Nintendo Wii U

NoA Localiser: Games Like Xenoblade Won’t Sell Enough To Justify How Big Game Is

Nintendo of America localisation employee Chris Pranger has spoken at length about the cost of localising what Nintendo of America deem to be niche titles. One of the examples Pranger gives is the brilliant Xenoblade Chronicles which he says was guaranteed never to sell enough in North America to justify the costs of localising the game from English to Japanese which is why there was a lot of hesitation to bring it over. However, it was obvious that Nintendo Europe saw potential in the title as the game arrived there much earlier. Here’s what he had to say.

And they just say the classic “Why do you hate money? Why do you hate money, Nintendo?” (said in droning, “dumb guy” nasally voice)

And it’s like “What are you talking about? We’re trying to make…obviously it has to make calculated risks, but at the same time, one of those risks…and I mean they’ll bring up games that are very Japanese games, like Captain Rainbow for instance. They’ll bring that up like “Look how many people want this. Don’t you want money?”(repeats “dumb guy” nasally voice) And we’ll be like “Yeah, we do want money, which is why we know it’s a colossal waste if we ever try to localize that in this current market, because look at you people. You don’t make up a big enough group.

You look at something like even Xenoblade Chronicles. People love that game, you know, within a certain group. That game is not the type of game that just pulls in enough to justify the costs on that. So that’s like, we got it in the States by luck, that NoE decided “Oh, we’ll take the fall. We’ll localize that.” Okay, cause someone is going to have to eat the costs somewhere, because that game is guaranteed to not sell enough to justify how big that game is. You know, hundreds of hours, all voiced. That’s a lot of money that goes into that.

And people are like “Why do you guys hate money?” (Dumb guy nasally voice) We don’t. That’s why you literally can’t make everything. And people don’t like finding out that their fanbase is actually too small to justify the costs of the thing they want.

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183 comments

    1. Unfortunately you are correct. I’ve talked to dozens of teenagers to see if they play video games and about 2 for every 10 that I talk to actually play them. The rest just say that they “grew out” of video games or simply stick to PC gaming. We’re a dying breed!

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      1. They said they outgrew video games while they send you a facebook inbite to some if the most horrible ones or having a cellphone playing candy crush…

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Candy Crush is a game for retards and people with bad taste, that’s why it’s so popular and the game industry suck ass!

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  1. I can empathize with that…the man talks sense, unlike most of the gaming world who have an opinion on everything and think they know it all…douche bags

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Because the launch for XBC in the US was a hack job, with no marketing, and launched only in one store that quickly reacted to the popularity of the product by opening unsold copies and reselling at a ridiculous premium.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And yet comparatively tiny companies like XSeed manage to localize all kinds of obscure stuff, including text-heavy RPGs, and thrive on it.

    I call bullshit, Nintendo. Lazy bullshit.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Kaboom has hit the nail on the head. There’s no reason a smaller company cab localize a game efficiently that Nintendo can’t.

      It also wouldn’t hurt to do some kind of advertising for a brand that has little to no name recognition in your country.

      All of this would be a non-issue if Nintendo included English subs on the Japanese version and didn’t region lock their titles. That would mean additional sales in the original market and import numbers would give Nintendo a clue as to where they should localize.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Did you even consider the possibility that not every game has the same localization costs and that bigger games have a bigger localization costs and need more sold copies to turn even?

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      1. Did you ever consider things like mother 3, completely translated by fans (for free), and Nintendo was just too lazy to translate it, that if they did it would be a “colossal waste” (WAAAAHHHMbulance it doesn’t sell like Mario kart so no translation).

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      2. That’s because the original tagline used for it was “this game stinks!”

        …which was referring to a sheet of scratch n’ sniff stickers that came with the guide that came with the game. That didn’t help sales.

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      3. A game being “bigger” is a matter of perspective. There’s a lot of niche little JRPGs which get localized by smaller companies despite just as much raw text as more mainline high-profile games.

        “But localizing is really hard you guys” is just Nintendo of America making excuses for their own inadequacy and apathy towards what their market wants. Just like the B.S. answers they give about stuff like region-locking and the missing New 3DS.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I don’t understand why they even need to localize the voice acting. They are already acknowledging that it’s a niche games, and fans of nice games wouldn’t care. So just use subtitles, that way the animations match too without changes.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You, like Nintendo has long learn’t, would do well to just ignore comments like this, trust me…these people are clueless but think they know it all…idiots to be honest..so why waste time?

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    3. Yeah, but basically everything XSeed localizes these days is either all text or keeps their original Japanese audio. Plus many of their games don’t really get all that much paid publicity.

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    4. Or, it’s like a big box store compared too a specialty shop. Sure, Walmart or Target could technically carry a wide range of ecclectic goods (like niche games), but in the grand scheme of things, they need to focus & pool their resources for more mainstream products, @ least in their brick & mortar locations. A specialty shop is the same principle in reverse.

      Simply put, Nintendo has a full plate & even their iconic titles can be risky, especially if more than 1 fail. Plus, they experiment on both software & hardware @ the same time. Cnversely, studios like Xseed only focus on localizing & publishing, not devving & managing huge companies.

