Namco doesn’t need the US market

by wfgodbold

Not when Japanese fans will fork over ¥400 per Tales of Graces F downloadable character costume.

They probably have some underpaid flunky code those up in an afternoon, and then sell the full set for half the price of the actual game; when they finally finished making costumes (I think they’ve finished, anyway) for the PS3 port of Tales of Vesperia, I think the cost of the costumes was more than the cost of the game.

Namco has done this before; the DLC for the PSP iDOLM@STER releases totaled more than the cost of the actual game.  I think the cost discrepancy was even more glaring with the 360 edition.

It makes sense that they would focus their efforts on nickel and diming their Japanese fan base with DLC instead of localizing the Tales games for foreign release; I don’t think the series has ever done as well outside Japan.  Their focus on DLC gets them a good return on a minimal investment, whereas localizing the games for release abroad could prove chancy should they not be well-received.

Of course, that’s not what non-Japanese fans want to hear.  Unfortunately, the poor reception of Tales in the US (relative to Japan) has made it less likely for future games to be released here; those that do get released will probably continue to under preform versus the Japanese releases, making it even less likely that the next game will be localized, and so on.

There really isn’t any way I can see to improve the situation; I bought the US release of Tales of Vesperia when it was released, and the Japanese PS3 rerelease.  I had hoped that the PS3 edition would make the jump across the Pacific, but it was not in the cards (a shame, since many people only have one major console, and I imagine many JRPG fans gambled on the PS3 over the 360, given its track record in the previous two console generations).

Tales of Graces hasn’t even been mentioned for prospective release in the US (in either the PS3 update or the original buggy Wii edition); since Tales of Xillia is initially being released on the PS3 (instead of first on one of the other two consoles, with a “complete” edition on the PS3 to follow), it’s marginally more likely that it will be localized for sale in other regions than Japan.  If it does, I’ll probably pick up a copy (not that any foreign release will be any time soon; the Japanese release doesn’t have a date beyond 2011 at this point, so I’d imagine the soonest any English version could be released is 2012) if only pour encourager les autres (I did the same with the Japanese and English releases of Valkyria Chronicles).

In the mean time, though, I’ll try to maintain my Japanese skills; after all, it’s one thing to be optimistic regarding an English release, but we would do well to prepare for the worst.

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