PSP News: Sega Will Not Bring Valkyria Chronicles III To US, Europe - PSP News

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Sega Will Not Bring Valkyria Chronicles III To US, Europe

Fans of the original were just a little annoyed when the anticipated sequel came to the PSP and not the PS3.

Well, at least we got it. According to a recent confirmation, the third installment in the critically acclaimed strategy series won't be coming to North America or Europe, and that's unfortunate.

During an interview in Singapore, Sega team manger of console sales, Hiroshi Seno, revealed that Valkyria Chronicles III: Unrecorded Chronicles wouldn't be localized simply because the PSP isn't as popular in the US and Europe. He also said they only planned to do it if past installments sold a particular number, and that didn't happen. In fact, Valkyria Chronicles II didn't even sell well enough to justify the localization costs.

There's the possibility that a VC title could come to the PlayStation Vita, but we're not sure at this point. Does anyone else think that Sega made a colossal mistake making VCII only for the PSP? Didn't the first title sell pretty darn well in North America? And if they know the PSP isn't as popular in other regions outside Japan, what'd they do it for in the first place?

Tags: valkyria chronicles, valkyria chronicles iii, valkyria chronicles sequel

10/11/2011 8:55:23 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (37 posts)

Highlander
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 9:28:43 PM
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The sales in the west didn't justify the localization costs? Sorry, I smell major BS on that one. Unless they spent north of $1 million localizing the game they could have turned sufficient revenue to pay for localization from as few as 100,000 sales and I know that the game sold more copies than that.

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Highlander
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 9:43:06 PM

I should have added;

Even though I think they are not being entirely honest about not meeting the costs because I think sales were strong enough to repay the investment. I do have to point out that *this* is the perfect illustration of the damage that piracy and used game sales do. If the difference between getting a sequel and not getting a sequel could well be fewer than 50,000 sales of a game, then the impact of piracy (which for the PSP is rampant) and used game sales (not as significant, but still a factor), can easily deter a publisher from bringing a game west. I'm sorry, I don't want to open the entire debate about those two things again. But the PSP in the US in particular suffered greatly from piracy, the evidence is there in the massive disparity between hardware sales and software sales.

Ben, PSP hardware sales in the US have been pretty good actually, but the software sales lag terribly behind the hardware. Even though the hardware hasn't been as popular here as in Japan, there are still more than enough PSPs in circulation in the US, they simply do not generate sufficient software sales.

So, for all those smug people out there who play the games but don't pay, a big thanks for ruining it for everyone. It's really simple, if people don't pay for the games, the games stop coming. For example, Valkyria Chronicles III.


Last edited by Highlander on 10/11/2011 9:44:48 PM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 9:24:42 AM

yup.

Piracy especially.

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shadowpal2
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 9:45:37 PM
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Ok......time to import and have my Japanese friends lead me every step of the way hahahaha.

I should be able to do pretty well with dialogue on my own. It's Kanji I'm stressed about.

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 9:46:17 PM
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Hmm, Valkyria Chronicles is only for the hardcore fans of tactic or strategy, I think it's a great game.
But I can't get into it though, I have problem with the game's pacing and this ain't my favourite genre.
That being said, I recommend Valkyria Chronicles for any fans of tactic and strategy.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 9:27:40 AM

I agree. I'm into this style of game and loved the first VC.

Didn't get VC2 because it doesn't suit my PSP gaming habits. My psp gets played in very short spurts. A game like Dissidia is perfect with relatively short battles.

I played FFT on PSP. I loved it, but it took forever to advance through the game. Not really conducive to my gaming habits.

Had VC2 been on PS3, you bet your bum I'd have bought it. Day one, probably.

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Highlander
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 9:40:25 AM

It's not really as hardcore as you're implying. Yes, you probably need to be interested in strategy games and a passing interest in JRPGs or the art style helps, but really the game isn't that hardcore.

@Underdog, dude, you should have bought it, you'd have enjoyed it, it might even have changed your PSP habits...

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 1:07:16 PM

If Crisis Core, FFT, FF1, FF2, and FFIV couldn't change them, I doubt VC2 would have.

