Xenoblade Chronicles X Director Doesn’t Mind Localization Changes

Tetsuya Takahashi weighs in on the controversy.

By Angela Marrujo Fornaca. Posted 06/17/2017 19:45 Comment on this     ShareThis

Nintendo has often been criticized for altering or removing certain features in games when localizing them for western release, having been accused of censorship by some within the gaming community. The issue came up in 2015 when, in Xenoblade Chronicles X, Nintendo removed some content, including the ability for the 13-year-old character Lin Lee to wear a particularly revealing bikini. Though some fans claimed that Nintendo was censoring developer Monolith Soft, their CEO, Tetsuya Takahashi, doesn’t seem to agree.

In an interview with Jason Schreier of Kotaku, Takahashi said the following:

“In terms of Xenoblade Chronicles X, there’s been a few different changes that were made to the game, but my personality is such that I’m not a stickler for products that I’ve already made, so I don’t really mind what the final product turns out to be in that sense. I really didn’t mind much at all, actually.”

Schreier went on to ask Takahashi about what he thought of the removal of the breast slider, which allowed players in the Japanese version to adjust the bust size of their character if they chose to play as a female character. Takahashi said that he jokingly asked whether the developers should add a crotch slider to the game for the male character, but they responded that “obviously it’s not gonna work out.” Takahashi then said that he is aware that there is a difference between cultural norms and opinions in Japan versus the rest of the world, which demonstrates his understanding of why localization in different parts of the world might call for changes to certain aspects of a game.

Takahashi rejected accusations of censorship at the hands of Nintendo, saying, “I think what’s important is that we make sure that the end user who actually plays the game doesn’t have a bad experience. If that change is going to help alleviate that, then I think we should definitely make it.”

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is being localized by Nintendo of Europe, rather than Nintendo of America, who handled localizing Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Director Genki Yokota of Nintendo’s Japanese division (NCL) says NoE, NoA, and NCL are working together to address potentially controversial localization decisions. He said that rather than compromise, everyone is working toward the same goal and “aiming to have a game that has very little difference between the regions.”

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime weighed in on the issue as well and said the following:

“The creators are always involved in anything that happens in the localization process. In terms of what gets localized, there’s a simple collection of words that we use to define how we think about this: It’s ‘cultural relevance’ and ‘understanding of the ratings and ratings implications.’”

Reggie went on to say that the Nintendo Treehouse localizers travel to Japan every two months to work with the Japanese developers, and it is during this time that the teams discuss the localization process and work together to make localization decisions.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will launch simultaneously in North America, Europe, and Japan in Fall 2017, which allows the developers to discuss localization issues during the game’s production rather than post-launch. Yokota pointed out that this makes the localization process easier than with Xenoblade Chronicles X; the Japanese version of the game was already close to completion when localization discussions began.

Do you feel that Nintendo is censoring Japanese developers when certain aspects of games are removed or altered? Or do you agree with Takahashi’s reasoning behind why changes are sometimes necessary? Let us know what you think!

Source: Kotaku


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