News Article

XSeed Games Localizing Newest Harvest Moon for North American Release

Posted by Jowi Meli

Will not be using Harvest Moon brand for legal reasons

XSeed Games will be localizing the latest 3DS Harvest Moon, previously translated as Harvest Moon: Connect to a New Land, under a new title: Story of Seasons. Previously, XSeed localized the excellent Rune Factory 4 for North American 3DS owners.

Unfortunately, XSeed's participation in the localization of the title means the Harvest Moon moniker must be dropped entirely; even though it is a subsidiary of developer MarvelousAQL, Natsume (which has localized a majority of the Harvest Moon and Rune Factory titles) owns the intellectual property rights to "Harvest Moon." As such, Marvelous and XSeed have made a commitment to continuing the same beloved franchise under a new name for Western audiences.

Story of Seasons will continue the gameplay style of Harvest Moon: A New Beginning, allowing players to take control of a rancher to grow crops, take care of animals, and grow the initially teeny Oak Tree Town into a bustling burg. This particular title features a crossover with Nintendo's Mario franchise by allowing players to grow Super Mushrooms, Fire Flowers, and even Super Stars on their farm. In addition, the Japanese title of the game referenced additional connectivity features that allow players to interact with other farmers over Nintendo Network.

Are you pumped to pick up Story of Seasons when it comes to North America courtesy of XSeed? What do you think of the name change? Tell us in the comments!


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User Comments (81)



Farobi said:

YES! Definitely will keep a huge eye on this game - along with Smash Bros and OR/AS.



undomiel said:

Definitely excited about this one! Though a bit sad about losing the Harvest Moon name. Story of Seasons isn't too bad of a name though.



SpookyMeths said:

I loved Rune Factory 4, but I dunno. I just can't see myself getting into a farm sim. Glad to see these games released in the West though.



Klinny said:

I'm excited about this! Though I'll still be calling it "Harvest Moon" haha.



adeceku said:

Nooo!! I'm not the greatest HM fan but the drop of the name makes me kinda sad. They should at least put the word "Harvest" in the name.



Hy8ogen said:

Wait.... I don't get all these BS going on. I am a huge harvest moon fan but I never understood the politics behind it.

When I was a kid, all harvest moon was made by Natsume. Recently I discovered that Natusme NO LONGER makes harvest moon games, Marvelous does. But somehow Xseed is localizing it and that breaches copy rights for Natsume? What the hell?? Can someone please enlighten me on this?



Morpheel said:

@Hy8ogen natsume has never developed a harvest moon game (or any game that I know of), they just localized them. They created the Harvest Moon name themselves so it makes sense that the name itself belongs to them, the Japanese game is Ranch Story, I think.

But the idea that they won't be localizing them anymore is.... Unpleasant. Specially if it means they'll have to rename the series.



steamhare said:

I think Natsume was just the company who localized (translated) Harvest Moon games; they were always developed by Marvelous in some form. The name Harvest Moon probably became their property due to how they were contracted during localization; ie the translation remained their property instead of ownership being transferred to Marvelous on completion.



Hy8ogen said:

@Moorpheel @steamhare
Thanks for the clarification!! Oh! I couldn't care less then since the dev is the same from my childhood days. The name changes doesn't bother me all that much as long as the game plays the same



Tops said:

Odd situation about the name. Anyone know why Natsume won't be localizing this one?



Morpheel said:

I guess I'll have to nickname the game "Harvest Moon: Story of Seasons". That sounds nice.



HylianJowi said:

@TopLaytonsHat I assume Marvelous would rather have one of their own subsidiaries doing the localization rather than paying an outside company. Also, not to sound biased or anything, but XSeed's Rune Factory 4 work absolutely blew Natsume's usual localization out of the water (just my opinion, of course).



tzahn said:

@Moorpheel I'm with you here... I think it's sad that the Harvest Moon name won't be used, but I guess it's understandable. Still, I think the series is adding too much and becoming less of what I want. Then again, I can just go back and play Harvest Moon 64 whenever I feel this way



Tops said:

@HylianJowi Okay, that makes sense. Bit of a shame they couldn't work out a deal to keep the name. Almost seems like the end of an era for the franchise, in a way.

I guess as long as people understand it's the same franchise and not a new IP "trying to be like HM" then it's all good.



Morpheel said:

@tzahn I wish they could add that to the VC or remake it already. It is the best game in the whole series...



Rezalack said:

@Hy8ogen Though I will miss the Harvest Moon name, it will still be the same game at heart. That being said, I actually kind of find the new name "Story of Seasons" somewhat refreshing. I hope this game actually feels refreshing, as well. I've bought and played the last two HM games for 3DS and for some reason I can never make it passed Winter without them becoming.. boring I suppose.



tzahn said:

@biglittlejake I know I've read some articles about HM64 not being on the VC because of emulation problems or something like that. They basically said that it has an extremely low chance of being on the VC, but I would buy it in a heartbeat if it was. Still have my N64 cart though!