I haven't beaten my PSP versions of FF1 and FF2, but I did the other 3. I sat through lots of Crisis Core, but it was also my first PSP game (and the reason I bought one). FFIV and FFT I beat, but they were both over long periods of time. FFIV I only beat because I had a 17 hour drive to Iowa in the summer.

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Yukian
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 9:47:42 PM
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I am extremely disappointed on both the decision of making the second installment on the PSP and not bringing the third one over to North America...

The first decision, although not bad per se, could've been much more welcome on the PS3. Didn't finish it just because of that reason, really.

The second decision is quite frankly, completely stupid. I mean, I'm aware that this is a business point of view but at the same time that series was plenty refreshing. I would've bought it...

I read a little while ago something about PSP games being ported to the PS3... any news on what games are being ported? And if they are planning on doing VCII (and maybe the third?... wishful thinking, I know...)

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Highlander
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 9:57:04 PM
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You know, this is precisely why I think that Japanese game developers are making a big mistake in the way they localize. If, when they are making the games, they would engage a simple translation team to translate *all* the text in the game into 6 major non-japanese languages, then the games could be sold in any market without further localization. Seriously, if VC3 arrived with all japanese audio but all text and script in the game translated into English, Spanish, French, etc... there would be potentially hundreds of thousands of sales to people content to play the game with subtitles on so that they can understand the audio. That's how we all watch Anime after all, so why not do the same with games. The costs associated with adding a few extra language files to the text for a game are positively miniscule compared to a full localization. Yet I think that such a method of minimalist localization would work well for a lot of people and generate a lot of essentially free sales of games.

Oh well, logical is it is, I bet it never happens.

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Yukian
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 10:15:13 PM

I'd rather hear everything on the native language, even though I don't understand half the thing they're saying if I can't read the subtitles, than hear mediocre or decent voice work at best. That's how I learned to speak and write in English. Wouldn't mind learning Japanese, Italian, French or German that way.

Sometimes emotions get lost when translating...

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Eld
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 11:08:31 PM

I agree 100%.

Especially since this is coming from SEGA. You'd think after Yakuza series at least SEGA would try it on another title.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 5:10:15 AM



Last edited by Beamboom on 10/12/2011 8:24:43 AM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 5:10:15 AM

This is an interesting post, Highlander. I think that outside the English speaking world there is this clear opinion that it is *required* to make an English dubbing on a foreign language product to stand a chance in the English speaking markets.
They believe that this audience expect TV series and movies to be with English voices, and are not used to read subtext.

At least in the movie world I believe this to be a widespread opinion. It may very well be that this is what SEGA imagine too?

Last edited by Beamboom on 10/12/2011 8:27:31 AM

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ZettaiSeigi
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 6:34:45 AM

I completely agree, Highlander. I myself prefer to play Japanese games in Japanese and just select English text. Heck, I played ALL Sakura Taisen games even if it's pure Japanese (no English at all).

I've been thinking about the same thing when it comes to localization. If English voice-overs are what makes localization expensive, why not just translate the text and keep the audio? Most people who have interest in Japanese games would not mind playing the game with only English text. And we also have to admit that most dubs are terrible anyway or could hardly compare to the original.

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Kagamin
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 9:04:05 AM

Translating just the text and not the audio is not as cheap or easy as we think it is. It consumes just as much (or more) time and money as putting dubbed voice acting in the game. Just look at Trails in the Sky for the psp (awesome turn based rpg....if you guys didn't buy it, do it now!). Xseed already has all the voice work done for all 3 games but the text for the second game is almost doubled from the first! And they have just a small team of translators so possibly we're only seeing the game in late 2012...when probably will be very hard to sell psp games anymore.
And there's the fact that just leaving the japanese audio will destroy pretty much any chance of the game having mass market appeal. Yes, I know VC is a niche title like a lot of rpgs, specially tactics rpgs, and I, like you, watch my animes with japanese audio and subs, but for the publishers that bring these games...it's best if they don't limit their audience just for the people that like subs. There are a lot of people that like these games but don't like to read subs...they rather have a good dub and recently there have been a lot of good dubs for games, it's not like we're in the ps1 era dubs anymore.
And I'm not saying Sega is right not bringing VC3...because hey, if Atlus, NISA and Xseed can bring niche psp rpgs all the time right at this moment and STILL make a profit, how can't Sega do the same thing? It sounds to me that or they don't know how to do it right with the costs or they have the wrong expectations on how these games should sell in America.

