Since the branch’s inception in 2016, Arc System Works Asia has been busy helping publish titles from both Western and Asian countries all over Asia, in countries such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Siliconera caught up with Arc System Works Asia planner Dongwoo Dave Park at the ACGHK 2019 in Hong Kong to talk about the branch’s work, its recent consistent focus on simultaneous releases, and more.
Siliconera: Could you please introduce who you are and what sort of position you work at at Arc System Works Asia?
Dave: “Hi, my name is Dongwoo Dave Park, and I work as a planner in Arc System Works’ Asia branch.”
Siliconera: So we know that Arc System Works Asia is involved in publishing a lot of both Japanese and overseas games [in Asia]. Are there any games in particular that you reach out to developers to license and publish in Asia?
Dave: “We’re certainly interested in publishing great games developed and made in Asian countries – that’s one of our big goals, for example, we have actually published Korean games to Japan like White Day and DJMax Respect, and as such we would like to do the same for other countries as well. We don’t have many things to tell about that yet, but we still plan to publish games in the Japanese or other markets that we have the rights of; and maybe for other Japanese games license that for publishing in the Asian market. That’s one of main things we strive to do.”
Siliconera: So, for example, is there any interest in publishing Japanese or Korean indie games and the like?
Dave: “We’re certainly looking into it. Publishing Korean games will be our first effort trying to discover great games from a country that has a comparatively small market of console gaming. They may bring games, but not as much as other big countries for [console] gaming like America or Japan. So we, as a publisher, know these games are great, but all we have to do is give them a push on the back and support them to go big as a developer – as a publisher, we want to help them to make greater games.”
Siliconera: Speaking of Arc System Works’ own games – you’ve got a lot of series, like Kunio-kun, River City, also fighting games like Blazblue and more. Lately we’ve seen a bigger focus on simultaneous releases in Asia as Japan with Chinese subtitles and such. Can you tell us a bit more about Arc System Works’ efforts in this regard?
Dave: “Well, simultaneous releases I think are actually really important for the audience and players in the Asian market, because as a gamer myself, it is really uncomfortable for me to have to wait for a game that was released in other places like Japan or America. When you have to wait for three months or half a year for it to be localized, that is a bit of a bummer, I would say. So one of our missions is to provide the games as fast as possible, as other users in Japan or America would enjoy the game. That’s one of the best things we do, as usually we communicate with Japanese, American, or other developers, and we do our best to release the game on simultaneous dates, or in a very short term.”
Siliconera: This might be a difficult question to answer, but would [that mission] be one of the reasons why some of the other regions have ended up dropping dubs, like Blazblue for example?
Dave: “This is more in the realm of the BB Team, not us, so I wouldn’t officially comment that much, but what I can say is that localization is a big effort for a publishing company, and it costs a lot sometimes, and sometimes we have to make decisions out of it. Not going to comment on BB Team’s decision, but on a personal note, as someone who was working in the localization industry for quite some time, for dubbing, costs can get really high. So I would say it’s about what to focus on, really.”
Siliconera: Thanks a lot for your time.
Dave: “Thanks a lot for you too!”