going to “consider” bringing the update over to the other regions. Wow….what a way to piss your overseas customers off. Then again, those who don’t pay attention to this kind of stuff wont even know there was a huge update. Banco is really starting to piss me off with the way they do things.

    • Duo Maxwell

      From the wording, I believe it means “The game won’t have the current update built-into your game as you purchase, and will have to make a separating update later”.

      • Aldorr

        You have to PAY for a separate update later :D

        • Alexander Marquis Starkey

          It’s free.

        • Ladius

          No, this is a free update even in Japan.

      • But let say the game doesnt sold well as expected… then they will never brought the huge update to those that bought the game

    • Altin

      To cut them some slack, that Update added like what, 30 (just looked it up) or more hours of new content? That’s more than an average AAA-game from the Joe company. Might be wrong on this but if it has quite some content in it, it cannot be included to the current version because they still need to translate it or it is too big for the card size. Those would be my two suggestions.

      • What card? NA and EU are getting DD-only.

        • Pyrotek85

          And if I’m not mistaken the game isn’t getting dubbed, so it’s just text to translate. Not that translating isn’t work but it wouldn’t have the expense of additional voice recording for another language.

          • Most likely will be the case concerning the lack of dubbing. They might think the time taken for another voice option to be outweighed by the potential financial gain.

          • Robert Hendrie

            That’s just how bandai does anime games that aren’t naruto and dbz now a days. If it isn’t those two they don’t get dubbed

        • Altin

          Oh, I forgot. My bad.

          • That’s alright. Sometimes I forget due to wishful thinking. :D

  • Yaro

    Im so tired of all these considerations…cant they speak straight for once?

  • Virevolte

    Okay. Time to conquer Japan.

    • You will lose they have Gundam

      • Virevolte

        It’s okay if it’s the 00 model.

      • Land of Green Pasture

        the Gundam have stolen by Zeon

  • I got my English HK version the other day Its really good know I know where I’m going =P

  • Siery

    Guess it depends on how well it sells in the west.
    I get it for sure.
    Support them as much as I can, so we might get the update.

  • soul_710

    “Considering” huh? Where have I heard that before?

    • Hexodious


  • Nate

    That’s good. I don’t want it all at once and I don’t want them to delay the game

  • Naryoril

    i have the HK version of the game (i preordered without the option of pulling back before the western release was announced) but i wanted to buy and play the european version, but if they might not release the patch i might not buy it at all. To be honest the main reason i want the patch is because of Sachi.

    The only problem i see is that i’d need to use a HK account and set it as active account on my vita to be able to use the HK patch…

    • natchu96

      I thought patches were region free?

      I’m actually not too sure, but people say they are. It’s just the DLC that’s locked to your account because you have to actually “buy” them, even if they cost $0. As a purchase-independent add-on to the game (and games being region-free), it should work. Let me check on that.

      • Naryoril

        hmm…. you’r right, it’s not a free dlc (i hope)
        I can at least tell that i got the last [email protected]: one for all patch on my european account.

        Since i have some other things to play/do (actually: read) i’ll wait a bit and see if they make up their mind by then, if they don’t bring the patch, they’ll probably loose a sale (i might still buy it out of principle to support, but probably not if they don’t give us the patch).

    • I got the HK version and It’s really good tbh

  • Jadfish

    Just shut up about these things, developers. The only thing you’ll do is piss off your niche fanbase. If you are “considering” not putting in 30 extra hours of content in a version that has yet to be released, then don’t talk about it until it is final.
    Now I’m suddenly sitting here feeling uncertain about wanting to buy the game.

    • Alexander Marquis Starkey

      They are basically saying they’ll do it if their is enough interest in the western version…which means you should buy it in the region you live it to support the game. They aren’t going to spend the time and budget needed to bring such a large scale update over if no one buys the game.

    • Renaldi Saputra

      this is more or less just same as what Konami did with Yugi-oh Zexal for 3DS to the west

    • Ladius

      There’s really no reason to hate on them, they’re taking a risk by
      localizing a niche game no one really expected to see outside of Japan and, considering how huge this update is, it’s normal they couldn’t fit its localization and testing into a western build that’s probably already done by now.

      They aren’t even saying they won’t bring it here, just that they will consider it (probably in terms of sales, since localizing such an amount of contents for free won’t really make sense if the game’s sales are abysmal).

      Since Siliconera directly asked that question, the only options were saying the truth, which he did, or mislead his customers by saying the update will definitely come when he can’t be sure about it. The former is far better than the latter.