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Highlander
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 9:25:32 AM

@Zettai

I know what you mean, there are not that many talented voice actors dubbing games/anime for the English Markets.

@Kagamin

I don't see how you are saying that translating the text in a game is the primary cost of localization. When a game is localized, the game script must be translated, along with all menu text. However, paying a translator for a few months work is trivial compared to the other costs involved in full localization. With a full localization, it's not simply a translation, but in some ways it's a re-write as a lot of the text is altered to be more suited to the English language and culture. So it's not a simple translation, but rather an interpretation that is done. The game's script is translated and then it's re-worked by writers to convey the same story, meaning and sentiments in a more fluid, Western style - to 'make it more meaningful'...

Then there is the cost of casting a voice cast, and then paying their fees. A dubbed localization will also require recording, lip-synch (sometimes) and re-building of the gamewith the new audio assets. Such localization also often results in replacement of many graphical elements that must be re-done with English lettering instead of Japanese script. Changing the audio and graphical assets of a game and rebuilding the game with these new elements constitutes in effect remastering the original game.

Games are built in a relatively modular way. There are typically language files that contain all the menu text, dialogs, captions and subtitles in the appropriate language/script. Each individual message/caption/dialog is referenced though a code specific to it, so that the game can quickly switch from one language to another. When a game is built, if every text item in the game's message 'database' is stored in multiple languages, no rebuilding of the game is required to support other languages. You can see this in Western games with options for English, French, Spanish, etc... I know that many games in Japan are released with more than one language option - not including English. The games also include subtitles for all the spoken parts for players that are hard of hearing. Therefore all the text files for the menu items, dialogs and spoken parts/subtitles already exist. All that is required is a decent translation, nothing more, nothing less. That is neither expensive, nor time consuming.

I also have to point at services like Crunchy Roll which do simulcasts of new Anime from Japan, where we are literally getting the new shows within 24 hours of the original airing with full English subtitles. If Crunchy Roll can translate entire Anime episodes successfully in such a short time, it's clearly not overly expensive or time consuming to have a straight English translation of a game or anime from the original Japanese. However, if you look at the process of bringing an Anime to the US market with an English Dub, not only do they have to translate, but they have to cast the show, record the new audio, overlay the dubbed audio and remaster the Anime before producing the DVDs and packaging for sale.

You are really overstating the costs of translation of a product such as a game. If supposedly 'niche' titles like VC2 and VC3 were given this treatment and sold on PSN, I am in zero doubt that they would generate 10's of thousands of additional unit sales, if not hundreds of thousands.

However the belief that it's a) too expensive, or that b) western gamers/consumers can't handle subtitles productions, prevents this simple, inexpensive and logical course of action.

How sad it is.

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Kagamin
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 10:22:06 AM

I didn't say its the primary cost, I just said that probably is not as cheap as most people think it is. It's not just translating menu texts and scripts...as you said the script has to be reworked to be more fluid when we read it and a lot of encoding and programming must be done also. If it was just making the script and swapping the text in the code, fan translations of games would come much faster than they do right now.

And you can't compare the amount of text of one anime episode of 24min with a rpg game. Again with the Trails in the Sky example: the first game has approximately 1,5 million japanese characters and Xseed took almost a year to translate the script of that one game. So I don't think that all that games could come as fast as some anime episodes can come today.

Again, I'm not defending Sega here because there are publishers translating psp rpgs right now and making profit with it. Neither did I said that consumers can't handle subtitles...just said that as some prefer subtitles, there are people that prefer to hear english voice acting too. It's sad that people like options? For me, if all the games could be dual audio like all the NISA games are it would be perfect so nobody could complain. And heck if NISA can do it, why Sega can't? I just disagree that simply putting the game with subtitles only would really increase the potential of sales because for me a game with english voice acting has more chances (just chance...not that it will for certain sell better...There are a lot of other factors than just subs or dubs for sales potential) of selling well than a game with just subs. I think if for example VC2 had came with just subtitles instead of the voice work, it would sell pretty much the same that it did in the west because of the psp software market was already dying by that time. There are a lot of other factors than just subs or dubs for sales potential.

