Nippon Ichi Software president Sohei Niikawa recently had some interesting stuff to talk about in a Reddit RMA, where he teased a bit on the next Disgaea, talked, Western localization, and more.
For starters, when asked if there are any plans for the next Disgaea games to be on the Switch, president Niikawa responded with “Most likely…” It isn’t a confirmation by any means, but judging by the comment it seems like things went pretty smoothly for the company when they made Disgaea 5 Complete on Switch.
Niikawa-san also talked about Disgaea when asked about his biggest inpiration in creating the game, and whether it was about changing how SRPGs are made:
“I wanted to created Disgaea because…
After I created La Pucelle I was thinking about what to make next… Keep in mind, back then we were only capable of creating one game… Therefore we gave it our all into one title per year. (if it tanked our company would go down under…)
I thought really really hard because I had peoples lives on the line… and the answer I came up with was… やべぇ分かんねぇ(Translation: Crap, I don’t know)
So, I got together with the head game designer and head art director and decided on one thing: The game will be set in the Netherworld. I wanted a demon main character and by doing this we thought we would be allowed to do anything. (no morals, I guess)
Lastly, We combined our ideas that we thought would be fun and that’s how Disgaea was created.
Also, we didn’t really want to change the SRPG, we just wanted to do something different. We’re a small company away from the city, so we couldn’t compete with bigger companies in the city.”
He also shared a piece on localization when he was asked about what his biggest difficulty is in localization for a Western audience, and if the company keeps those things in mind when designing games:
From Niikawa – From the prospective as the Japanese Developer, we need to trust the publishers in the west to do their best job at localizing the text.
As for keeping things in mind for the western audience, no we don’t in terms of game content. I don’t say this to mean, “We don’t care about the westerners”. Instead, we create our content the way it was meant to be created. An example I’d like to use is people don’t expect a Hollywood style movie when watching a Japanese movie; they expect a Japanese movie. The stance we take with our games is pretty much the same as this. What we do consider for the western audience is what console we release our games on.
From Toshi – Localizing Japanese text into English is always fun/hard because the culture is really different. I always have fun with idioms because if these were to be translated directly the text won’t make sense 99% of the time. Also what is accepted in Japan vs the west can be very different so we do our best to maintain the message that is being presented while making it acceptable in the west.
You can read plenty more from Sohei Niikawa over at the recent AMA on Reddit.