      Cpt. Rainbow (worldwide release), another Sin & Punishment, Shadow of the Eternals…would all be great if Nintendo made them a reality. I am grateful for Bayonetta & B2, Fatal Frame, & Devil’s 3rd, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m pretty such Nintendo can easily localise all these games if they wanted to. Sadly, unless a title will sell millions in the west, most Japanese games won’t be localised (still waiting for Extroopers capcom!)

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      2. This is Nintendo of America we’re talking about here. If it’s not kid or family friendly shit, it’s not worth doing extensive marketing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe it’s a niche group because the pool grew stagnant and people got tired of playing the same things over and over, it also doesn’t help to have this kind of attitude over giving people what they want.

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  5. “And they just say the classic “Why do you hate money? Why do you hate money, Nintendo?” (said in droning, “dumb guy” nasally voice)”

    Very professional way to handle the situation, Mr. Pranger.

    IDIOT!

    That being said, what about offering multi-language support natively and quit the shady region lock? All the problems would cease in a heartbeat.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. It’s true that NoA isn’t really into taking risks.
    XB Chronicles was done true NoE
    Same with some WiiU bundles (but that can have another reason or hasn’t been anounced yet for America) looking at you , Mariomaker and XBCX bundles ;p

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      1. That’s how it is…unless you’re not a cocksucking drone and actually demand that Nintendo localise some products. Or are you saying games like xenoblade chronicles were better left unlocalised because, without fan backlash, it wouldn’t of been localised?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, as a consumer do you buy every game on the market or do you pick and choose which game you will get the most enjoyment out of? Nintendo have to pick and choose which game to localise to get the most profit out of it. If money was not an issue in the decision, then they would localise every game but it is an issue so they must pick and choose.

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      3. But that’s the fucking problem! Nintendo will only pick and choose the ones that are likely to sells tons of copies…not ones that would sell, maybe, 500k (.and would break even). Maybe if Nintendo didn’t just localise games they’d get the most profit out of, fans would be happier!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Go buy the games you wouldn’t get much enjoyment out of it and see how that make you feel. Same logic. It would make companies happy if you did that.

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      5. Your comparison is deeply flawed as you’re comparing a consumer to that of a billion dollar corporation. You ignoire the obvious-one has vast amounts of more cash than the other. If you gave me, say, a billion dollars, (provided it can be afforded) I’ll buy you as many games as you like. What if I went “nah, I don’t feel like it” towards a game you really wanted? Also, I really don’t give a shit about making a company “happy” as the consumers ALWAYS have proirity over game developers as we’re the ones that spend our gars earned cash!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. They spend their hard earned cash to get you games to buy. It is a two way street not a one way street. If Nintendo goes out of business then you just find another company.

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      7. Stop treating Nintendo as if they’re your best friend. Those fatcats at the top are the ones that make all the decisions and, most of the time, don’t care about giving games to “niche” crowds.

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      8. No company is my friend. They only supply products I buy. If they go under, then I will find another company. I buy products from a lot of different companies. I am not loyal to any company.

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      9. They spend their “hard earned cash” on development usually because they’ll get a profit out of the situation (the companies)…not because the truly care about their consumers.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Well their hard earned cash comes from us so it is, in fact, a one way street because they wouldn’t even have their hard earned cash if not for us. So in the end, we’re the fucking masters, not them.

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      11. Not all of their hard earned cash come from consumers some of it come from investors that don’t play video games. No one is the masters. All companies do is provide product for people to buy, it is up to consumers to buy the product. If consumers don’t buy then companies make another product in the hopes consumers buy the product.

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      12. And these same investors get their money back from Nintendo that came directly from us. It’s still a one way street because the money has to come from someone and it is usually coming from the consumers.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. That is true. I don’t deny that. Why my explanation is for is that there is two sides to every story. Nothing is just one sided. I look at all angles. There are games I want to be brought over and that’s the consumer in me. I also know that businesses have to make decisions that’s best for them. I don’t have to agree with the decisions but I can understand them.

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  7. Who let this idiot speak? I bet he doesn’t even have nintendo permission to do so! If nintendo was like he said we would have never gotten a sequel and fire emblem would have never made it out of japan for 3ds.

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    1. Xenoblade was used because people don’t realized how much it really cost to bring that game over for a small niche crowd. Yes that crowd is small. I am part of that crowd. It is small. Had that game not sold as well then Nintendo of Europe would have lost a lot of money as they took the risk with Nintendo of Japan’s money.

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      1. You say they would of lost a lot of money if xenoblade chronicles didn’t sell well…how much would they’ve been affected then? I’d wager that it would be a small amount lost (maybe 1million at max) which is nothing to a company the size of Nintendo.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Localization is not done by Nintendo. They have to hired a company to localize the game. Which charges Nintendo to do it. Some localization can come close to half of the development cost. It is not cheap to localize a game.

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      3. I doubt that, with most games, localisation takes around half of the development costs. Maybe if the game stars celebrity voice actors…other wise idk.

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      4. …well that was pointless. I was expecting some figures on how much it usually costs to localise games…not some company trying to humanise itself as much as possible (consumers still come first. If they can’t handle this then they should just quit).