And also, a lot of people already had a really preconceited bad view of VC2 before release because a) it was a psp title and not ps3 and b) the setting was pretty different from the first which a lot of fans didn't like and simply said "i'm not buying the game because I think it will be crap".

I bought it...and I like the game for what it is, it a good game and it fit very well for a portable. It's a shame that a lot a people didn't think the same and just judged the game without even trying it.

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Highlander
Thursday, October 13, 2011 @ 11:24:51 AM

Kagamin,

I'm not comparing a single Anime episode to an entire game. The point I was getting at is that Crunchy Roll (for example) does simulcasts of many different anime series each week. Taken together, there is a lot of translation that must be done quickly. I have no idea how many words or characters it all represents, however it is a lot of translation. Those translations are not purely literal translations, they are much more like the kind of translation an interpreter would do if I were discussing something with someone from Japan who did not speak English. Interpreters do not perform literal translations in the way a machine would, they perform translation using their knowledge of the language and context.

That level of translation would work in nearly every case of a Japanese game that could easily be localized for a western release using textual translation alone. It requires no specific re-writes to adjust context for western consumers. It works well for anime, why would it not work with games?

The kind of full localization that we see in games that are voiced in English, includes a substantial amount of reworking/re-writing to adjust and explain context for western consumers. The example you gave Trails in the Sky, would fall into this category. Yest there is a lot of text, so it would take time to simply translate. But when that translation includes rewrites which impacts the game scenes, I can see how that would require recoding/rebuilding the game along with adding the newly dubbed audio. I get what you're saying, and understand it takes a long time.

Personally, I do not want that adjustment of context that comes with such 'full' localizations, I want the original. I know I am not alone in that desire. If there is a game, and let's use VC3 as an example, that the publisher feels is unlikely to sell sufficiently to support a full localization. the simple translation of the text I'm talking about would cost a fraction of the full localization, and for a game sold via PSN, there is no additional production or marketing cost.

I'm suggesting a two tier approach where games either get that full localization or the textual one. Games that folks think will sell well get the full localization, and the others get just text.

With the lower costs of just the translation work and minimal distribution costs via PSN, I can't see how any publisher could fail to turn a profit selling games that way in the western markets. I just feel that it's a much lower risk option for localizing games.

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Oxvial
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 10:11:48 PM
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Made these psp games doomed the franchise, wish they return to the Ps3.

Last edited by Oxvial on 10/11/2011 10:12:10 PM

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The Doom
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 10:21:30 PM

This is exactly right. Sega virtually killed the series when they decided to move it to the PSP. If anything, they probably did this due to the fact that the first game didn't fair very well when it was first released. It recovered somewhat when their sales rose 400% in 2009, but I guess Sega saw a sequel release on the PS3 as too much as a gamble with production costs. Since similar games like Operation Darkness failed on the Xbox 360, going that route wasn't an miserably option for them. If the series overall popularity falls, it's Sega's own fault. Not only shouldn't they have switch platforms, abandoning their fans, but if they released the first game at a different date (a game like VC is committing suicide with a November holiday release), they wouldn't have had to worry about those poor sales at all. Nothing more than poor decision making and the franchise is going to suffer for it.

Last edited by The Doom on 10/11/2011 10:23:55 PM

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Sol
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 10:33:07 PM
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Ugh, I didn't get 2 because it wasn't on the PS3. I spend more time on that than my PSP at the moment. If it did go PS3 I'd have got it no question because I loved the first title... The PSP jump was a turn off for me. If I had the money I'd get 2 still (like I said, loved the first) but yeah it's further back on the list since I use the PS3 more, and I'd rather focus more on what I always play and not on what I play sparingly.

Last edited by Sol on 10/11/2011 10:34:34 PM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 9:48:19 AM

Same.

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Eld
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 11:04:27 PM
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Terrible news:( One of my favorite games this gen.

