“For Muramasa we decided to stick with the original Japanese voices and only localize the text,” Shane Bettenhausen, Business Development Director at Ignition, told Siliconera in a post E3 phone interview. “We felt the game was deeply steeped in Japanese tradition, mythology, and culture that trying to dub it, trying to make something more Western is really not a service to the product.”
“Who wants some goofy anime voices in this game?” Bettenhausen joked.
Muramasa: The Demon Blade will not be localized internally at Ignition Entertainment USA. The task is outsourced to an outside localization firm. Ajay Chada, President at Ignition Entertainment, assuaged fears that Muramasa will not have a lackluster localization like Lux Pain. “You know Lux Pain, when localization was done it was out of our control. We know how important localization is. It is very, very key that everything is translated correctly. We are now working with one or two very high end localization firms to make sure its done correctly so the fans are more than satisfied.”
Bettenhausen also took a moment to address a previous quote said by their Acquisition’s Manager. “Robert, he does work for us, but he isn’t an official spokesperson. He might not have a full understanding of the deal. He’s a really passionate guy. He’s the guy who has played through the game multiple times. I think his ideas of how precisely the deal might have happened might not have been accurate.”
During the show Macchiaverna commented that “Xseed was kind of being punished” in regards to the Muramasa: The Demon Blade deal. “He was speaking off the cuff a bit there,” Bettenhausen explained.
“Xseed, Atlus, and ourselves are often competing to acquire the same games,” Bettenhausen continued. “All three companies have a real passion for Japanese games, hardcore enthusiast titles. In this instance Muramasa was a game we saw back at Tokyo Game Show and were big fans of. Xseed had a lot of games on their plate and were looking to possibly get rid of some and when that became available to us it was something we were really excited about. We worked with Vanillaware and Marvelous in Japan to acquire that game. Xseed knew very well what was happening. They issued a statement about it.” A day before Ignition announced they were publishing Muramasa, Xseed said they were no longer handling the title.
“Xseed got some great titles coming out this year. They have Little King’s Story and Fragile, which they announced. I think the one thing Xseed saw and Marvelous saw is they have a lot of strong titles. I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s very hard to give so many titles so much loving in the space of so little time,” said Chada.
“As we worked with Marvelous in Japan before they felt — hang on a minute Demon Blade is also a big title as well as those other three I just mentioned and we need to find a partner that’s going to give it the same amount of loving. I think it was something that Xseed had to feel comfortable with as well. Marvelous had to feel comfortable. Martin Defries who is the managing director back in Europe [of Rising Star Games] and partners with Marvelous, we know him very well, and I think that helped us get the title.”
Bettenhausen concluded, “Ultimately, Muramasa fit within our schedule. We didn’t have another Wii title, it can be our big game for that quarter. Xseed has a huge lineup of Wii stuff this year and ultimately we can give it more showcase since it’s the biggest game in our line up now.”
During the discussion, I asked if Ignition were working on another game with Vanillaware. “We’re very big fans of Vanillaware,” Chada professed. “To answer your question, no, nothing is happening at the moment with us and Vanillaware.”
Bettenhausen chimed in with, “I will say as coming on board Vanillaware has agreed to create new art to help us promote this game. They are going above and beyond what they were going to do and that is exciting for us. Moving forward we would love to work with them again, but right now we’re just focusing on Muramasa.”