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      5. Going local: costs?
        Of course, proper localization will probably cost you at least some money – how much depends on how much is required and how professional you want it.

        If you’ve followed all the steps above and it’s literally just a case of localizing the text for other languages, then the charges will more or less be the translation costs. Again, these vary from language-to-language and by company, but here are some ball-park figures for translation – and always check that they include full project management costs:

        · English to French, Italian, German and Spanish: $160-$275 per 1,000 words (depending on the type of text and the expertise required from the translator)
        · English to: Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Icelandic, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian and Swedish: $190-$325 (same conditions as above)

        Other languages are in a similar ballpark to the languages above and the price will vary depending on the exact language combination (e.g. translations between two unusual languages, one of which isn’t English, may cost a bit more).

        In addition to the translation costs, there may be associated file-management and DTP costs attached, these are normally charged per-hour. Again, depending on the nature of the technical requirements, these could be anywhere between $75 and $150 per hour.

        Christian Arno is the founder and Managing Director of global translations service Lingo24, specialists in website translation and creative localization. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has over 150 employees across three continents and clients in over sixty countries.

        http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/localization-is-more-than-a-game/579962

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      6. Soooo around 250-1000k then? Still, Nintendo could pay all that and more and still be fine. If it was a case of Nintendo being some small Japanese company not having the funds to translate their games then I’d understand. The thing is though, is that they’re the exact oppersite if a small company that’s just struggling to get by.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. depending on the cost of the company used and you missed there may be associated file-management and DTP costs attached, these are normally charged per-hour. Again, depending on the nature of the technical requirements, these could be anywhere between $75 and $150 per hour and the · English to French, Italian, German and Spanish: $160-$275 per 1,000 words. Cost will depend on how many words in the game and how much technical work needs to be done plus if there is voice acting.

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      8. And let’s say we take a game that has (assumption only as I do not know) 3 million words. Well £150 x 3000=£450,000 which isn’t really all that much when you consider that games like gta v costed around $250 million.

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      9. would that be 800,000 for US and another 800,000 for France and etc? or are you saying 800,000 for every region?

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      10. Let’s say I want to localise xenoblade chronicles to 5 different countries (800000×5=$4,000,000) and considering it sold 0.9million units (900,000x$60=$54,000,000)there’s about a $50 million profit! More than worthy of spending time and resources on it to localise it!

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I like how you broke it down but there are import cost, marketing, distrubution and retail. more than likely the 900,000 X $15 =12, 500, 000 which would still be a profit. That is provided every game they do that for is a sucess. In this scenerio, Xenoblade justified it. For every Xenoblade there are games that do not justify it. I just want to play the game. Xenoblade would have been more than the 800,000 due to the voice actors.

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      12. Not to mention Nintendo was already banking on the Wii so money was definitely not an issue. This Chris Pranger is just lying right out of his ass.

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  8. Yeah, having a very condescending tone towards a part of your consumer base is a good idea when a lot of people in it already have mixed feelings towards your company. Bravo, good PR! Btw, I’m one of the people that modded my Wii and gave Nintendo of Europe my money to play the game :P I did buy the game when it came out here to support it, but the point is I didn’t need NoA to play the game I wanted to play.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You take it as a condescending tone but the interview could have a laugh fest or laughing tone. You judging words and not hearing the words as they were presented.

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  9. I love how this guy justifies not localising games like captain rainbow because they’d be a “colossal waste” when, probably in reality, they’d sell decently well (enough to break even). With that kind of logic that Chris has, pikmin 3 shouldn’t be localised as it was a system seller.

    The truth is is that Nintendo (and retard’s like Chris) will rarely translate games unless there’s very little risk and a massive chance of tons of sales. Chris, just because a title like xenoblade chronicles didn’t sell like CoD doesn’t mean it sold terribly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you read the whole thing you will understand they can’t translate every game that people think will sell well. That’s how business stay in business. Just because a few vocal people on the internet ask for a game does not mean it is a lot of people that want the game. It is a pick and choose situation. Look at it the same way you look at what games you decide to buy.

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      1. My, my! You seem to be on a lot of different comments, sucking nintendo’s dick lol! Seriously though, Nintendo has so much money in the bank they could EASILY localise every single demanded game in existence and still be ok. Stop blindly defending them you utter fantard XD

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      2. No, I’m a PC gamer that like Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Nice try though. If you see me on Sony and Microsoft site you would see their console logo used by me. I give you a million dollars. Go buy every video game with it and see how far that million dollar goes. Having money in the bank does not mean you can waste it.

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      3. You’re ignoire get the obvious fact that localising games (relatively speaking) costs pennies compared to other sectors of the gaming industry. When you combine that with the fact that Nintendo has billions in the bank, it becomes pretty clear that they CAN afford to lose money giving fans games that they want localised. Also, I fail to see how localising a game that probably wouldn’t sell that well would be “wasting” money. Isn’t it about breaking even and enjoying some profit…or does every game have to sell millions?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Show me the numbers of how much it cost to localise a game. Show me the numbers. You must be someone in the know that have that knowledge, so please show me the numbers.

