When Gal Gun: Double Peace was announced in Japan, not many of us expected it to ever see light of day in the West, but against all odds, publisher PQube made it happen. Siliconera caught up with PQube Head of Marketing Geraint Evans and Inti Creates Producer Matt Papa to talk about how the game’s localization started, some of the challenges they saw in bringing it Westward,
Gal*Gun: Double Peace is a pretty unique pickup. How did discussions start to bring this over?
Geraint Evans, Head of Marketing at PQube: I’d had always wanted to bring this title over ever since the Xbox 360 game. Just the concept alone made me import a 360 from Japan to play it way back, as I’m a pretty big rail shooter fan.
I happened to raise the possibility of releasing it a few times with the CEO of PQube around the time of TGS last year, and around this time Matt Papa was also pitching internally at Inti for a western release.
Once I saw their tweet asking about if there would be an audience for it – the time seemed perfect for a discussion. I met Matt at TGS over a few games of Gunvolt and the discussion grew from there.
Did you have any difficulty bringing over the game considering its content to the West?
GE: None whatsoever. I think it raised a few eyebrows among retailers in different territories – but in terms of ratings boards and platform holders, they were actually very supportive. We were always 100% committed to not censoring Gal*Gun in any way shape or form and all parties involved were okay with that.
The only difficulty we’ve had, if you can call it that, is in advertising – it seems some parts of Gal*Gun are too much for the likes of Twitch, YouTube and Facebook!
How did you localize the game? What was the take on dialogue? Were there any changes that had to be made for the West?
GE: We took a few creative liberties for sure – and it’s been cool to see people pick out their favourites over twitter – but only where we felt it would enhance it, or where the Japanese didn’t quite work. We did a localization pass in the UK and Matt Papa at Inti then went over everything on in his side. It’s not a literal translation, some of the humour’s been tweaked for example – but it’s always been respectful to the source and in-keeping with the spirit of the game.
Gal*Gun has a lot of DLC in Japan. What are the DLC plans for the West?
GE: There are a few DLC bits which won’t make the cut for the West for retailer and licensing reasons – but other than that, it will be as is. Right down to the Pheremone Z DLC. Unfortunately though, this won’t make it to the Europe as SCEE rules regarding pricing and content is a little different from Japan and US.
As a publisher, PQube has taken some big risks with Steins;Gate, Gal*Gun and Root Letter. What drives PQube to pick up these titles?
GE: First and foremost it really comes down to, ‘do we like the game’. Is it something that I’m personally interested in and want to play – that’s always the starting point. For Valkyrie Drive I’m a big fan of Senran Kagura and Kenichiro Takaki, so that was always going to be on my radar! For Root Letter I spotted a copy of Official PlayStation Magazine in Akihabara – the November 15 issue that had the Mino Taro ar twork on the cover – and I immediately fell in love with the style. By total coincidence, I met with Kadokawa Games that same day, and when they slid the very same issue of OPM over the table and I was like – ‘I know this! I’ve just been looking at this!’
Ultimately, as gamers, we love this kind of content. We love Japanese games and anime, so it kind of makes sense we’d gravitate towards those games to publish. If we can find a game that people don’t know much about, can successfully bring it to market and have gamers feel they’ve discovered something new, then we’re happy!
Inti Creates is known for making 2D action games like Mega Man 9, Gunvolt and Bloodstained. Gal*Gun is pretty different from those! How did the Gal*Gun series start? What inspired it?
Matt Papa, Producer at Inti Creates: The idea for Gal*Gun was born when we held a competition amongst the employees to come up with a concept for a new game idea. They were supposed to come up with an idea for an action game, but Ito-san, one of our artists/designers, came up with the idea for Gal*Gun and everyone loved it so much that despite not being an action game, it ultimately won the competition. The rest is history.
What did you want to do with Gal*Gun: Double Peace that you couldn’t do with the original game?
MP: I think the biggest thing we were able to do with Double Peace that we were not able to do with the first game is the use of touch controls. The PS4 controller’s touch pad and the Vita’s touch screen really add a whole new element to the game.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace has some extremely expensive downloadable content in Japan like Pheremone Z which costs more than the game! How has the DLC sold and how did you come to a decision about that DLCs price?
MP: Ah yes, the infamous Pheromone Z! I mean, it’s a pretty over-the-top, ridiculous item, so naturally we felt that it needed an over-the-top, ridiculous price tag. It is by no means meant to be taken seriously, but if you feel so inclined, we encourage players to dive headfirst into the absurdity that is Pheromone Z.
If there was a future Gal*Gun game in the future what would you like to add?
MP: If we make another game set in an academy, I would personally love to see some other faces you might find around there just to mix things up a bit. How hilarious would it be to have the head of the academy, or the old ladies working in the cafeteria be madly in love with you too? With your talk of VR, I also can’t help but wonder what, besides being extremely awesome, Gal*Gun would be like in VR.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace is currently available for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.