      Boycotting the game would only make it harder for them to localize the update, not to mention the base game is apparently huge by itself according to the importers.

    • darke

      Hint: They’re being honest. Would you prefer if you get a sega “yeah, maybe, sometime” answer? Or them dragging out a silence for months or years like the EU version of Persona 4?

      People bitch when they don’t get an answer, then they bitch when they do get an answer. The devs can’t win.

      • Jadfish

        While I appreciate developers and publishers being honest with me, I don’t want to hear them contemplating all kinds of things. If they state something, I want it to be an actual decision, that I can then come to terms with – not this feeble wishy washy bullshit that only serves to make their potential customers doubt them.

        If I were to hear this statement, get mad and then decide not to buy their product, it would then fall on them to make a new statement wherein they deny their earlier statement. Problem is, I might not hear/read that due to whatever reason, so I still don’t buy their game.

        Now, I am still very interested in this game (despite not digging the anime past episode 3), but when they go out and say “yeah that thing you want that is coming out, miiiight not have as many things as the one the is currently out here, but we don’t really know” I get cautious as hell.

        • Ladius

          Problem is, this is the only answer they could give in this situation. If they are going to localize the update depending on sales, they could either say “no comment” to Siliconera’s question or answer like they did, and the latter is by far the most helpful comment since it gives us some context.

          The other choices, saying it definitely will (or won’t) be released in the west when they’re still unsure, could potentially mean lying to us if things end up differently.

        • darke

          Legally their options are “no comment”, “no comment” and “no comment” and “it depends” or “maybe”.

          If they say it’s going to release, and they find out that no one buys their game so it’s not economically possible to translate and release the patch, then lawsuits happen if they said “yes we will release it” because people could argue that that’s the only reason they bought the game, or they’ve been shortchanged; legally “bad faith” and such. Big mess, big fuss and so one wants to give a solid ‘yes’ until they’re in the position they can be certain.

          If they said “no comment” people will bitch, if they say “maybe” people will bitch. So like I said, they can’t win.

  • Laith Rem

    It’s an incredibly niche game for an already incredible niche audience. I don’t blame them one bit.

    Still would be mad if they don’t bring it tho.

  • natchu96

    There’s just one thing I want to say about this article.

    What do you mean, ‘he’?!? ARGO IS A GIRL DAMMIT.

  • katzedan

    “The update won’t be built into the Western release of Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment,” – “but we’ll bring it as DLC to profit a lot with this”

    okay, I think I fix’d it xD

    • Robert Hendrie

      The update was free tho

      • lordsofskulls

        see the thing is… It Free in Japan. But all the extra work they have to put in. I doubt it be free in USA. >.> which i wouldnt mind.

        also i think more games should do that. Give big PATCHES like that for $5-$20 for 30 hours of gameplay. Those are what DLCs should be. Not just 2 costumes.

    • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

      Cynical much? The patch is free, it’s not paid DLC~.

      • katzedan

        I already knew that! :)

  • Maria Garcia

    when will the update be out in the asian version of the game?

  • Josh A. Stevens

    The real question is, will the NA/EU release actually be different to the Asian English release? Because considering the price of Vita Memory Cards, if I’m going to have to download a massive update as well as the game…

    Can anyone with the Asian English version confirm just how “English” the game is (Basically, what is actually translated and if anything isn’t)?

    • So far its perfect, Everything is in english

    • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

      If you buy the Asian version:
      #1. You won’t be supporting the localized Western version, that’s bad for you and all because then it shows them that there’s not a market~.
      #2. You will probably have to swap accounts [memcards] in order to use future DLC on the game since those are tied to regional accounts~.

      • Josh A. Stevens

        Yeah, there is that…but then there’s also Sony requiring me to re-mortgage my house and sign off the soul of my first born each time I want to buy a new memory card.

        Decisions, decisions…

      • Cev256

        you can play imported games on any account you just can’t download dlc or get the updates for them game, unless you are using an account that is the same region as the game.

        • Noire

          You can update games regardless of region. I already updated my asian version using a German account. True for DLC however.

        • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

          Which is exactly what I said~.

    • Ladius

      A Namco PR on NeoGaf confirmed the USEuropean localization will be different compared to the Asian English one, it’s still unclear if it’s going to be a completely different translation or just a script with a lot more editing.

