On June 7, 2019, it was discovered that the PlayStation 4 credits of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel had removed a former XSEED Games staff member who has been a part of The Legend of Heroes series since The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. Brittany Avery, who worked on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PC versions of the game as a Product Coordinator, Marketing Assistant, Voiceover Director, ESRB Handler, and working on Quality Assurance, revealed that her name was absent from the credits on Twitter. This was in spite of the PlayStation 4 version of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel being nearly a direct port of the game, with only minor additions like more English voice acting, Japanese voice acting, and a graphical bump added.
In the tweet, Avery said, “The PS4 ending credits for Cold Steel 1 were updated so my name isn’t in them… so I’m guessing it’s the same for Cold Steel 2 as well.” She then expressed her disappointment at the thought of the physical version of London Detective Mysteria, which is coming from Limited Run Games, having her name removed from the credits in a similar fashion due to its release after her departure. She was the Product Manager, Lead Editor, Linguistics Researcher, English Logo Designer, Graphic Text Localizer, ESRB/PEGI/USK/ACB Handler, and worked on Quality Assurance for the title. (A past XSEED Games blog post went over the effort put in to get the visual novel localized.)
After this came to light, XSEED Games issued the following statement via its Twitter account.
“We appreciate the hard work of everyone who contributes to our releases, but it is and always has been company policy that only current members of our staff are credited. We have never credited staff for their individual roles, or if they have left the company.”
For this policy and situation were to be properly addressed, patches may need to be applied to the company’s entire catalog of games.
Update: Kris Knigge, who acted as a Localization Editor on The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, has confirmed his name also does not appear in the PlayStation 4 version of the game’s credits. He issued the following statement on Twitter.
“Nobody’s noticed that I’m not in the credits, but as an editor on TOCS1-3… I’ve been not-credited in so many games that were so important to me that I’m content to be in just three versions of Trails of Cold Steel 1. I don’t see my absence in the PS4 version as a slight. That said, it would be nice if they kept the original credits in the game for the rerelease, and it’d be REALLY nice if the industry as a whole got better at crediting people. This is also why I claim credit for stuff I worked on even if my name isn’t in the game. Perception is everything (especially for freelancers!). Credits are one thing that really help that perception. XSEED’s credit policy has its upsides, too. I only did the ESRB submission for Popoplo and was credited as localization editor, because that was my role at the company. The downside is, people who do a ton of work on something are often overshadowed by bigger names/titles. I’ve seen production assistants write bibles for some games and lead QA on others and not get any attention. You’ll never see articles about them or know what they did. As finicky as it’d be, I’d suggest crediting the loc team for what they actually DID, and then the full company separately, but that’s just me.”
Update 2: Knigge has confirmed a number of other former XSEED Games staff members were not credited in the PlayStation 4 version of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. Localization Editors Danielle Rust, Nick Colucci, and Jessica Chavez’s names are not present, even though all three also worked on the game. For those who enjoyed the in-game books, Chavez was the person who handled their localization.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is available for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC. Avery’s name has been omitted from the credits of the PlayStation 4 version of the game.