Nintendo opted to put the localization efforts for Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE into the hands of Atlus USA instead of Nintendo’s own in-house translation group known as Treehouse. The game has been out and available in Japan since December, 2015 and the game is set to arrive this summer in the West.
Game Informer got word directly from Nintendo that the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem crossover game for the Wii U that’s due out on June 24th Stateside was localized by Atlus instead of Treehouse…
“Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE was localized by Atlus in a way that is consistent with the localization work they do on games they publish,”
“It was a priority to ensure the game feels familiar and appeals to longtime Atlus fans. Any changes made to the in-game content were due to varying requirements and regulations in the many different territories Nintendo distributes its products”
While Atlus has obviously been working on the localization for the game for months already, this interesting bit of news comes after the firestorm of criticism Nintendo received from hardcore gamers who discovered that various members of Nintendo’s Treehouse adopt Social Justice Warrior political views and have been censoring and altering content to culturally appropriate the dialogue, characters and story of Japanese games translated for American audiences.
This was made very apparent in the censorship and alteration of Fire Emblem Fates that recently released for the Nintendo 3DS here in North America, where Treehouse members Nich Maragos and Rich Amtower were duly criticized for trying to politicize and “sanitize” what they thought were inappropriate or unnecessary content in Japanese games like Xenoblade Chronicles X.
Sites like Kotaku opted to misreport and misinform readers by trying to turn the localization issues into a topic about harassment involving Alison Rapp, who actually had nothing to do with the localization. Kotaku failed to mention the criticisms that Nich Maragos and Rich Amtower received for contributing to the poor culture of localization in Nintendo’s Treehouse division.
Other sites followed Kotaku’s lead in misreporting on the matter, turning it into another debate about sexism in gaming, when in reality it’s a consumer issue regarding the quality of localization and the adherence to staying as true to the original creators’ vision as possible.
Following the fallout surrounding the Treehouse debacle with the poor translation and localization of Fire Emblem Fates for the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo’s Erik Peterson departed from the company , as reported by Niche Gamer, and Nintendo then opened up the hiring gates for some new Japanese to English translators at their Richmond, Washington studio.
Heads-up: Nintendo Treehouse is hiring in localization! Works with devs, design, product marketing (me! ^^), etc. https://nintendo.taleo.net/careersection/jobdetail.ftl?job=160000000Y&lang=en#.VussfJ-WOug.google …
The contract work as a translator was posted up at various employment outlets, including Indeed.com, where Nintendo is seeking someone who actually loves the gaming industry. They repeat multiple times that they want someone who loves gaming and loves the gaming industry. I assume this means they don’t want someone who majored in politics and gender studies trying to come into the gaming industry and work their own sociopolitical message into games.
In the case of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, you can look for the game to arrive in the West starting June 24th for the Wii U. You can check out the latest trailer for the game below.