Square Enix Could Localize More Games Using Crowdfunding
"I think it's a really interesting idea."
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For various reasons, not every Square Enix game gets localized for the western market, despite interest from gamers. Now, a Square Enix executive has said he's open to the idea of using crowdfunding to help fund the localization process. Speaking in the latest issue of Game Informer, Square Enix Europe CEO Phil Rogers didn't make any promises, but said crowdfunding "seems very natural" for such an endeavor.
"It's a topic that comes up a lot, and we understand why it does," he said about localization in general. "To a great extent, in a really positive way, we're absolutely humbled that we have this loyal and dedicated fanbase that wants to give us the feedback. We're constantly working with the teams in Tokyo to show them this and to work with them there. The simple truth is that in some ways the development process and the tools, it's not always an easy undertaking to reopen a game and add localization subsequently.
"But I think as we go forward, with the way the group is working, technically, and the way it's now thinking globally, I'm really hoping that in the next 10 years, localization is seen as pleasing all our fans, because it's truly global and the methods in which we can localize now are vastly improved."
Asked specifically if crowdfunding could be a means to help localize more games, Rogers agreed that it could, but stopped short of confirming any specifics plans. He also said Square Enix fans are smart; they understand that the localization process can be time-consuming and expensive.
Some games may never be localized. But Rogers suggested that crowdfunding is a "very natural" idea to help fund localization for certain games.
"I think it's a really interesting idea," he said about crowdfunding. "I would love to try and work with that, to find a way, because ultimately we want to satisfy the demands of the fans. I think also, our fans are very rational. They understand, and if we explain things, they often go, 'Oh, I get that now. Thanks for explaining.' They know it's complex, or very expensive, and it's not as simply as you say as using Google Translate."
He added: "To get that essence of it actually translated requires this amount of resource. To see if fans want to sign up for it and say, 'This is the absolute demand for it,' and we can set targets and say if we achieve that, then we can do it. I think that's a relationship that seems very natural to build. I'd love to see how we get that to work."
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