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      5. While I can’t give you exact numbers (yet) I’ve repeatedly heard about localising/translating costing less than many other parts of game development. And, seeing things like mother 3 translation, it doesn’t seem to be, shall we say, the most difficult job in game development.

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      6. There was a video done by a company that does localisation and it was not a cheap thing to do. I will try to find it and post it.

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      7. I’m expecting costs of 1-2million…when you consider Nintendo has around 8 billion dollars in the bank, I don’t think they’d be hurting too much if one or two of the games they localised ending up bombing.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. But people don’t want 1 or 2 games localized. They want all the games localized. There is always a niche crowd that is clamouring for a game to come over.

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      9. And that could be partially achieved by removing region locking. Anyways, personally, I really want ‘ExTroopers’ to be localised, not “all the games localised”.

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      10. Now if Nintendo was bleeding money & was releasing nothing but bombs, then we could understand them not wanting to risk one or two games bombing. But that is not even the case as far as Nintendo is concerned. Nintendo almost always makes a profit, even when something is bombing. *cough*WiiU*cough*

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  10. Fuck you Chris, this is why we haven’t gotten Mother 3 even though there’s a translation that you can use for free and a huge audience? And fuck you, our fanbases are big enough to break even.

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    1. Sadly, Nintendo barely every translates Japanese games to the west. Not because it won’t break even, but because Nintendo wouldn’t make as much profit as they’d like. In short, they’re greedy arseholes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They’re greedy because they want to make sure they can secure a profit? Seriously? Business is all about making money you fool.

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      2. The thing is is that they CAN break even with most of their products localising them. They just choose not to because they wouldn’t make all that much profit. Yes, they’re greedy. Deal with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Exactly! Nintendo is effectively trying to maximize profits (in this case, not spending most of the profit they’ve already made) & that’s what makes them greedy. In other words, they are being cheap.

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    1. Nintendo of America won’t. They are too fucking stupid, cheap, or both to even market shit. Chris Pranger, along with Reggie, both need to be fucking fired if they are just going to damage control for Nintendo. It’s pathetic & it just makes Nintendo look even worse.

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  11. What he’s basically saying is: ‘We didn’t sell enough consoles so now it’s not worth the effort to bring good games to the people who did buy one.’ I know that’s a very black and white interpretation but NOA would do well to limit Mr. Pranger’s contact with the press. Perhaps he could actually spend some time localizing games…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What he is saying is do you buy every game on the market for you system? If the answer is no, then you know that every game is not able to be localized.

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    2. Just because there are a lot of consoles, doesn’t mean a game will sell well. A fanbase does not solely rely on the amount of consoles there are in consumer hands.

      This NoA employee HAS a point, but it can be easily fixed with the removal of region locking.

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      1. Or they could, y’know, actually fucking market shit. Chris Pranger is just pulling a Reggie & damage controlling for Nintendo like the fucking puppet he really is.

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      2. You can also market and promote products a lot too, but it STILL won’t make a game sell. There ARE some things that just won’t work in the Western market. Not every single game can be localized in America to success.

        This guy’s point still stands in that regard. But, still falls short if one considers the removal of region locking. Because, then there is no need to localize in the first place as long as there are subtitles in a game.

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      3. His point would have more ground if he wasn’t coming off as a major douchebag when making it. That’s like a black guy speaking out against racism but calls everyone a fucking idiot in the process. You just give the racists a reason to continue being racists.

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  12. Or… you know,
    they could translate the text and give it out as is.
    All the income, none* of the cost (*compared to recording hours of acting from people who actually know how to act).
    It is literally that easy.

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    1. They could do that. There will still be cost. Do you think that will deter some people from buying the game? It may or may not for me depending on the game.

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      1. Oh it will definitely deter a some people. But profit margin is going to be way higher (importantly, there’s going to be any at all) – so from a business perspective it’s better. It takes a lot of sales to make up for the expense of good voiceovers, and I don’t think the group who would be deterred cover that.

        I’m glad they did for the three rainfall games, because (most) efforts in those games are leagues and bounds above what I’m used to hearing in JRPGs (see FFXIIIs). It’s obvious they had to shell out to ensure this though.

        Doing english voiceovers for Xenoblade in particular was probably beneficial in other ways. It did something for Smash later, and maybe that brand recognition helps out Xenoblade X… Not making up for it still, but it would be nice to see some return.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Going by this logic there’s no point to having Nintendo products in Europe considering how little they sell there compared to Asia and America.
    I’m just saying, the NoA version of Xenoblade Chronicles sold more than the EU or JP versions despite coming out years later, if they were really calculating this stuff then they would have prioritized the release of the NoA version of Xenoblade X, since it’s the region where it is probably going to sell the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The fact that Nintendo of Europe localized games like Xenoblade, The Last Story, Pandoras Tower and were also looking to revive F-Zero with the help of Criterion, while Nintendo of America did some shitty Skylanders deal and boasted about it on E3 Digital Event speaks for itself…..