  • Jesse

    So basically, buy the game to make them see that it’s worth the effort to bring the big update over. Simple. =D I’ll be doing that, then. Right away or not, I’m not sure, since so much is coming out this year. DX

    Edit: How big IS that update, anyway(as in file size)? Sounds like it’s quite a bit.

    • Pyrotek85

      That’s why I’m planning to get the digital NA version instead of the physical Asian edition. I prefer the latter format but I also want them to know it’s worth localizing these titles, and money speaks the loudest.

    • Land of Green Pasture

      the big update was supposed to be around 2gb

  • Robert Hendrie

    I guess I might only have to “consider” getting this now.

    • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

      Because they won’t be including the localized version of a patch that has yet to be out? Yeah, makes sense~.

      • Robert Hendrie

        Someone didn’t get it. I was pointing out how devs should think of about the words to use more carefully as one single word can change the whole context of that they are trying to say.

        I’m not getting it anyways can my vita hasn’t been updated from 1.6 and never shall be

        • Manny Being Manny

          I don’t see any issue with his wording. He’s pretty much saying “If nobody buys the game, we won’t bother spending all the time and effort on a free DLC. So please buy our game to give us reason to translate the DLC”. Japanese companies do these kinds of tactics all the time, they want to make sure there is enough interest before committing to a big project that doesn’t have a lot of reward.

          • Robert Hendrie

            Well the thing is Western people don’t really like Japanese companies do these kinds of tactics, I know they do stuff like this all the time, But the NA always ends up doing damage controls because western people like more clear answers.
            Another thing is that this will most likely end up being translated into English for the Asian English edition, so why “consider” it only

          • Anime10121

            You dont speak for all western people :/
            Its smart business, no more no less. And the Asian English version utilizes an entirely different translation, so that’s completely irrelevant :/

  • Manny Being Manny

    I always assumed we wouldn’t get the update right away, since its a giant patch that is coming out right before the Western release. Give them some time to actually translate it.

    • Pyrotek85

      As long as we get it eventually I won’t mind, after all there’s still the rest of the game to play that’s brand new to most of us.

  • Renaldi Saputra

    Bamco being Bamco…
    oh well…

    this is more or less same as what Konami did with Yugi-oh Zexal for 3DS to the west. But Konami is more evil

    • darryl scott

      remember bro we cant say bamco here. thats consider of being hatefull/ rude on the forms.
      Heck i got in troble for saying crapcom once.

      • Anime10121

        Bamco is a legit abbreviation of the corporations name, its not hateful.

        Crapcom is being hateful, big difference…

        • darryl scott

          dunno, either or is a alteration of the original name. But hey whatever do with you please.
          But in other news I wish they made a actually good accel world game that would come state side. I mean accel word and SAO is made from the same guy

          • Anime10121

            Yeah, I’d love an Accel World game! Still hoping that gets a second season somewhere down the line…

          • darryl scott

            second season would be even better

          • Renaldi Saputra

            I didn’t intend to insult or something… Bamco is a name people usually use…
            I’m just saying Bamco being Bamco, isn’t that wrong?

          • darryl scott

            it’s cool bro it’s over with. I didn’t mean to sound so antagonizing either.

      • Land of Green Pasture

        the ‘hateful’ form is Bumco

        • DS23

          Bumco. I lol’d

  • Yagami Mao

    support them guys ^^ so we can get other update in the future.

  • DS23

    ‘Why give you something for free when we can get even more money from you for it?’ is the not so subtle subtext here…

    • Ladius

      Not really, the update is a free patch. The issue here is that it’s huge, and since it’s coming out just now in Japan they probably couldn’t localize and QA it for the English build since that’s likely been completed a while ago. Also, localizing it won’t make much sense if the game sells abysmally.

      • DS23

        Really? Well that’s a bit different then.

        • JeremyTMH

          In fact all the DLC thus far as well are all technically free.

          • DS23

            That’s really cool of them, and I’d wager it’s most likely a way to get players to hang onto their physical copy if they bought one instead of trading it in. Games get marathoned and dumped off to shops really fast over in JP land I’m told so this is most likely a method of keeping new sales going. Wonder if it’s proving worthwhile for them.

  • lordsofskulls

    From the msg i am reading: “We shall release the game and see how it those if it those well, we will than work on getting extra content released as a $5 to $15. Update. For your support”

    So in other words. EVERYONE PRE-ORDER and buy the game on DAY 1. Spread the word. o.o

    MAKE IT BECOME BEST SELLING PSN GAME IN HISTORY. with comments of “Physical Version Please”

    P.S: The Chinese Version that has English Translations, is that getting the huge patch? >.> if it is wouldnt it be than worth getting the chinese english translated version with somewhat translated story with subtitiles?

