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Trying to find the a likely theory for Localization mysteryTopic%20Title
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So I was thinking about how some games are localized and some are not, and how we are often given different (or even conflicting answers) to why some games were localized and some aren't. Now that SoJ has come out and there's the possibility of changes in the franchise, I started wondering if there was a way to seriously analyze all the anecdotal data we've heard and try to find a real reasonable explanation for why some games are localized and some are not.

I myself tend to automatically think "we don't get games that don't have Phoenix on the box art" and "we don't get spin-off games", but I wonder if it might be more complicated than that. I also tend to assume that it has to do with non Phoenix games not selling well (and I figure that's actually true) but I don't know for sure.

With that in mind, I'm starting up a little research project where I'm trying to find data and interviews about the localization process and sales. I remember a lot of things off the top of my head (especially during the AAI and DD days) but I'm currently looking for sources, direct quotes, sales data, etc. I was originally going to post my "findings" here when I was done so I could discuss and analyze the subject with people, but since this will take a while and others might already have some of this data, I thought I'd post here now and see if we could build up the info together. So if you have any info, links, or just general thoughts about the subject of why things are localized and why they aren't (or if you have any questions yourself about the subject that you think should be looked into) then feel free to add it here!

Here are some of the questions I'm trying to research in order to answer/back up with evidence right now:

*Why was GS1 not localized during the GBA era but was during the DS era?
*JFA was definitely localized because of AA's massive sales, but I also know that the localization of T&T and AJ was started around the same time or close together. That begs the question, were each of the games (especially AJ) localized due to the series' continued sales, or was it because Capcom started translating all three of them after they saw how well AA did? (and consequently, could sales of JFA, T&T, and AJ not have been as good as we might expect?)
*Why was AAI locazlied? Did AJ sell well or was it done on faith that the AA brand could still pull in money?
*Why was AAI2 not localized? We have multiple answers for this, so I need to go back, look at all those answers, and see if one of them makes more sense.
*Why was DD localized?
*Why was VS localized? Did Nintendo do it more because of Layton hype than AA hype?
*Why was DGS not localized? Was it Japanese Sales? Was it the fact that it was a spin-off? Localization Troubles? The fact that it didn't star Phoenix?
*Why was SoJ localized?
*Does the fact that both DD and SoJ both got localization announcements within days of the games' announcement mean anything? Does it mean that DGS2 (which didn't get that info) isn't coming out?
*What were the sales figures for each game, both in Japan and in the U.S. and Europe?
*Does the fact that DD and SoJ were only localized to English mean anything about sales figures in non-English speaking countries?
* What statements have been made about localization/business in general?

I have "answers" for many of these questions, but I'm trying to find sources and analyze them together. I'll update this post with my findings as I get them, but if anyone has thoughts, answers, or sources for these questions I'll update the post with your findings as well.
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Re: Trying to find the a likely theory for Localization mystTopic%20Title
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I am not sure whether you're searching for conjecture from our side, or official statements about this. I.e. the argument about "Phoenix isn't in the game" is obviously not open company policy, and might not be true (even if there might be correlation). I'll just stick to official sources in this post, might do some conjecture thingies later.

Oh, and an important thing to remember: Capcom Japan and Capcom USA are different companies. As far as I know, the localization team is part of Capcom USA, while the developers are obviously working for Capcom Japan. So there's always the problem of scheduling (does Capcom Japan have the people ready to implement the text/visual changes made by the localizaiton team in a certain period, or does Capcom USA have the localization team ready at the time Capcom Japan is working on a new game).

D.A. McCoy wrote:
*Why was GS1 not localized during the GBA era but was during the DS era?

This is not really an interview on the why, but do note that the DS games were especially made for the overseas market, as said in this interview (and also note the part where Takumi said he had hoped the GBA original would've been releases overseas back in 2001). Conjecture would be that by that time, the games had finally proven their worth (the first game didn't do that well at first in Japan, for example).

Quote:
*Why was AAI2 not localized? We have multiple answers for this, so I need to go back, look at all those answers, and see if one of them makes more sense.

Here is an interview about why GK2 was not localized

Edit: In this AA5 interview, they also mention the AA5 team was formed by the end of the summer (with GK2 releasing in February). Add in one, two months for wrapping up the project (archiving files) and some time off, and you can see that if Capcom USA had not made a decision by that time, that they were already too late: the people who would be needed to program the localized text, and make all the necessary visual changes, would've already been moved to their next projects.

