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XSEED Talks Wii Support And Why It Isn't Touching Retro Game Challenge 2

Posted by Andy Green

"Our love for the game blinded our business reasoning"

XSEED Games has a reputation for localising great Japanese-only titles for the west. The publisher has been very successful with its choices, with The Last Story becoming its most successful title of all time.

Another highly-regarded title is Pandora's Tower, a game that has already made it to Europe but not to North America just yet - XSEED confirmed earlier this month that it was on the way and would be available in spring.

In an interview with Digital Trends, Vice President at XSEED Games Ken Berry revealed he believed The Last Story was so successful because it was simply a fantastic game, saying how informed gamers had been tracking it for a long time since it emerged in Japan and knew just how good it was from the beginning. However, Berry doesn't believe Pandora's Tower will match the same level of success:

We do not expect Pandora’s Tower to match its sales as we will be even farther along the Wii’s lifecycle by the time it releases, but we do still expect a strong showing thanks to the great support from the fanbase for these JRPGs on Wii.

Asked about why other developers choose to shun older consoles in favour of the newer systems, Berry said it's largely down to the retailers who often allocate precious shelf space to newer hardware:

All the excitement, and higher price points and profit margins, are with the new hardware so focus shifts quickly for both retailers and publishers. A platform isn’t truly dead until all new software ceases to release on it, which in this day of digital distribution could take a very long time.

Though Berry doesn't feel the Wii is dead just yet, he did reiterate that Pandora's Tower will be the last title XSEED published on the system, however he did suggest that should another great game come along it would be tempting.

There's also been a lot of talk about Retro Game Challenge 2 making an appearance in the eShop, but it seems that if it does happen, it won't be published by XSEED Games as the whole process has simply become too expensive:

We loved the original game so much that we really went way above our comfort zone on the investment it took to bring the game over here. It was an incredibly expensive project due to multiple IP owners and the extensive localization programming necessary as it was never intended to be sold outside of Japan. Our love for the game blinded our business reasoning as it was about three times as expensive to license as a typical DS game at the time, and it came back to bite us in the end when sales didn’t live up to our expectations. Even if the IP holder was open to us licensing the sequel, we can’t go into a project knowing that we’re going to lose money, no matter how much the gamer inside us wants to.

What are your thoughts on these interesting insights? Let us know in the comments section below.

[via digitaltrends.com, gonintendo.com]

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User Comments (29)

Stuffgamer1

#1

Stuffgamer1 said:

I loved Retro Game Challenge, too. I really HATE it when business gets in the way of fun. :(

darkgamer001

#2

darkgamer001 said:

Business doesn't get in the way of fun. It's gamers themselves that get in the way of fun. Gamers who would rather buy rehashed games rather than try something new :(

SageWaterDragon

#3

SageWaterDragon said:

Dang it! I have always been a huge fan of RGC, even going to the point of claiming it is the best DS game ever made. It is fun in its most distilled form for gamers who enjoy the retro experience. It is a shame that it sold so poorly. I mean, all that licensing stuff was completed with the first game, so why couldn't they just release the second one? The fan translation at rgc2.moonfruit.com looked like a fantastic thing; shame that it is (as far as we know) dead in the water. Anybody else here who clicked on here just to see the RGC content?

Bankai

#4

Bankai said:

@darkgamer001 This is anecdotal, but I don't know anyone who bought Retro Game Studios new and at full price. That was a game that so many people loved, but bought either second hand or out of the bargain bin.

Either way, gamers didn't support XSEED and now you'll never get to play Retro Game Challenge 2 unless you can speak Japanese. Them's the breaks.

HandheldGuru97

#6

HandheldGuru97 said:

Well thats that. Really wanted to see RGC2 as I loved the 1st one. Quite honestly it is one of the reasons why I started playing old-school video games. :P

RevolverLink

#7

RevolverLink said:

It's really disappointing, albeit perfectly understandable, that we'll probably never see an official Western release for Retro Game Challenge 2; the first game was one of my absolute favorite DS titles, and the sequel looked like it was even better. I had some small hope that a digital-only release might happen, but this looks like the final nail in the coffin; the licencing issues on top of the lackluster sales for the first game are still too much of a barrier. I guess I'll just have to consider myself lucky that the first game even made its way over to North America.

