EDITORIAL: Censorship, Sales and Monster Monpiece

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

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This article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the oprainfall staff as a whole.

Monster Monpiece First | Crush Rub

Haru Akenaga, CEO of Idea Factory International, Inc. has released a statement regarding the fan feedback of Monster Monpiece and its censorship. Fans are not happy about the censorship and are speaking out. While we certainly don’t fault anyone for speaking out… Let’s break this down a little bit. For those of us who have looked at the cards that have been censored, we know that they really did censor as little as possible. The main things censored were girls that were, or appeared to be, underage. There is a difference in each culture of what is acceptable, and what is not. In our culture, some of the cards in the game would not have been acceptable.

I get it! I truly do. I am against censorship. I want any game as close to the original format as possible. There are differences between censorship and localization, however. Changing these cards, in my opinion, has more to do with localization than censorship. With the amount of games I play and anime I watch that makes others cringe… even I have to admit that sometimes you have to put a bit of cloth on the girly bits!

One of the first things Haru Akenaga says is: “First of all, please allow me to clarify that Idea Factory International is fundamentally against censorship and we will never censor a title purely as a strategy to increase sales.” He later says: “The Monster Monpiece license was also offered to third party publishers but none were interested in acquiring the license. The main reasons cited were that the title was too “hard-core” and “niche”, making it extremely difficult to forecast enough sales to make this a profitable title for the western markets.”

Translation – card games do not sell well here. So, the company has taken it upon themselves to localize this game for all of us who do want to play it! If you would like to continue to see these types of games from the company, let’s really look at this “censorship”. Can we see a little bit of the reasons behind this decision? Should we see the reasons behind it or should we stick with our ideals of not ever altering anything? If we can’t see the reasons behind this decision, we may not get these types of games from Idea Factory Int. in the future. Let’s keep this in mind and decide what side of this fight we want to be on.

The statement continues to say: “Idea Factory International intends to focus its ongoing licensing and publishing activities primarily on titles that will appeal to the most hard-core gamers within the JRPG niche of the North American and European game markets. As such, this first title, Monster Monpiece, is an important test case for us and the final results will weigh significantly towards our decisions regarding future titles for these markets.”

Translation – if we can’t sell this game, we won’t be able to bring others over. When (just as with this game) other third party publishers will not localize a game with mature themes such as those in Monster Monpiece, we won’t have access to them at all. Idea Factory Int. will not be able to localize the game since we will have proved to them that if they have to alter anything in the game, we won’t buy it.

One of the ending paragraphs of this statement is this: “We decided to release Monster Monpiece in these markets because we wanted to make our fans happy. However, if those same fans find that the modifications we felt we had to make have made the localized version of the game completely unacceptable, perhaps it was not the right decision to try to localize and publish this title for these markets. Perhaps it would be in the best interest of both our fans and our Company to publish only those titles that will not require any censoring or modification.”

This is the bottom line here folks. If you can’t accept changes that are necessary in the localization process, you may well lose out on games down the road that you really want to play. I said this above and I’ll say it again: I am against censorship. I do see the difference between censorship and localization though. Are there any other issues with the game that you feel were altered that did not need to be?  If we were talking about story changes here, I would likely be angered and speaking out against this game as well. In this instance though, it’s about changing cards where seemingly underage girls were way too exposed. You are all smart people who are passionate about their beliefs and I respect that! If you feel that I am wrong, or am missing some fundamental aspect to this, please (nicely) let me know!

I’ll leave you with this final thought from the Press Release: “Please be assured that we did our utmost to make sure that the modifications/censoring we determined necessary for Monster Monpiece were at the absolute minimum. We have paid meticulous attention to which images to replace/modify so as not to affect the gameplay and game system itself.”

Click HERE for the full Press Release.

About Crystal Colwell

What's up everyone? Crystal here! I spend my time writing up the news for you all and keeping us all up to date with incoming game info from Japan. I do a little bit of everything else around here, too. 🙂 Happy Reading!

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