Going with psp for a sequel was a bad decision. The game was really well known and popular by the time sequel came. It would've fared better on ps3. Argh... This is really disappointing.

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ZenChichiri
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 @ 11:14:16 PM
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That...really sucks. I wish I knew Japanese. Something I hope to remedy in the future.

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Gordo
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 12:54:27 AM
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Right...

This is what gets me.

In Australia, Valkyria Chronicles for the PS3 is $20 new (if you can find a copy).

Valkyria Chronicles II for the PSP is still $60 in the shops.

I don't know about you but I don't pay PS3 prices for PSP games... I think this is one of the reasons for it's poor sales.

The PSP is very nearly dead game wise in all the local video game stores (yes I know online is different but I like to browse).

They would be crazy not to bring VC back to the PS3. It isn't 2007 anymore!

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 1:43:07 AM
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*breaks down and cries*

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!
*continues to hold out hope for... something*

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Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 4:11:05 AM
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Wow, this puts me off buying them both, I was actually considering it too. Will the Japanese version have english subs at least? If so I might import it.... Might.

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gumbi
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 8:48:24 AM
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What a crying shame...

Am I really that different? Are my tastes in video games really THAT far off? I loved the first two games, I bought them when they launched, and I'll never sell/trade them. I'd really love to see another PS3 release, but I'd take a PSP version too. Apparently there just aren't enough people out there with good taste in video games.

I really don't understand this generation of gamers... Guess I'm getting old.

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Highlander
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 9:38:53 AM

I'm with you man, I don't understand this generation either. On thing that I really do not understand is especially with smaller games like VC - it doesn't matter how good they are, people don't buy them. Even though they are gems and get pretty good critical reception, so many people who you would expect would buy the game, do not. People talk about the original VC as if it had strong sales in the West. Really it didn't. It sold pretty poorly in the short run. The game was something of a sleeper though, and through word of mouth and reputation, it sold pretty well even months after launch it sold relatively well. Where most games today sell huge in the first month or two, and then fizzle out after that, VC sold OK in the first month or two and continued to sell after that - the so called "long tail".

But to a publisher, the business decisions are not made on the two years of sales, they are made on whatever period they plant for in the business plan, I'd be surprised if many publishers look at the sales of a game past 6 months after launch. So if a game doesn't sell well initially, it will be considered a failure. Not to mention all the other factors that tend to depress long term sales of games now.

But people will talk about how great a game like VC is, and then not buy it. Why not? If you fail to support developers and publishers of smaller titles like this, they will not bring the sequel - as we see here.

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gumbi
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 4:42:15 PM

gumbi breathes a long, sad sigh... we're a dying breed.

too bad video games can't be fansubbed like anime, I'd play a subbed version of VC anyday. And there's surely fans that would do it.

or... maybe just design the game from the ground up to load a language file that controls all the text in the game. keep the original audio, I'm a big boy, I can read.

hey then they could outsource the localization to fans, let them do the translations. fans would do it for freeeee!

oh gumbi, now you're just dreamin...

Last edited by gumbi on 10/12/2011 4:47:13 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 10:01:45 PM

You dream a good dream...

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Arvis
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 10:49:39 AM
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Gee, you switch what console a franchise is on midway through its life and sales mysteriously go down. The video game sales market sure is hard to predict sometimes!

-Arvis

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Jonesy555
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ 10:03:12 PM
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Guess this is where my Japanese classes I took start to pay off big time!

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TheOldOne
Thursday, October 13, 2011 @ 10:50:00 AM
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Valkyria Chronicles II was the main reason I bought a psp in the first place. If the third is not released here then they should kiss my money goodbye.

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saintaqua
Sunday, October 16, 2011 @ 12:27:39 PM
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I didn't buy 2 because I wanted a PS3 version and Sega wouldn't even patch 1 with trophies.

If they make a Vita port of the three games I'll buy them all though.

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djbool
Sunday, October 16, 2011 @ 2:45:48 PM
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Those A-Holes should have never launched it on the PSP. I loved my PSP (I had one at the time), but seriously I could have waited a year and got another PS3 version of the game if it would have eliminated exactly what's about the happen now: Getting F'd in the B!

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