A few questions for Hideo Baba

Akshat Jiwan Sharma, Thu Jul 11 2013

Hideo Baba did an interview that was recently translated on the official Namco forum. An interesting question was raised to him regarding the recent vita twitter poll

Aurora: Recently, a poll was made by Sony to ask gamers most wanted Vita’s J-RPG to get localized, and both Tales titles made it to the top. Could it makes change your mind about localize them ?

Hideo Baba: Personally, I really want to localize Vita titles Tales of Hearts R and Tales of Innocence R. But you know, I’m a game producer, but I’m also a businessman, so I must take count of the business perspectives from the market, and the Vita console do not sell much in American and European countries. It’s necessary that the Vita do better before localizing Tales titles. For now, there’s not enough Vita on western markets, but if it grow, there will be better possibilities for us to localize the Vita titles. Our podcast now is to promote Tales of Xillia.

The followup question

Aurora: The main problem with the Vita is in two ways : lots of gamers hesitate to buy the console because there’s so few titles on it, and mostly so few RPG’s. And lot of them would be motivated if the titles available for Vita grow bigger.

Hideo Baba: I understand what you mean, but Tales Series is not that big for now to motivate gamers to buy a new console by its own. But is the fanbase grow bigger and became more popular, it can be, but for now Tales Series are not well known in the American and European markets.

Hideo Baba readily admits that "I am a business man" and blames lack of vita sales as an obstacle to localization of vita tales titles. I respect his decision but I have got a few questions

Why did you not localize Tales of rebirth?

The game was on ps2 a system that did exceedingly well and was know for it's rpgs.

Why did you localize Tales of birth radiant mythology?

That game was nothing but fan service and as he himself admitted the fanbase of tales of games is not that big.

Why have you not localized tales of vesperia for the ps3?

The game is already translated and localized in the west for xbox 360, it would not cost them anything to release the translated game digitally.

Why don't you offshore your localizations?

Many companies like falcom seem to be doing this and seeing some good returns. Just look at the YS and the Demon soul series.

Why don't you use fan translations?

There are already a lot of very good fan made translations out there just waiting to be used.

Why don't you change with the times?

I would have understood Mr Baba's reasoning if it were 2005. But in age of digital distributuion, fan made translations and offshore localization his explanations come off as excuses or even laziness. It is like he does not care. If you do care Mr Baba you need to take more risks


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