HylianJowi said:

@Hy8ogen While Natsume's localization work has gotten better in recent years, their dialogue tends to go the route of near-direct translation without actually adding any personality. XSeed makes sure to localize the dialogue as well as translate it, whether that means adding colorful quirks to each individual or even sly references to other game franchises. Again, some people might not notice or care, but I think a game like HM (where the characters are very important) will only benefit from having XSeed take the reins. Just my take!



tzahn said:

@Moorpheel Totally agree, it's my favorite game in the series and I've put countless hours into it. I could go for a remake too...



DarkKirby said:

Should have gone with Harvest Star.

Just kidding of course, but I hope the name change doesn't confuse people who don't keep up with gaming news.



Hy8ogen said:

@Spuratis In my opinion (and some of us), the best harvest moon games is Harvest Moon 64/Back to Nature. That game is just pure magical and fun. EVERY harvest moon game that followed just can't live up to that game. Not saying the recent ones are bad, they are just not as good. Especially the 3D ones, they are just appalling.

For the past 15 years I have been waiting for the devs to come out with a proper 2.5D harvest moon console game....and I will keep on waiting. Until then, I'll just scratch my itch with the portable titles.



Morpheel said:

The bad thing about full 3D Harvest Moons is that they tend to be slower (actions have long animations, etc) and they get boring quicker (for me, at least).



Windy said:

If this game has online co-op. Real full fledged online co-op not just item trading or some visiting options. I will definitely get it. Otherwise it will just be another Harvest Moon. Seriously what else is there to do. Farming with friends would be fun.



User1988 said:

I actually think Story of Seasons is a cooler name than Harvest Moon, though I could see some people getting confused or thinking the new title is just a knock-off.



ClassicJetterz said:

I wonder what Natsume, the previous localization company, has to say about this...regardless, I'll get it.



Rezalack said:

@Hy8ogen HM64 is hands down the best Harvest Moon. I really liked Back to Nature a lot, too, but the load times in it were atrocious.. that still didn't stop me for playing it a couple years in it. A Wonderful Life is alright, a Magical Melody, which I recently bought to try, is so freaking clunky I don't see how it's even playable. I haven't played any of the other 3D ones.

Honestly, although I didn't play it passed the 1st Winter, I have to say my favorite Harvest Moon since Back to Nature is probably a Tale of Two Towns. Despite a lot of people disliking it, I felt the art-style and the layout, new way of gardening and what have you, just felt really charming. I liked that game. Talking about it makes me want to go back and start playing again..



Neko_Ichigofan said:

I hope that we'll see a Harvest Moon title released on the Wii U. I only recently got into the series and most of the newer console releases of the series are not only hard to find, but are also very expensive.



SphericalCrusher said:

I've been a big Harvest Moon fan since SNES, and although I'm sad to see the name be removed for this game, I am looking forward to this. I don't know if I'll buy it at first, since A New Beginning has all of my HM needs met, but I will get it eventually. Hopefully the next Harvest Moon game for WiiU still retains the name. Come on Natsume!



Great_Gonzalez said:

Hmm I hope someone can explain exactly why the harvest moon name has to be dropped. If my memory serves me correctly natsume haven't produced a harvest moon game in Europe since the gamecube ( I'm not too sure if produced is the right term but certainly their name hasn't been on any of the boxes). But they've all been called harvest moon still!!



ecco6t9 said:

A bit saddened by this move since it is more or less the death of the Harvest Moon name, but excited that games will be polished and have a fresh start after nearly 20 years.



Mariru said:

I want to play it, seems less boring than the last one (the care of the crops). And iirc there is multiplayer too, where people can come on your farm to help you. If I can play with my friends, that's really great! ^^



OneBagTravel said:

Part of me wishes their stylizing of this was more like the 2D watercolor style of Legend of Mana for the PSX. Kinda over the 3D polygon on a pixelated screen on the 3DS.



worldstraveller said:

so no saying if will be localized to Europe (same for Disney Magical World and I want it really bad, I'm already starting to lose hope about it's localization to Europe.



HylianJowi said:

@Hy8ogen Harvest Moon 64/BtN were the best of the original titles, no doubt. The 3D ones are so mind-bogglingly slow and I still can't figure out how Animal Parade managed to not be widescreen in 2008/2009.



SleepyCrossing said:

I'm glad its getting localized. I've never played Harvest Moon but I've always wanted to. Odd situation about the name O_o



CanisWolfred said:

I forgot to get a New Beginning. Might hold out for this one, then, if I remember its a Harvest Moon game...



Frenderman said:

I'm really excited for this I really enjoyed A New Beginning, but my favorite in the series is Friends of Mineral Town I put 150 hours into that game



GuardianKing said:

I'm still unclear why the name is being dropped. I know it's because Natsume isn't behind the project, but why aren't they localizing it?

