How a nine-person video game company is bringing little known Japanese games to the U.S.:
“If you play video games, you’ve probably played something that came out of Japan. Many of gaming’s biggest and brightest series—Mario, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil—were developed by Eastern companies, then translated and programmed for North American or European machines.
“But for every Japanese game you’ve seen on U.S. store shelves, there are 10 more that never made it over here. Two particularly infamous examples are Nintendo’s Mother 3 and Square Enix’s Final Fantasy Type-0. The list goes on and on.
“So why do so many games seem to slip through the cracks? While it’s tempting to imagine a world where one finger snap can turn a Japanese game English, the process of bringing a Japanese game to the West—a process known as localization—is timely and expensive. Not only do games have to be translated, they often have to be rewritten entirely for English cadence and Western sensibilities. The best translators are creative writers as well, adding a dash of their own humor and charm to replace all the Japanese puns that might get lost in translation.”