Cyberfront today said it will bring a fully localized Japanese version of Half-Life 2: Episode One to Japan's PC gamers on June 2.
Allowing for the trans-Pacific time difference, this means that the boxed version of the game will launch in Japan at about the same time that Steam users all over the world will be able to start downloading Valve's expansion to its 2004 hit sequel.
Tokyo-based Cyberfront has built a business out of importing and localizing US PC games for the Japanese market, and the company has had great success in licensing top games. A partial list of past releases includes the Japanese versions of Unreal and Unreal Tournament 2004, as well as several games in the Civilization and Soldier of Fortune series.
Cyberfront has also been selling Japanese versions of Valve's Half-Life games for PC since the original Half-Life came out in 1999.
Though Japanese gamers should be able to download the expansion from Steam as well, Cyberfront's boxed retail offering will provide a Japanese-language user interface and manual.
Typically, game localization starts after a title has gone gold in its home market, and it usually takes at least a few months. A simultaneous release for HL2: Episode One may mean that Valve has completed the game or is very close to completion.