Also, can't the game simply be renamed "Farm Story"? I know that's what fogu's (a pretty big HM/RF community forum) Harvest Moon section is titled. (They say Ushi no Tane, and since I don't know Japanese myself, I'll trust this translation.)



ledreppe said:

What a load of b*llocks. I'll still play Story of Seasons, when it's EVENTUALLY released in Europe.



Zombie_Barioth said:

The Wii games are cheap and easy to find, including both Rune Factory games. You can easily get tham all for around $20 on Amazon. Animal Parade is probably one of my favorites in the series.

As for the name change, hopefully they can get things settled. I loved XSEED's localization of RF4, but losing a name thats been around since the 90's is going to be a problem.

I can see a lot of people being dumbfounded when they can't find the new "Harvest Moon".



Yomerodes said:


Marvelous devellop the games. In the past, Marvelous sold the license of the game to Natsume, which means they get money from the initial deal, but each Harvest Moon sold is money that goes exclusively to Natsume. It was a necessary deal if Marvelous had no way of releasing the game themselves, or they were afraid the game would sold badly.

Now, if Xseed (which is owned by Marvelous) releases the game, the money from every single copy sold is going directly to Marvelous. Of course, the move is a gamble; If the game underperforms, they might get less than what they got in the past selling the licenses to Natsume.

In short, Marvelous, after almost 20 years, have a way to release their very own and oldest franchise in America, and they want to try doing so, even if they need to change the name because Natsume have the rights for it.



crzysortagamer said:

Am I the only one that didn't much care for New Beginning. It seemed way to stagnant during most of the game and it was easy to become overwhelmed with too much farm work. I actually just fast forwarded the day to marry and stopped playing. I hope this harvest moon is not too closely based on NB. Customization was cool, but the rewards for hard work and time gaps didn't seem to make the rewards valuable enough.



Genesaur said:

That name change is okay with me. I'll still call it Harvest Moon, regardless.



ultraraichu said:

Weird, I more tempted to play Story of Season then Harvest Moon: A New Beginning even though it's the same game. A way to toy with the psyche.



Noelemahc said:

...But not for Europe. Dear vidyagaem journalist people, can someone of you put Nintendo of Europe in the limelight on this?

"Dear Nintendo of Europe," you'd begin, "When Nintendo of Japan instituted the regionlock for the 3DS, you promised that Europe wouldn't get cheated over with game availability, but it totally was. Do you maybe want to do something about it, wink wink nudge nudge? Or are you filthy liars that lie and genuinely don't like earning lots of moneys?"



Angered_Pegasus said:

If "The West" would mean that the game will be released in Europe as well, I will be happy. Otherwise, it's just gonna be the same mess we got with Rune Factory 4. Meh.



Radbot42 said:

Just sold A New Beginning, might get this. I am a bit sad the Harvest Moon name is no more.



Keion said:

Not being a fan of either Natsume or the Harvest Moon series but loving XSeed has made me VERY happy XSeed will be publishing this newest "Harvest Moon" title. It'll make them some serious cash flow to fund some awesome localizations in the future! ^_^
And good for Marvelous! Now they don't have to give Natsume a dime!!!



Morpheel said:

@Keion they never gave nastsume anything. Nastsume bought the games to publish them, which means they could potentially makes less out of this.



Keion said:

@Moorpheel Yes but money still went to Natsume when copies were sold, now it'll just go to Marvelous. 100%. and it's Farm Story game, it'll make money and i'll wager it'll make more now that they don't have to give Natsume a slice of the pie,



Morpheel said:

@Keion that's what I meant, Marvelous never shared a slice of anything with natsume. Natsume bought the code of the games (literally) to sell it themselves as their own game.

This is a very experimental move, marvelous probably wants to test if publishing the game themselves will give them more money than just selling it to Natsume.



HandheldGuru97 said:

Huh. Strange to see them giving Natsume the cold shoulder like that, but financially this makes sense for Marvelous (for Natsume this could cripple them...) I was on Xseed's Facebook page and fans already seem to be spreading the word that it is a Harvest Moon game which is huge. Who knows maybe a new name will breathe life into this series and get more people playing it! At any rate I loved A New Beginning and Xseed's work on Rune Factory 4 so I shall be getting this (but it'll still be Harvest Moon to me )



Keion said:

COULD cripple them? It 100% will.
Natsume's main income is the Harvest Moon games, without it they'll probably go bankrupt. I give them a year.



Windy said:

Does anyone Know what the online Options are? Just by having the word connect in the title implies that it could be quite a bit. I hope so. I have new beginning which I only put in about 50 hours on save file. Its fun but 50 hours is not a lot of time for a harvest moon game. It just felt like the same harvest moon as before with a new graphics engine. Co-op farming would be fun I hope that's where its headed.



Leafgreenmary said:

I am DEFINITELY getting this. For those who haven't played a HM game, or think this is boring, I highly recommend you give this a chance. You can get married, raise animals and crops among a myriad of things to do!

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