Localisation is a tricky business, as all fans of Japanese RPGs and anime should know, but it cuts both ways. Games developed by English speaking developers have to be translated and localised for release in Europe, South America and Asia, and even major publishers struggle with this and have room to improve. It’s a whole other kettle of fish for indie developers, though.
That’s what makes todays announcement by Mike Bithell of a Japanese and Chinese release for Volume quite interesting to me, with both PS4 and PS Vita versions planned for release there in late summer. To be clear, Volume only features English voice acting, with current foreign language support restricted to menus and subtitles for French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish and Russian. That’s going to be the same plan for the Asian release, with Japanese and Chinese menus and subtitles.
Of course, there are plenty of other examples of this happening, and five minutes of snooping on Steam shows that Firewatch had Russian and Simplified Chinese support added back in April, while Armello has twelve languages that extend as far as Korean, Dutch and Portuguese. Still, it’s fascinating to note one of the many hurdles that developers have to try and overcome that I rarely think about.
Speaking of Steam, this announcement from Mike Bithell came alongside another, that his games are going on 75% off sale on Steam for one day, as of right now.
Source: press release