The recent release of Romancing SaGa 2 on consoles in the west is quite significant, as the game was never published outside of Japan at the time of its original launch.
The high cost of localising such a massive RPG will no doubt have put Square Enix off the idea in the past, but Romancing SaGa 2's release suggests the company has turned the corner and could well see such expense as permissible, given the potential for bumper sales across a wide range of systems (including of course, Switch).
Could we therefore see more Japan-exclusive RPG classics getting localised for western release? That was the question that Kotaku popped to SaGa series director Akitoshi Kawazu. While he's cautious in his reply, he says that he would "love" to tackle such projects:
Kotaku: In Japan, Square released DS remakes of SaGa 2 and SaGa 3 but never released them here. Are there any plans to release those remakes in the West? Are there plans to remaster any other SaGa games?
Kawazu: It happened to be a time in which it was extremely difficult to determine whether the games should be released overseas or not, and we unfortunately had to forgo the overseas release. As the latest releases for both titles were on the DS, there are high hurdles to realizing such a project since the games would need to be rearranged to fit the current landscape of single screen gaming devices. That said, we are hoping to continue bringing titles from the SaGa series to a wider audience—I don’t know when this will be, but I would love to tackle those projects.
Kotaku: Remakes of classic games like Romancing Saga 2 are great to see, but unlike Japanese gamers, we in the West don’t have the option of legitimately playing these games as they originally appeared. Have you considered localizing original versions of those games?
Kawazu: The latest version of Romancing SaGa 2 also implements modes that are very close to those in the original. Of course, we wouldn’t be able to make it exactly the same as the SNES version, but we feel everyone should be able to get a grasp of the overall feel of the game.
Kotaku: Would you like to give any sort of message to SaGa fans in the West?
Kawazu: We have finally been able to release Romancing Saga 2 on gaming devices for the West. Whether you’re a passionate fan who struggled to play the Japanese version, or a player who will be experiencing SaGa for the first time, how you enjoy the game is completely up to you, so I hope you’ll thoroughly experience the various aspects of the game. We plan on continuing to release titles overseas in the future, so we hope you look forward in anticipation.
Which other Square Enix titles would you like to see localised for western release? Let us know with a comment.