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Final Fantasy XIII: Coming Soon(er) To A Console Near You

Good news: Square Enix is expediting the North American and European localization for its next kajillion-selling RPG installment.

Don't just sit there, localize!
When it comes to Final Fantasy, Square Enix has traditionally appeared to be a firm believer in that old adage "the best things come to those who wait." Because they sure have made those of us in the English-speaking world wait inordinate amounts of time after each installment's initial Japanese release before we could get our grubby hands on a localized version.

Not so Final Fantasy XIII, according to an interview on VideoGamer.com (via Joystiq), which indicates the company wants to get FFXIII out in Europe and North America much more quickly this time. Longtime series producer Yoshinori Kitase put it thusly:

"...it takes about half a year between the release in Japan and the release in North America, and another half a year before it's released in Europe. But we would like to minimise this, this time. For example we have already started recording English voices, and also the text localisation has been in progress, too. Normally we complete the Japanese version first, then move on to the US and EU versions, but this time there are some tasks that are happening simultaneously. So this time we're hoping to release sooner than a year later than the Japanese release." Commenting on the gap between the US and EU release, Kitase said: “We would like to make the gap as short as possible.”

Especially good news for those of you in Europe. Joystiq cynically points out this will allow Square to put out the inevitable "International" follow-up version even sooner, but I'd like to think it's just a sign the company grasps the popularity of its core series in other territories--and the importance of catering a little more specfically to those markets.

Brad Shoemaker on Google+
48 Comments
Posted by Brad
Don't just sit there, localize!
When it comes to Final Fantasy, Square Enix has traditionally appeared to be a firm believer in that old adage "the best things come to those who wait." Because they sure have made those of us in the English-speaking world wait inordinate amounts of time after each installment's initial Japanese release before we could get our grubby hands on a localized version.

Not so Final Fantasy XIII, according to an interview on VideoGamer.com (via Joystiq), which indicates the company wants to get FFXIII out in Europe and North America much more quickly this time. Longtime series producer Yoshinori Kitase put it thusly:

"...it takes about half a year between the release in Japan and the release in North America, and another half a year before it's released in Europe. But we would like to minimise this, this time. For example we have already started recording English voices, and also the text localisation has been in progress, too. Normally we complete the Japanese version first, then move on to the US and EU versions, but this time there are some tasks that are happening simultaneously. So this time we're hoping to release sooner than a year later than the Japanese release." Commenting on the gap between the US and EU release, Kitase said: “We would like to make the gap as short as possible.”

Especially good news for those of you in Europe. Joystiq cynically points out this will allow Square to put out the inevitable "International" follow-up version even sooner, but I'd like to think it's just a sign the company grasps the popularity of its core series in other territories--and the importance of catering a little more specfically to those markets.

Posted by TheClap

Yippee

Posted by BaneofExistence

This is great news indeed!

Posted by Blomakrans

Yay! A year is still though awfully long!

Posted by Teirdome

I'll take it when it's done.  Sure I want it quickly, but poor localization can seriously taint great games.

Posted by Deadend

Probably means they are going to push for a holiday release but I'm still not going to get my hopes up.

Posted by coffeesash

in other words, Europeans that speak English should import the American version so as not to have to wait a further 3 months or more.

Posted by NukeGoBoom

Meh...As a Euro-fag i will be importing the US one anyway.

Edited by Venatio

Well I live in Europe so it pisses me off me when it takes forever for games to be released in Europe, why is there such a fricking gap between the release of a game in Europe and America? English is huge everywhere in Europe so they dont have to localize it too much

Posted by FuzzYLemoN

Great news; it's a nice coincidence that they want to make money faster and we want to play FFXIII faster. Everybody wins! :D

Posted by Delta_Ass

So uh... that's a girl in the screenshot right? It's so damn hard to tell with Final Fantasy games sometimes...

Posted by Zalasta

Kind of meaningless without an actual date or even a specific month.

Posted by Cynical_Gamer

That's great but I don't see why they don't do the English voices and localization along side the development of the game.  They could release the game world wide on the same day the Japanese get it.

Posted by logson

Hopefully I'm finished with all these Personas before this comes out.

Posted by BreakThings

This is a good thing...... Right?