Quote:
*Why was VS localized? Did Nintendo do it more because of Layton hype than AA hype?

Note that Level-5 holds the publishing rights of this game, not Capcom.
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Last edited by Ash on Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Re: Trying to find the a likely theory for Localization mystTopic%20Title
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I think Janet Hsu also mentioned something about scheduling when asked about DGS on twitter. It makes sense, considering DGS and SoJ came just a year apart. Maybe it's that simple after all. If they have to choose between localizing a spinoff or a main series game, the choice is obvious.
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Ash wrote:
I am not sure whether you're searching for conjecture from our side, or official statements about this. I.e. the argument about "Phoenix isn't in the game" is obviously not open company policy, and might not be true (even if there might be correlation). I'll just stick to official sources in this post, might do some conjecture thingies later.


I'm looking for official sources and statements for things. I know a lot of them by heart at this point, but I want to examine them again along with potentially other things (for instance, you linked to the Kotaku article about the team being split up, and that's the "excuse" they've started saying later on but I remember some of Sven from Capcom's posts here on C-R used to have reasons that were much more financial. So the goal is for me to collect this stuff and try and balance it out with each other. Most of the things I'll look for and hear will be things that I already know the answer to (ex. some of the stuff about GK2, VS, etc.) but I want to kind of go back through the months of fan interpretation of these things and look at it again fresh, taking only what is in the article with no inferences by people as to what it could mean. However, I was thinking that at the end of each section, anyone who wanted to put the pieces together (ex. I was planning on a little "what could this mean" at the end of each segment) could have their interpretations added as well.

Basically I'm kind of thinking of it as I'd like to create a topic that eventually will be a "localization FAQ", where fans can find the facts, read why each game was likely localized or not, and then help inform their opinion on whether future games will be released yet or not. On a more personal level, I'd also like to put the widely-held (even by me) perception that Phoenix has to be in the title in order for it to be localized to the test.

Regarding the localization, thanks for the link! I've heard that Takumi meant for it to be localized (that's probably why the first game feels so different than some of the others in terms of this kind of thing) but I've never heard anything official about the GBA era vs DS era because of this. Thanks!

Regarding GK2, thanks again for the link. That edit is interesting to. As I said, shortly after it came out the statements from Capcom seemed to be all financial and had to do with how AAI sold, so this might lend more weight to their "timing" reasoning which honestly I tend to consider a bit of a cop-out.

Regarding VS, I'm aware of the different localizers/publishers, but I'm really interested in Nintendo's reasoning in localizing. That's something they've probably never officially stated, but I also know that Layton is more successful than AA (especially in Europe) so I'm going to try to find some information about that, if only with the likely results showing that it was localized more due to Layton's success rather than sudden success in DD. (the localization would have likely been far underway when DD was released anyway.

luck wrote:
I think Janet Hsu also mentioned something about scheduling when asked about DGS on twitter. It makes sense, considering DGS and SoJ came just a year apart. Maybe it's that simple after all. If they have to choose between localizing a spinoff or a main series game, the choice is obvious.


That's definitely true (and honestly I'd much rather have SoJ than DGS) but I know the sales of DGS weren't amazing in Japan and I know the reception of mixed, so to me its kind of similar to GK2 in that I want to find out and weigh whether it was scheduling or money that had the most to do with it.

Thanks so much, you guys! I'll have more time on the weekend to retool all this and I'll add your info and credit you guys!
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Re: Trying to find the a likely theory for Localization mystTopic%20Title
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D.A. McCoy wrote:
for instance, you linked to the Kotaku article about the team being split up, and that's the "excuse" they've started saying later on but I remember some of Sven from Capcom's posts here on C-R used to have reasons that were much more financial. So the goal is for me to collect this stuff and try and balance it out with each other. Most of the things I'll look for and hear will be things that I already know the answer to (ex. some of the stuff about GK2, VS, etc.)