    Nintendo of Europe should just turn themselfs into Nintendo of West while handling both Europe and America related stuff, while shitty NoA employees would finally find their true dream jobs at TV shops and whatnot trying to sell shit like always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seriously! Nintendo of America is a den of cheap, greedy, lying fucks & should all be fucking fired! Preferably right out of a fucking cannon into the sun!

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  15. Are we ignoring the fact that this game is a Wii U exclusive and that is the reason why it wont sell well? If it was a multiplat between PS4, PC and Wii U it would no doubt sell well. There is always a big market for a great JRPG, it’s just JRPG gamers are so spread out across different platforms. Releasing something like this on one console specially the one that happens to be selling the worst is just suicide for this game.

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  16. If Nintendo didn’t region lock there systems then no one would have to worry. I import vita games and it works well for me

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      1. All they need are English subtitles in all their English games. They can still even keep the Japanese voice acting, as long as we get he games.

        It isn’t that hard to allow everyone access to every game there is to offer.

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      2. I agree but anyone that is like me may not buy the game. It really depend on the game if I would buy it like that. In situations like that the small niche crowd gets smaller.

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      3. I’d say most gamers would still buy a game if they provide subtitles. Imagine how many animes people watch that have Japanese voice actors!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well, given how well anime does (and, from what I’ve experienced, they seem to support only English subtitles) I’d say gamers would react similarly.

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      5. Not all gamers are into that style with anime. I like anime but don’t do the subtitles ones. If they not dub then I just skip on them. I can’t be the only one like that just like you won’t be the only one that would support it.

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      6. Consider something like attack on Titan on Netflix. It’s pretty popular and features no English voice acting…only subtitles.

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      7. I’m not saying it can’t work. I’m saying the fanbase would be divided. Not all people who like attack on Titan likes video games. So I understand the comparision, it may or may not work.

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      8. Not buying a game because it doesn’t have English voice actors, but it has English subtitles?

        I think VERY few people of the crowd who would buy those sort of games, would opt out of buying them just because there are no English voice actors. Those people want to buy these types of games, BECAUSE they can’t normally play them and want to experience something new and different from the Western norm.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I see where he’s coming from, though. If there is voice acting in something, some people naturally want to hear it in a language that they can understand.

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  17. YOU KNOW WHAT IS AN EASY FIX TO THIS NINTENDO???!

    Don’t region lock your damn motherfucking consoles… stupid pricks (said in dumb nasally Nintendo employee voice).

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    1. Yeah but like… I don’t want to play a text heavy game like Xenoblade thats in a language I don’t understand! I’m not saying Region-locking is good just that… there’s more reason to translate it then. Though, I suppose niche games that never stood a chance at localization would garner more buyers… it’s a tough debate.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No debate necessary. The removal of region locking would fix many, many localization problems. If a game proves to be popular despite a lack of localization in a territory, then the Nintendo branch to that respective area can look into localizing it and promoting the game for a future launch with real English voice acting and whatnot.

        This strategy would prove to be a good business practice for Nintendo.

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  18. Anyone who believes they gladly take a loss on games are idiots. Sure, they don’t make as much profit as other games, but do something for the fans for once and not just for your FAT paychecks the fans pay for.

    Attitudes like this is one of the worst traits of todays companies. If they can’t make easy money, they’re not interested. They’re nothing but lazy, fat cats who care about nothing but themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean, I agree with you, a company that makes games should always try to do something for the sake of the game, the fans, the art that they’re creating, at the SAME time, you cannot ignore that bringing over a game like Xenoblade (which I can’t wait to get my hands on, personally) that probably won’t see a terrible amount of popularity in the states, is worth pouring 100s of man-hours into, paying for voice acting, using up all of this time better spent towards other projects that have a wider appeal to more people. It’s just a tough game to play, but if you’re in a situation like Nintendo is right now, you’re gonna wanna do what’s most profitable.

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  19. For one, the way he talked came off really rude and stuck up. There are numerous games that get localized and don’t sell like a New Super Mario Bros title would. The simple solution to his problem? Don’t do the voice track in English. I think it was Warriors Orochi on PS4 that I played and it had Japanese voice tracks and English text. Sure, you have to read, but for a game that may not bring in a big crowd it would be fine. A lot of games like that have no voice track.

    I really think his excuse is a stupid one, especially since America isn’t the only English speaking country. I don’t know how the business relationships are with the various countries’ Nintendo offices, but I imagine that they could work together to get the game in English and sell it everywhere, there’s really not much difference between the language, spare slang and spelling of some words (like color and colour). I don’t see why they make it out to be like it’s a huge problem to localize.

    If promoted the right way Xenoblade would do MUCH better. But their “it wasn’t worth it” doesn’t make sense since Xenoblade for Wii was a GameStop exclusive…. “Let’s take the risk but not release it everywhere, this sounds like a good idea, right?” Their business decisions baffle me sometimes, I just don’t get it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They could easily fix some of the issues with English dubbing if Nintendo of America would actually work WITH Nintendo of Europe and split the fucking bill.