Posted by PLWolf

This is awesome news!! I would love for us to get it March 2010.

Posted by ElectricHaggis

Sounds good.  Although I'd still rather there was no gap between the US and EU versions. 

Posted by Zeik

This is only good news if they still do a good job localizing it...

A rushed localization is not worth getting it early.

Posted by spiceninja

I'm not a fan of the 3D Final Fantasys. I'll take FF 1-VI over any of the 3D games any day.

Posted by CL60

sweet

Posted by KamasamaK

Faster localization sounds nice as long as the quality isn't affected, but I suspect the speed at which they can port the code to Xbox 360 will have a greater effect on when it is released outside of Japan.

Posted by Demyx

Cool, can't wait.

Posted by RavenholmDX

Good news for europe...Now I just wonder if Square Enix will be hopping on the Final Fantasy DLC Bandwagon?

Posted by MattyFTM

Awesome. It's always hell waiting months and months for the FF games to make it over the pond to Europe. I understand that a lot of translations have to be done into all the European languages, but I always thought they could just release the English version at the same time as the US release, and release a separate version with the other languages 6 months down the line. Now, with the systems being online, they don't even have to do that, they can just patch it in when it's ready.

Moderator
Posted by m1k3

As long as they let you put the english text over the japanese voice, then im fine.

Posted by RHCPfan24

This is...good. It just sucks that it has taken this long.

Posted by idiotic_genius1

Awesome!
...as long as this doesn't hurt the games quality.

Posted by Halberdierv2

... need i say anything?

Posted by solidpython

COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!

Posted by suneku

Good. Square's been trying to localize and release games closer to the original JP release date. Which is why I was surprised that there wasn't much mention about the NA version. Here's to hoping it'll only be a few months at most after the JP release... and not 6+ months.

Posted by alConn

I'll Final YOUR Fantasy.

Seriously, are these like an RPG or something?  Never played them.

Posted by suneku

Yeah, it's something like that.

Posted by vidiot

It's great to see that Square has adopted a modern plan regarding their localization. Of course your recording English voices and translating the games script. Your game is being release in Japan by the end of this year, I would be horrified if no localization at all had not been done on it yet. Next time you can get better management and even try and attempt a simultaneous release in both Japanese and English. It can be done, granted it has varying degrees of success, but it's not impossible. 

Posted by dagas

Well considering Mass effect took 1½ years to be released in Japan it's not much better for them.

Posted by Bombmaster

So now it will only take 4months for North America and 8 months for Europe.  He did not actcully say how much sooner so I'm going to continue to hold my breath, but I'm sure it will be faster the Gran Turismo V

Posted by giyanks22

Tight...

Posted by zityz

This  is good news and seams like a no brainer to me anyway. What's the point of waiting to localize everything after the initial release as apposed to just doing it all at the same time? This way its out to more people faster and the more copies=more money for the company.

I hope other rpg companies follow suit with this.

Posted by CL60
alConn said:
"I'll Final YOUR Fantasy.Seriously, are these like an RPG or something?  Never played them."
LOL
Posted by MordeaniisChaos

Finally. Jesus. Doing it at the same time doesn't mena FASTER. ie, four 2GHz processers aren't FASTER then just one, they just do more at the same time.

Posted by CL60

what?

Edited by gamefreak9

I dno i thot for ff10 the extra wait was worth it cause u got the "dark summons" which were the most kickass fights ever(only available in the european version)

Posted by theMcNasty

Good to hear.  Nonetheless, they need to hurry the fuck up.

Posted by FLStyle

Just let UK join the NTSC territory. It's France's fault they speak freaky deaky dutch (and maybe French).

Posted by Fire_Marshall_Bill

sweet

Posted by WinterSnowblind

@m1k3

There are few things more pretentious..  Japanese voice acting tends to be just as bad as the English, whenever people claim it's better, it's usually because they don't understand the language and/or are Japanophiles.  Assuming the voice work is on the same level as X and XII then the English stuff will be vastly better than the Japanese.

Posted by Miningguyx360

This is the first time im ever looking foward to a jap RPG< havent been much of a final fantasy person but this is really getting me interested

Posted by CaptainElvis

this is great, i'm tired of waitng months to get the games after the japan release dates

Posted by Media_Master

good