    • Astraea’s Eyebrow

      It should be. If we don’t get a us version guess ill just have to play the patch on the Chinese one. Broken English ftw!

  • Makoto Yuki

    Yes, of course. Because money.

    • Guest

      The patch would be free. =P

  • Eder García

    in other words for those who will buy the US version: Bandai-Namco is going to test the US waters

  • TheSwordUser

    This update will most likely make the game too large to fit on 4 GB card, which I assume a good deal of people have.
    It wouldn’t look nice if it went over the ~3.5 GB limit on day 1.
    I suppose this will give some of us more time to get bigger card.

    • DeathDias71

      Man…I couldn’t imagine having only a 4GB card for my Vita,

    • Zoozbuh

      The fact that 99.98% of games seem to be released digital-only lately (especially for Europe) really pisses me off lately. I also have a 4GB card, which is just what came with my Vita and new ones are pretty expensive – plus I keep feeling it’s “empty” money that I could use on physical games instead…

  • Aristides

    Cool idea if it wasn’t NB or the west… it’s not like they want to release the game here in the first place. Getting this update will be a miracle now…

    • Zoozbuh

      Namdai has been pretty good with localising games lately… I mean look how many Tales games they’ve given us. And a few years ago, it was almost UNHEARD of for this many Tales to be localised.

      • Aristides

        Very true, they are definitely making progress but they still have a long way to go. About 80 – 90 % of their recent portfolio is still stuck in Japan, particularly for the Vita.

  • Kornelious

    “Currently CONSIDERING”……..Well this sucks! Your already keeping the game digital only, Is it that hard to translate and release the update? X(

    Though it could just be that they need the time to localize the new content so I’ll give them that….The main reason I’m waiting for the U.S version is so I can get the updates and DLC, So if they don’t localize the new content then I waited for naught….. :(

    • Ladius

      That’s because this update is just being released in Japan, while the English build has likely been completed already and they couldn’t localize and QA an expansion that wasn’t even developed when they started working on the game.

      Also, they never said they won’t localize it, just that they’re considering what to do. I think if sales are decent or good the update will come, but if sales were horrible it would be difficult to justify a free update of this kind.

      • Kornelious

        I guess that’s fair……I have high hopes that the game will do pretty good in sales, so I think that it will be localized in due time….I guess we just have to play the waiting game -_-

        • Joseph Oprysko

          Well, it’s well over-sold the original SAO game for the PSP, so much so they are considering making a sequel.

    • WhyWai

      And also, need to gauge the reception of the game. No point bring over if the sales are bad.

    • Skeetys

      It’s not hard, but it does cost a lot of money to pay people to translate all that text and make it being a proper translation instead of a quick translation that would not make a lot of sense if just using google translate on the text or something.

  • Yan Zhao

    As long as we get the update eventually. Theres no reason to not and it would be scumbaggy of them to not give it to us and leave us with an inferior version.

  • damm x.x delayed for 1month…

  • Revolver Jesus Super Pimp

    So without the patch how long is the game? 30-50 hours worth at least? If so I’ll gladly buy day one. I probably won’t get too far considering all the other games coming out onwards after so once the patch hits I’ll probably devote more time to it.

    • JeremyTMH

      Took me 300 hours to platinum but I do play slowly and not daily either…

  • Erwin MadJelly

    What about the Chinese & English sub versions then? Asia hardly has announcements :S

  • Shadow Rebirth

    i hope Asian version get the DLC or i have to buy american version if they announced it.

  • Joseph Oprysko

    Apparently, in Japan, there has been 4 small “updates” 1.01 (which everyone should have), 1.02, 1.03, and 1.04, the “HUGE” update coming out today is 1.05. So far in the Asian version, only the 1.01 patch has come out. So I don’t even know if the Chinese/English version will get the big patch. You might need the Japanese version of the game in order to get it. I’ve been trying to get it since Midnight Japanese time (which was like 11am on 7/9 Eastern Standard Time). I see the DLC/Patch listed now on the sao-hf.bngames.net site. And it says to refresh the live page and then download. I refresh the live page, but no download option with my Asian version.. :-(

  • Keima

    The Asian version is still at 1.01 and its missing 1.02, 1.03, and 1.04 update and with out those update the Asian version can’t update to 1.05. Hope the Asian version will get update soon ):

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