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      1. That’s probably so true. I doubt the British dub of Xenoblade cost nearly as much as an American one would. But there’s probably legal fees and reasons why they don’t do that. Too bad, I would’ve liked to see Xenoblade stay a UK dubbed franchise. I here enough american voice actors

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Is Chris Pranger taking Reggie’s place as Nintendo’s damage controller? Because this fucking idiot sounds just like Reggie but worse as he’s actually outright insulting some of Nintendo’s fanbase. How about you motherfuckers actually use the fucking money that we all know you fucking have to actually market shit better!? With how Nintendo of America handled Xenoblade Chronicles & The Last Story’s marketing, they continued the fucking trend with the Wii U a couple of months later!

    Nintendo of America is full of shit! The only fucking time they ever did any good with marketing was when it was for fucking games that would obviously sell to family friendly customers. Just look at fucking Splatoon, compared to Bayonetta 2, to see what the hell I’m talking about. They are fucking incompetent with marketing til a game obviously meant to lure in kids & family friendly consumers comes out. Because they go from incompetent marketing idiots to fucking marketing gods at the drop of a hat when something that might actually sell to millions of families comes out. Everyone at Nintendo of America needs to be fucking fired because it’s obviously ran by nothing but fucking republican party dipshits!

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    1. Okay, let’s be fair here. If they were republican dipshits, they’d have way more guns, cowboy hats, and random family photos in all of their commercials. As someone who has grown up in Georgia and Florida, and gone to college in Louisiana, I can guarantee you that. Actually, with some good marketing, Bayonetta could be a million seller in the south, they really just need to have a commercial of her with a cowboy hat on…

      That aside, The Last Story actually wasn’t brought to the U.S. by Nintendo, it was XSeed. And it was one of their most successful games to date, at the time. Xenoblade also did pretty great for itself, especially during the year the Wii died.

      I agree, Nintendo’s marketing team is shit, they really rely far too much on the word of mouth provided by the core fans, and that really isn’t enough. If they got their marketing together, all their games would do a ton better. That said, these niche games have an opportunity cost attached to them. Why release a Xenoblade, a game that’ll have some of the highest localization costs, when Mario, Zelda, Star Fox, all these other games they make can be brought over with minimal localization costs, and practically a guarantee of more sales regardless of marketing. If it’s marketed well, Xenoblade could become Nintendo’s Final Fantasy, but I don’t know if they’re willing to bite the bullet for the amount of time it would take to get there, or the amount of money they could make by focusing on games that are cheaper to localize.

      This guy may just sound like an angry employee, but he’s not wrong about costs. The largest one being opportunity cost. Though, that’s not something people regularly consider, they just think about whether or not a profit could be made, or even that a small loss could be worth it for the fans, but satisfying a handful of fans wouldn’t be worth the losses they’d gather over that game here game there that they’d be bringing over. But they may attract new customers in the long run, so it’s a tough call if the ends justify the means. As consumers, of course we will say that they do, especially if they get a handful of new customers, we could say that that alone makes it worth it, but what’s too keep those customers around, and if they continue to take losses, it’s clearly not worth it. Even small profits wouldn’t be worth it when they could make larger profits much easier. And if the mass of the fans will stay around just for those games, then they really don’t have much, if anything, to gain from appeasing fans who want these niche games, such as myself and you, I am sure. Opportunity cost, how you lose money while still making a profit, and the bane of fans of niche titles

      Liked by 1 person

  21. In his defense the American gaming industry does suck. But I gotta argue with him with one thing. You do know you could solve that problem by getting rid of region lockout completely on your consoles, right? Just saying

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    1. At least the American gaming industry exists. The Japanese gaming industry has been slowly disappearing. Japanese video game companies are making their money through the Western markets!

      Without the U.S, Canada, Australia and parts in Europe, Nintendo and Sony’s video game department would not be able to continue on as they are now. They both would have switched to iOS gaming a LONG time ago if they were subject to only create games for Japan.

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  22. Then why in the fuck is Nintendo making Xenoblade Chronicles X a tentpole title for the holiday shopping season buy releasing it December 5th????

    Nintendo would bury it like Fatal Frame 5 or Devil’s Third if they thought it wouldn’t sell at all.

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    1. Fatal Frame wasn’t buried, they put it in their E3, even if just for a minute. But it’s cause it was a big game and they want it to do well. Xenoblade has the potential to become Nintendo’s Final Fantasy, so they’re marketing it to have it get it to try to make as much money as possible. It’s niche, but has some broader appeal and potential to break into a larger market. They’re clearly putting a lot of localization work into it, considering when it’s getting released. But if it was really something they thought would be a major breakthrough, they’d also up the budget and force behind it to get it out before Black Friday. It’s a push, but it’s also them admitting that it’s not the holiday blockbuster any parents would be getting on Black Friday. It’s a fan’s game, people who watch every Nintendo Direct, and they want every fan to pick it up

      Liked by 1 person

  23. In a way, he’s right about about what he said with Xenoblade Chronicles X. Any game that is niche or lacks that mass appeal is sadly doomed to sell poorly, even with the proper advertisement. Bayonetta and Valkyria Chronicles can easily be used as good examples for this.

