News Article

XSEED Details Game Localisation Costs

Posted by Lee Meyer

Just wait until you see the snack budget!

XSEED Games, known for its excellent translations of games like Little King's Story and Unchained Blades, recently spoke with localisation advocate Operation Rainfall about their development process.

During the interview it went into detail - sort of - about the various costs that go into localising a title. While they've been slightly editorialised, the breakdown of costs does shed some light on factors that many gamers don't even consider when asking for a title to come to the West.

Here's the "blunt" breakdown, from XSEED's Jessica Chavez:

Licensing a game: $$$
Translation & Editing: $$$ + BLOOD & TEARS
Voice Recording: $$$
QA: $$$
Manufacturing: $$$
Shipping: $$$
Marketing: $$$
Mark Downs: $$$$$
Royalties: $$$
ESRB (US Rating): $$$
PEGI (EU Rating): $$$
UK Rating: $$$
USK (German Rating): $$$
Aus/NZ Rating: $$$
Office Snacks: $
Sympathy: –
Interns: …

XSEED has always been a great supporter of Nintendo platforms and will be releasing Pandora's Tower in North America at some point this month. The publisher will be hoping it can manage the same level of success as The Last Story, which became its most successful title of all time.

Are you a fan of XSEED's games? Are you looking forward to Pandora's Tower? Let us know in the comments.


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User Comments (37)



kkslider5552000 said:

I should once again point out that XSEED are the coolest people and one of the most underappreciated publishers around.



TwilightV said:

I've got:
Retro Game Challenge
Little King's Story
The Last Story
Pandora's Tower (on order)

Aside from Unchained Blades, am I missing anything?

Edit: Yes, yes I am.



kkslider5552000 said:

I think they did Avalon Code, an interesting action RPG thing on DS and I know they did Fragile Dreams, which has some of the best story/atmosphere of any game I've played. Granted, both games are very flawed...



Captain_Toad said:

So apperently localising a game costs this much: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$+BLOOD AND TEARS+–+…= Costing a lot of money plus blood and tears.



PopeReal said:

Little King's Story is so awesome. Would love to have a sequel on the Wii U.



Zellybeanie said:

Office snacks really should be $$!

(Little King's Story was one of the best games I've ever played... period)



ilovegaming said:

XSEED, you are awesome! Thank you for giving me the chance to play some of my most favorite games!



sweetiepiejonus said:

XSEED is hands down my favorite publisher. Not only do they bring many games to the states that other companies won't, the majority of the time the localizations are top notch. I have been getting games I probably normally wouldn't just to try and show my support.



MarioIdent said:

Not relating to XSEED, but sometimes there are stupid localizations made by other companies (including Nintendo) like- Nintendo Letter Box-Swapnote, Pullblox-Pushmo, Luigis Mansion 2-Luigis Mansion: Dark moon etc. Pointless name changes, waste of money, and sometimes confuses customers thinking that they are different game.



RevolverLink said:

For Little King's Story and Retro Game Challenge alone, I hope XSEED sticks around for a very long time. That they've published numerous other worthwhile games too almost seems like gravy.



DarkCoolEdge said:

What is "Mark Downs"?

I wish we had XSEED in Europe. That way we wouldn't miss almost every Atlus game.



pixelman said:

Haha I love Xseed. Their twitter account is hilarious and easily my favorite that I follow. <3



Ralizah said:

It's an expensive process, which is why they can only afford to take a risk on niche IPs once. Which is why we'll never see an American version of Retro Game Challenge 2.



AgentAPE said:

not a big kickstarter fan, but for localization of an already finished product, id go for that



Retro_on_theGo said:

I love them for what they do! I'd intern for them! D:
Consider localizing Medabots 7 please. :3 (yes yes I know, I seem selfish.)



TrueWiiMaster said:

The answer to cutting many of those costs is digital distribution. That would cut out manufacturing and shipping, as well as help with the marketing and mark downs. Keep the original voice acting (I personally don't mind, and sometimes prefer, the original with subtitles), and that would save some more. Many of the remaining fees would be per region. This is the one area where I'm more than happy to buy retail games digitally. I'd rather download them than miss out altogether.



TwilightV said:

I wouldn't bother buying many games that only have a Japanese audio track. Sometimes the captions go by too quickly for me to read them, which leads to me having to reset the game to read them. That, and I like having language options.



brucelebnd said:

I support XSeed as much as I can. personally I think they should bring over the entire Langrisser series.

5 games is a lot but I'm positive every langrisser fan would buy it.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Marked down prices, I wouldn't exactly consider that a business "expense" but they do affect profits and can cost them money.

When it comes to companies like XSEED I don't have a problem paying the full retail price for their games, after all niche games obviously don't have millions of fans like something like COD does.



hYdeks said:

yup, I will be picking up Pandora's Tower, can't wait to play it, it looks like it will be great!



softserve said:

I'm mostly just kind of disgusted that relatively speaking getting one rating for a game equals the cost of translation. That's insane.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Wow, that just explains everything ...
An interview would be great since that could really shed some light on localisation decisions.



XCWarrior said:

Anyone who does not buy Pandora's Tower is not a gamer. Period. Or at least not a Nintendo fan. Can't wait to pick up a copy.



TreonsRealm said:

@sketchturner They would have published it if it ever got released...anywhere. Sadly, the game has been finished for quite some time and hasn't even been released in Japan!? It's almost as baffling as what happened with Star Fox 2 (SNES) but at least with Star Fox 2, the shift to N64 development kind of helps explain that situation. Rodea the Sky Soldier's lack of release makes no sense whatsoever considering it is 100% complete and ready to go. There hasn't even been word of its 3DS version and I know XSEED would jump at that considering how well Japanese games do on it (Fire Emblem, Shin Megami, etc).

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