Someday I'll try to import RGC2 and play it with a translation guide - and maybe I'll play Tiny Cartridge's fan translation too, if/when that gets finished.

Bones00

#8

Bones00 said:

I will definitely support all these games coming over to the states if and when they do. I have Pandora's Tower preordered. If Retro Game Challenge 2 comes over, I"ll buy that too. I will at least do my part in supporting these titles.

bahooney

#11

bahooney said:

Thank God Game Center CX 2 is region-free.

Hey guys. Learn Japanese, and you'll never have to complain about localization again.

Magicpegasus

#12

Magicpegasus said:

I appreciate the transparency in both XSEED's statements and Nintendo Life's coverage. It's important to see developers/publishers as people and not entities. If I can see their reasoning as business people, I can respect why they would avoid projects with high artistic merit. Many of the people commenting here are correct: it's the fault of the consumer in many cases that drivel is released instead of gold.

Odnetnin

#13

Odnetnin said:

Related: Retro Game Challenge 2 is really hard to play if you don't know Japanese. Assuming it's still easier to play for an English-only speaker than Ni No Kuni is. Please validate my decision to import RGC2 over Ni No Kuni for that reason, @Bankai.

The_Fox

#14

The_Fox said:

Too bad. I bought the original RGC on a whim knowing nothing about what it was licensed from. To this day it's still one of my favorite DS games.

Slapshot

#15

Slapshot said:

I bought Retro Game Challenge when it was new and at the full retail price, and I paid $80 to import Retro Game Challenge 2 from Japan too.

@DarkKnight Actually, RGC2 isn't that bad if you use a guide to get through the text-based game. I'd highly recommend doing so too, because the later titles are absolutely amazing.

XCWarrior

#16

XCWarrior said:

Loved Retro Game Challenge, really sad we won't see the sequel. But I understand the logistics of it.

Stuffgamer1

#18

Stuffgamer1 said:

I bought RGC at full price...heck, I THINK I'd preordered it. I still blame the crappy box art...I worked at GameStop at the time, and nobody ever gave it a second glance.

AlbertoC

#19

AlbertoC said:

"Our love for the game blinded our business reasoning as it was about three times as expensive to license as a typical DS game at the time, ..."

Yeah. This statement effectively shatters all and every useless company talk.

AVahne

#21

AVahne said:

Would love to see them publish one last Wii game in the form of Zangeki no Reginleiv.

Warioware

#22

Warioware said:

Pandora's Tower is a great game and I really hope it does sell well in the US and region 1 territories. I want the developers to be able to work on some new stuff so please cough up!

WiiLovePeace

#23

WiiLovePeace said:

Damn! I think RGC2 would sell more than the first due to GCCX getting more popular all the time. Oh well :p

MikeDanger

#25

MikeDanger said:

I own the import of Game Center CX 2. All I gotta say is that it's clearly a way better game than the first one, too bad it ain't getting localized, but hey at least there's still the first one. Anyone who hasn't played it yet owe it to themselves to try it.

SF2010

#26

SF2010 said:

Just an idea for XSEED. What about a RGC2 kickstarter? Game center CX isn't a massive phenomenon out of Japan, but there are people that want to play the game madly and prefers to ear the real Kachou voice with subtitles and look at the original images of Hinoko MAX, Abe and ADSs in the magazines, It makes cheaper the localization. Maybe joining the force of the fans of the show and the retrogaming communties a worlwide project could be possible, and you'll know in every moment how many people is goint to pay for it--

Stargazer

#27

Stargazer said:

I imported RGC2. It's an excellent game, but there are several games (the Detective games and the RPG spring to mind) that would be a lot of work to translate. They are passable with a translation guide but not fun to play, and it really dragged the experience down for me. The usual old-school platformers / shmups / racing games were awesome, though.

SparkOfSpirit

#28

SparkOfSpirit said:

What a shame that the eshop isn't even an option. Oh yeah, and that they're not touching the already translated Disaster.

YujiPro

#29

YujiPro said:

The gamer in me wants to see it happen as well, but business is business. You have to profit in order to eat another day so I understand where they're coming from.

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