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  24. This guy definitely let himself get too worked up when going into this. Obviously hit a nerve for him. That said, that doesn’t mean he is wrong. Legal fees, translations, the programming work, audio work (making appropriate adjustments for a dub and whatnot), if a game has a japanese audio track (dub) Nintendo will almost definitely do an english track so dubbing costs, and let’s not forget the opportunity cost, where they could potentially make more money if they brought over a different game that may have less costs attached to it. Considering all that, why would they ever localize a JRPG. Something niche and likely with some of the highest localization costs that will be fighting for every single copy sold and would be lucky to break half a million, when they could localize a Mario game with comparatively low cost attached and a guarantee at multiple hundreds of thousands units sold. Even if they did break even on the JRPG or other niche game, odds are they’ll still be making less money than bringing over a different game, meaning they won’t bring these over until they’ve finished with everything that will make them the most profit. See, Nintendo does like money, they love money, that’s why people like me who love these niche Japanese games doesn’t get to see them too often, cause they don’t make the most bang for their buck for Nintendo. That’s why I’m greatful for every one that I get

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I completely agree with everyone that this guy comes off arrogant and full of it but I think at the end of the day he speaks mostly the truth. The fact is Nintendo is company and they are going to maximize profits over making the fans happy for most of their big decisions. Everyone arguing they can afford it are probably correct but Nintendo didn’t become the multi billion dollar company it is by losing money trying to make every fan happy. No matter how you spin it these games are in fact niche and if you really are that passionate about these niche titles why are you wasting your time whining about localization in the comments? Your time would likely be better spent improving your Japanese. I agree the region locking is extremely dumb and forces people who do speak Japanese to also buy a Japanese console. But realistically if your comfortable with Japanese and your that passionate about playing these niche games then you really only need to own a Japanese console. I own both a Japanese Wii U and Japanese 3DS and I have yet to have a game come out in U.S. that didn’t come to the Japanese market that I wanted to play. Anyway that’s just my 2 cents.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. XCX is just one boat in the harbor. Whether speaking to the rpg genre, racing genre, fighter genre, or fps genre– Nintendo puts one game out in a genre and throws their hands up in frustration because it didn’t sell. The problem is there is nothing else in the harbor for gamers to get into after they finish with XCX or Metroid or F-zero. You can’t get rpg gamers to buy the console if there is only one or two rpgs on the platform and all Western rpgs are exclusive from Nintendo. The same applies to every genre I’ve listed.
    Nintendo has to acquire new second parties to create the genre titles that NOJ does not and they have to stop designing their hardware in ways that push away third parties (lack of RAM, PPC, lack of storage space for patches/DLC, lack of online infrastructure support, lack of investment from Nintendo with first/second party titles that strongly push online chat and play, etc).
    Nintendo has to also recognize that even if Metroid or F-zero only sells 2-3 million units, that’s 5-6 consoles sold. The gamers that buy Nintendo’s fluffier titles won’t cross over to buy Metroid or new Mature IPs but those games sell consoles to NEW CONSUMERS! You can’t brute force your way to a large user base with one big game– that era is over. You have to have variety and you have to expand the user base one game at a time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is exactly why Nintendo needs to start catering to 3rd parties again by making a console that they can easily develop and/or port for instead of making the console a gen behind by giving it weak hardware & forcing 3rd parties to struggle porting games to it or developing games for it if they aren’t prepared to hit a wall.

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  27. I see people comparing Xenoblade Chronicles X to the original game and Bayonetta 2…wut?

    X is laughably bad. Xenoblade Chronicles (the original) had an engrossing storyline and innovative new mechanics as an JRPG that breathed fresh air into the genre. Bayonetta 2 was never targeted towards Japanese gamers…it will always be a game that does far better in the West. Even then, it was still a great success considering how well the small fanbase on the Wii U took to the game. It matched expectations and went a bit over, honestly.

    Nintendo and Platinum Games are even working on the next Star Fox. That shows you that Nintendo is proud of what the company has been working on for the Wii U since the console’s launch. I honestly think that, if Star Fox Zero does very well, Nintendo should consider buying Platinum Games and having them come under the first-party umbrella officially.

    This is coming from someone who owns a Japanese Wii U, knows Japanese, and plays a lot of JRPGs as well. X was absolutely atrocious. I’m waiting to see people’s reactions to the game when it does see a stateside release.

    The game is locked at 30 FPS, first of all. It docks down to 15 FPS and lower at many parts during both gameplay and cutscenes. Textures are extremely muddied (look at its reveal video from Jan 2013…it looks NOTHING like that now). The controls are unresponsive. There is barely any focus on story. The combat is boring while you are on foot feels very clunky compared to its predecessor. It’s as if Monolith Soft just took one huge step forward in the right direction and twenty steps back. The music is amazing at some parts of the game, and then it just falls flat for most of its other parts (like combat). The UI is a claustrophobic nightmare to work with. Lastly, the only good part of this game is the (Japanese) voice acting. I haven’t bothered to see the English voice acting videos yet because I honestly don’t care.

    We were lied to by Monolith Soft.

    They wanted to make a game more like Skyrim. What we got was Xenoblade Chronicles Xploration–as that was the only consistently good thing about this game. The rest was shit that made me and many Japanese friends I know who LOVED Xenoblade Chronicles to detest XCX.

