Next Tuesday, Bleach: Soul Resurrección will arrive in North America thanks to NIS America. Since NIS America is usually tied to strategy RPGs and story centric games like Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, I was curious why and how they picked up Bleach: Soul Resurrección, a hack-and-slash game tied to the popular anime series.
"It was actually pitched from Sony’s side," Jack Niida, producer, explained. "We worked with Sony before on Blade Dancer, that’s actually a Sony title, so we have a pretty close relationship with them. They were saying ‘hey we have a new cool title, it’s called Bleach, from the anime, it’s going to be a little different from your genre, but I think it’s going to be good.’"
NIS America’s experience working with voice actors and anime series is what sealed the deal with Sony Computer Entertainment. "We’re pretty good at distributing and localizing Japanese anime style games for voice acting and things like that, we have a connection with a lot of the voice actors. So, they we’re like – alright maybe we can work something out and make this project unique from what we usually do. It started from a pretty casual talk," Niida recollected. Like other NIS America projects, Bleach: Soul Resurrección has Japanese and English voiceovers.
Before NIS America stepped in, Sega localized a few Bleach games ending with Bleach: The 3rd Phantom, which would have fit nicely with NIS America’s usual strategy RPG lineup. Bleach: Soul Resurrección will be the first Bleach game from Sony’s Japan studio to see an overseas release.
Niida also assures fans Bleach: Soul Resurrección isn’t the same as the Bleach: Soul Ignition demo from last year. "Originally, a demo came out and a lot of the Bleach fans that played it weren’t too happy with the controls and game balance. On the Sony side, they updated the game and made it much, much better. Both the US and Japanese versions are the same, they’re both updated."