This is of course again my own conjecture, but obviously, business decisions are never made based on single criteria. No company is going to decide whether to do a thing or not based on one single argument. So having two different reasons for the same action is not 'contradictory' on its own. I think that in the case of the news of GK2, it's realy important to remember we're talking about two different companies: Capcom Japan and Capcom USA. Eshiro is with Capcom Japan and the producer of GK2: it's only natural he'd talk about not being able to keep the people in his team together forever if there are no concrete plans: he can't just pay his team and have them do nothing, waiting on a possible "Yes" from Capcom USA. And that is a financial reason, which ties back to the answer from Capcom USA (and I'm not even sure what Sven (forgot his last name) was with Capcom). So especially with trying to infer things from these interviews, you need to remember these are people from different places, who have different responsibilities in regards to "the project" and who in any way are not going to talk about the complete market analysis anyway (i.e. Capcom Japan/USA is sure to have much better views on actual sales than third-party watchers and Capcom Japan has a pretty good feedback program for the series ever since the first game).


Quote:
Basically I'm kind of thinking of it as I'd like to create a topic that eventually will be a "localization FAQ", where fans can find the facts, read why each game was likely localized or not, and then help inform their opinion on whether future games will be released yet or not. On a more personal level, I'd also like to put the widely-held (even by me) perception that Phoenix has to be in the title in order for it to be localized to the test.

Sounds interesting! I think it'd be difficult to paint a complete picture, precisely because detailed business data is obviously private and for use only within the company, so they're not going to reveal everything, and you need to keep in mind two different entities make statements about localizations, but I do think it'd be a great asset to the community to have a central place to collect this kind of information, so people can make more informed inferences to how the localization process is started.
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Re: Trying to find the a likely theory for Localization mystTopic%20Title
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Interesting topic and not one I can really contribute too, unfortunately, but there was one thing I wanted to bring up: The most baffling localisation thing so far from my Point of View is only relevant to European countries: Apparently in the EU region, T&T came out AFTER AJ.
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Very true. It's a strange release order. Apparently,the first four games were localised in German,French,and a few others,but apparently not DD or SoJ,which are supposed to be the grand return to the franchise? Makes no sense to me.


Also,I believe that Level 5 localised VS because it won on a poll on games they could localise that the fans wanted the most,if that makes any sense.
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Re: Trying to find the a likely theory for Localization mystTopic%20Title
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Could be licensing issues: https://www.reddit.com/r/AceAttorney/co ... a/d82p8du/?
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luck wrote:
I think Janet Hsu also mentioned something about scheduling when asked about DGS on twitter. It makes sense, considering DGS and SoJ came just a year apart. Maybe it's that simple after all. If they have to choose between localizing a spinoff or a main series game, the choice is obvious.


That's a pretty good point. Now this has got me thinking, since SoJ is already localized and it'll probably be another 3 years before we get another main title--do you guys think that we'll get a localization of DGS and DGS2 finally? It seems like it could be possible since we're in the midst of the Gyakuten Saiban 15th Anniversary and all that good stuff. From a fan's perspective, it seems like they have a good window of free time to work on localizing DGS 1 and 2 ^_^.
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cuongcc wrote:
luck wrote:
I think Janet Hsu also mentioned something about scheduling when asked about DGS on twitter. It makes sense, considering DGS and SoJ came just a year apart. Maybe it's that simple after all. If they have to choose between localizing a spinoff or a main series game, the choice is obvious.


That's a pretty good point. Now this has got me thinking, since SoJ is already localized and it'll probably be another 3 years before we get another main title--do you guys think that we'll get a localization of DGS and DGS2 finally? It seems like it could be possible since we're in the midst of the Gyakuten Saiban 15th Anniversary and all that good stuff. From a fan's perspective, it seems like they have a good window of free time to work on localizing DGS 1 and 2 ^_^.


Hopefully so. Unlike AAI2, DGS is still in the 3DS' lifecycle, and there has not been an announcement for another handheld, so I'd say there is a pretty good chance as to it happening. There also isn't plans for another Phoenix Wright game, since SOJ just came out not even a year ago., the localization team could focus on DGS.
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KirbySage18 wrote:
Unlike AAI2, DGS is still in the 3DS' lifecycle, and there has not been an announcement for another handheld


The switch begs to differ.
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Thunder84 wrote:
KirbySage18 wrote:
Unlike AAI2, DGS is still in the 3DS' lifecycle, and there has not been an announcement for another handheld


The switch begs to differ.


Unless Pokemon Stars actually becomes a thing, I doubt the Switch will replace the 3DS. Especially since it wouldn't make much money for Nintendo, since having all handheld games on the Switch would eliminate income from people buying the console itself.
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