    A lot of us fans of Xenoblade Chronicles in the group I play and hang witb on Skype just went back to FFXIV and PSO2 shortly afterwards. Now that Splatoon is out, we’ve been getting into that and having a blast. But we’ve never touched XCX since.

    The point is, Pranger has a point (his belittling comments towards some Nintendo fans aside). Many people will not buy Xenoblade Chronicles X to match its predecessor once had due to its rapidly declining demand. It ‘is’ very much setting itself up for failure. So expect a big-time flop in the Western markets here and for Nintendo to continue not localizing games as much as a result.

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  28. This point cannot be applied to todays standards. Saying that the game would not have sold was because Nintendo still believed that it was holding onto the casual market, and a “successful” game had to match up with sales on par with titles like Wii Fit. The reality is that this audience is long gone and has moved onto tablets and smartphones.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Basically, NoA wants to avoid another Earthbound-like episode, they localized that game back in 1995, promoted it with a ton of market and even then Earthbound had pitiful sales, it was a pretty miserable failure for a console like the SNES, which had a bigger install base. Makes sense to assure a really interested consumer base before spending money on localizing a game that probably wouldn’t sell enough.

    I’m loving this guy, he is giving the answers that no other NoA employee would do.

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  30. I believe all they need to do is advertise the localized game. It may not give them the huge amount of sales they’d want,like Mario Kart,but at least people would know if the game exists
    Xenoblade Chronicles’s case was that it was never advertised here in NA and was only available at Gamestop.I sure as hell never knew it existed until I just so happened to see a review of it years after Its NA release
    This probably isn’t the best example to use in this case,but what about Splatoon?It’s a completely new IP and has been pretty successfull thanks to Nintendo advertising it properly

    Liked by 1 person

  31. ““dumb guy” nasally voice”

    Who the fuck in the PR department let this asshole speak on their behalf? Did NoA take a look at Konami and think to themselves “I bet we can act like bigger cunts to our fans than these pricks!”?

    Also if the lack of a promise for a game’s ability to rake in enough money to by God himself stopped every localization attempt, then we would have never got Fire Emblem. Hell, we almost didn’t even get Smash back on N64. Considering how much Mario Kart, Splatoon, Smash, and the 3DS as a whole sells, NoA is a company that CAN afford to take a risk and not left in ruin for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. hay this is all Nintendos falt . Thay did not send out anuf to fill demand . I was looking for this game the other day and at two deferent Game Stops . Wasent at any of them thay said for them to hold one i wold have to pay half of there price 40Bucks used

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Ok, then if NoA doesn’t want to take the risks, why not offer the IP to another company to localize? Nintendo localizes and publishes games all the time in other markets that were not originally made by them, and there has been at least one incident of them doing the reverse. Nintendo released Cubivore for the Cube in Japan and it bombed hardcore, with no possibility for a English release. However, Atlus got the rights to translate and localize the game for NA (and maybe EU?) and it did get a release, that’s why the cover says ATLUS on it, but its actually a Nintendo IP (I believe the same thing happened with Polarium on the GBA which Atlus also published, also with Xseed translating The Last Story, but I cant remember if that’s a Nintendo owned IP).

    Point is that NoA should at least see if these other smaller niche companies like Atlus, NIS, Aksys and Xseed would translate their games, produce a small run of them to the fans that want them and then Nintendo could maybe provide some help in the process and in return get back some funds from it, thus creating a very little input into the localization process, but still seeing a return from it and also pleasing the niche groups that want certain obscure titles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a great idea. It makes perfect sense to do this. Too bad Nintendo is like WWE & won’t do something that makes perfect sense.

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  34. I also know A LOT of people who think that the Wii and Wii U are the same thing.
    So yeah the name Wii U really wasn’t the best choice.
    And a lot of parents have no clue that there is a difference, so they buy Wii U stuff for their childrens Wii. Or like happened to a nephew of someone I know, he asked for a Wii U with Mario Kart 8 last Christmas, instead he got a Wii mini bundle with Mario Kart Wii.
    So at the end, it all comes down to bad branding, else people would know the difference by now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So Nintendo should’ve changed U into a 2? Because PlayStation stays the same except adds a number for their newer models. Or…add a word that means a number like…One; Xbox One being the third console isn’t confusing and more kids have One than adults. Maybe it just has to be different than the last console (which is 360), and the first console (original Xbox) can’t be widely available anymore. I think Wii was so successful, that people are blind to a new one (or fail to see the U), and Wii probably attracted more idiots than consoles usually do. Also, Sony probably helped spread the misinformation as they have always been ruthless bastards who will cheat if they can get away wiith it.

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  35. well if that the attitude at Nintendo then why not get rid off the region lock. So that niche market get what they want and Nintendo still make money (not north America or Europe office). I have to say I was a bit piss off but at the same time I was glad to hear someone who does not bullshit you.

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  36. One screw-up from an employee in a big company and suddenly everyone such as the people here in the comments section become “EXPERTS” in the field of marketing, lmao get a life nerds

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