Square Enix fast-tracking FFXIII localization - Report

Producer Yoshinori Kitase says publisher is aiming to "minimize" lag between Western release of anticipated JRPG and its Japanese launch later this year.

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The potency of Square Enix's upcoming role-playing game Final Fantasy XIII was on clear display in Japan three weeks ago, when a brief demo spiked sales of Sony's PlayStation 3, the only system that the game has been announced for in the island nation. And though Japanese gamers will have to wait only until the end of 2009 to explore FFXIII's world, Square Enix confirmed earlier this year that Western gamers won't see the game on the Xbox 360 and PS3 until, at the very earliest, April 2010.

This battle will occur...eventually.
This battle will occur...eventually.

Be that as it may, the publisher hopes to minimize the delay between the Japanese and Western rollouts of the heavily anticipated game. Speaking to UK gaming site VideoGamer, FFXIII producer Yoshinori Kitase said, "Traditionally the Final Fantasy numbered series, it takes about half a year between the release in Japan and the release in North America, and another half a year before it's released in Europe. But we would like to minimize this, this time."

Kitase stated that the publisher plans to trim time off of the global rollout by streamlining certain development tasks. "For example, we have already started recording English voices, and also the text localization has been in progress, too," he said. "Normally we complete the Japanese version first, then move on to the US and EU versions, but this time there are some tasks that are happening simultaneously. So this time we're hoping to release sooner than a year later [in Europe] than the Japanese release."

A North American Square Enix representative had not responded to requests for an updated release window as of press time. For more on Final Fantasy XIII, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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