Namco Bandai: “There is going to be a lot more support” For the Tales Franchise
- October 11th, 2011
- By RockmanXelnia
Tales of, It’s the next Japanese RPG series I would ever recommend to someone that is not Final Fantasy. The last game to appear outside of Japan was Tales of Vesperia way back in 2008 for the Xbox 360. Since then, the franchise has seen the additions of Hearts (DS), Vesperia (PS3 port), Graces (Wii), Graces f (PS3 port), Abyss (3DS port), Xillia (PS3), and the recently announced Tales of Innocence R (PS Vita) and Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave (PSP). However, support for the Tales series outside of Japan has been very standstill, almost non-existent. As a result, the fan base has made a loud roar of demand for more international support of the franchise. While it has been a struggle with almost no hope of a positive outcome, Namco Bandai has heard the voices of the fans and changed tune with the localizations of Abyss (3DS) and Graces f (PS3). According to NB, over 50,000 fans (including myself as I’m a committed Tales fan) bombarded them with requests and they just couldn’t ignore the issue anymore.
Namco Bandai associate brand manager Josh Sepielli spoke with Shacknews on how Namco Bandai has changed from 2008 to present day and how this will affect the Tales series internationally:
“We’ve taken a lot of steps as a company from the point we’ve released Vesperia to where we are now. There’s a lot more coordination with Japan when we’re getting these games, when we’re getting information. We’re going to start getting the timing closer together. We’re very focused on being a lot more international.”
I can only hope that Tales of the Abyss and Tales of Graces f do well overseas. Josh did strike a good point:
“The fan base is very hardcore; but at the same time, they don’t make a very large audience,” Sepielli admitted. “I’d be lying to you if I said if these games bomb, they’re going to turn around and make Xillia.”
I own the Japanese version of Tales of Graces f (as well as many other Tales of titles that weren’t localized) and I own the PS2 version of Tales of the Abyss. I will be putting my money down for both titles next year for sure. Hopefully, the success of these titles weigh in on Tales of Xillia getting localized. Being the first original, non-port Tales title for the PS3, and given its huge success so far (over 500,000 copies sold in its first month in Japan), I can see that success continuing overseas. Tales of Xillia represents the 15th anniversary of the series, making it even more important to Namco Bandai and the fans of the series.
If you play RPGs, I encourage you to throw some money down on Tales of Graces when it releases in early 2012 for the PS3 in North America and Europe. According to GameStop, the game’s release date is set for February 7. This has yet to be confirmed by Namco Bandai. There’s 4-player offline co-op, what more do you need? :P