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Interview: Ken Berry von XSEED Games

PG-Team, am 23.04.2012, Seite 2 von 2

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Some of you might have already heard the name XSEED Games, with them bringing over more than just a few unique games from Japan in the last few years. With localizing such games likes Sumioni: Demon Arts, Corpse Party, the Ys-Series, Solatorobo, Fragile Dreams or Shadow Hearts: From the New World, they already managed to take a place in the heart of every gamer with zero knowledge of the japanese language, but also wants to expirience their gaming culture here in the west.

No surprise here, that we were getting curious about how the localization-process works, what kind of games we can expect next to come over to us and why a brave publisher still stands up for the creative games that get kind of buried under the big names of modern gaming industries. Ken Berry, executive vice president of XSEED Games took the time to answer some of our questions in this regard. What the result was? Here it is:

H. Weiler
Hello from germany! Can you tell us something about yourself and XSEED as a publisher?

K. Berry
My name is Ken Berry and I’m the EVP here at XSEED Games. XSEED was founded by a group of us that worked together at Square Enix USA, so we’re very familiar with and passionate about localizing games from Japan. We started publishing in early 2006 by launching Wild ARMs 4 and Shadow Hearts: From the New World on PS2 in North America, and with digital publishing we are now able to offer some of our works directly to the European audience through PSN and Steam.

H. Weiler
In the past you've brought a lot of unique games over to the west, like Corpse Party, the Ys-series and Sumioni: Demon Arts. Why did you make the decision to focus on such lesser known games than more popular genres?

K. Berry
It’s not always necessarily by choice that we publish “lesser known games” as we would love to publish Final Fantasy if given the chance, but by being an independent-minded publisher we are usually limited to the games published in Japan by the publishers that don’t have their own North American office. Luckily for us, there’s still a ton of quality titles to choose from.

H. Weiler
How does the cooperation with japanese studios work during the localization-process? Do you get much support for carrying over their spirit into the english language?

K. Berry
Each studio we work with is different in terms of how they provide their materials to be localized to us and how much of our requests they are able to implement into the localization programming, but almost all of them give us good support when it comes to accurately translating the “spirit” of their work into English. We often ask for clarification or additional details on what a section in Japanese may mean or allude to, and even if a direct English translation may sound awkward, we can usually come up with something else to preserve the original intent of the Japanese text.

H. Weiler
Can you tell us something about your next projects? Many people are almost begging you for a localization of Corpse Party: Book of Shadows and for bringing Sumioni: Demon Arts over to europe.

K. Berry
While I can’t say anything definitive as we haven’t made any official announcements yet, Sumioni: Demon Arts will be coming over to Europe soon, whether by us or by another publisher, while the Corpse Party sequel coming over is looking more and more likely as the original one continues to perform well.

H. Weiler
Your studio already had great support for the PSP with many unique titles, do you plan to continue this with the PSVita, and maybe even the Nintendo 3DS now?

K. Berry
Absolutely, we love publishing on the handheld systems. There are still a couple PS Vita titles we have up our sleeves that we have yet to announce, and in addition to already announcing Unchained Blades for digital release on 3DS, we are constantly evaluating more 3DS titles for publishing.

H. Weiler
In comparison to other publishers in the market, you're a relatively small publisher with a very well selected library of games. Do you have any personal interest in the games you're working on?

K. Berry
Yes, almost every one of our published games was acquired from Japan because someone in our office had a personal say in it. For example, Corpse Party would have never happened had Tom in our office not purchased and loved the Japanese version on his own time, while I was the only one pushing for Wizardry since I’m a glutton for punishment, but everyone else in the office just couldn’t get into it because of the difficulty level. If at least one employee at XSEED loves a game and becomes its cheerleader trying to convince the others here that we need to publish it, then there’s a very good chance that we will seriously look into acquiring it.

H. Weiler
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to have this interview with you! But the honor of having the last word is yours: do you have anything left to tell our readers?

K. Berry
I know that we may not be very well known in Europe as the Japanese projects we localize into English have usually been published by other publishers who got the credit for the English text that we translated, but hopefully the European gamers will give us a chance by downloading some of the content we have up on PSN and Steam. There will be a lot more to come.

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9 Kommentare

profil 56 comments
[23.04.2012 - 09:16 Uhr]
Nice one.
Sehr sympatisch zum Einen und zum Anderen jemand, dem man sehr dankbar sein kann, da manche Spielejuwelen nur bei uns herauskommen, dank solcher Lokalisierungsgötter =)
profil 124 comments
[23.04.2012 - 10:57 Uhr]
Ich selbst habe Corpse Party gespielt und mir hat die Übersetzung sehr gut gefallen! Keep up the nice work ;)
profil 364 comments
[23.04.2012 - 16:44 Uhr]
Solche Publisher untersützt man gerne...auf jedenfall hat mir Corpse Party auf der PSP gut gefallen!
profil 56 comments
[23.04.2012 - 17:04 Uhr]
Toller Publisher und Corpse Party war einfach nur der hammer <3
profil 852 comments
[23.04.2012 - 19:45 Uhr]
Fender Hans Weiler
Corpse Party war eh super - da braucht man garnicht drüber diskutieren ;)
Mit XSEED gibt es auf jedenfall einen Publisher, der viele kuriose Spiele aus Japan in den Westen gebracht hat. Schade dass es davon nicht mehr gibt.

Der werte Herr Berry scheint aber auch ein sympatischer Typ zu sein, ich hoffe dass XSEED es schafft auch in Europa noch mehr Fuß zu fassen.
profil 64 comments
[23.04.2012 - 20:59 Uhr]
R.Godless Marcel Eifert
Kauft Bitte alle Corpse Party. Das scheint ja momentan auch ihr angesagtester Titel zu sein. Solche Publisher müssen unterstützt werden. Genau wie Rising Star Games. Sehr sympathisches Team da bei XSEED.
profil 445 comments
[24.04.2012 - 00:07 Uhr]
Die Lokalisierung von Corps Party ist absolut schrecklich wenn man japanisch Spricht. Einfach weil der Text nicht zum gesprochenen passt. Zum Beispiel: Als im Intro das Erdbeben los geht sagt die Lehrerin auf japanisch:"Schützt euch!" im englischen steht aber: "Geht unter die Tische um euch selbst zu schützen!" dann sagt sie auf japanisch: "schnell!!" und auf englisch wieder: "Geht unter die Tische, sofort!"
Und so geht das die ganze Zeit über. Es wird viel mehr geschrieben als überhaupt gesagt wird, meist werden Informationen gegeben die der Spieler eigentlich erleben sollte, als ob XSEED der Ansicht wäre, dass westliche Spieler den Zusammenhang sonst nicht begreifen würde. So was geht gar nicht.
profil 147 comments
[28.04.2012 - 19:17 Uhr]
MEGAFREU!!! Sumioni steht auf meiner Wunschliste ganz oben.
profil 593 comments
[24.05.2012 - 21:20 Uhr]
Ailtin Altin Bujupaj
@Tatsu: Im Grunde gilt aber doch das gleiche wie Ken es im Interview sagte: Man baut es vielleicht leicht um, aber die Pointe der Aussage bleibt gleich.

Ich selbst bin auch ein großer Fan von XSEED und liebe deren Ys und Legend of Heroes Spiele, welche sie lokalisiert haben. Ys Seven habe ich mir sogar extra neu bestellen lassen und das war jeden Cent wert :)

Lang leben XSEED und Ghostlight !
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