Interview: IFI President Haru Akenaga and Trillion Director Masahiro Yamamoto on Neptunia and the Cost of “No More Censorship”

Friday, December 4th, 2015

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I attempted to prepare a good batch of questions to ask Idea Factory International President Haru Akenaga and Trillion director Masahiro Yamamoto, but time was not on my side. The 20 minute timed interview was not nearly enough for me to interview two huge parts of the niche video community, but I made the best of it. This interview was set in a private room of a noisy bar and was conducted while using a translator. Please enjoy.

Did you plan to make 2015 “The Year of Neptunia”? With a new title released what seemed like every month, did you notice a growth in the fanbase?

Haru – Idea Factory creates  a lot of games all year, but instead of getting those titles [the spin-off Neptunia entries] and putting them out on their own. We wanted to start from the beginning and introduce the re;birth games. So because of this it may look like a Neptunia game was released every month, but that business decision was made that we should back track and re-introduce the story. I can say that, yes, because of this decision our fanbase has grown over the past year here in the West.

Neptunia and other Idea Factory games have found their way on to Steam recently. There are some PC players who are wondering if the release window between the console and PC version will be shortened in the future.

Haru – We try, but we have to code from the console version to the PC version. It takes the company a little longer to analyze and then port to PC, but all I can say is we try to shorten the gap. The response from the PC community has been very well received, so that is why we have announced three more titles (Hyperdimension Neptunia U, Hyperdevotion Noire, Monster Monpiece) to come to PC.

Do you have a favorite character from Neptunia?

Haru – I like Noire.

I asked Yamamoto-San the same question, but we got sidetrack and began talking about how great Etna from Disgaea is.

In recent video game news Team Ninja PR has announced that they are not planning on releasing Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 here due to how the sexualization of women in video games is viewed in the West. Does this issue ever affect your process of choosing which games will be released in the West?

Haru – That’s honestly their decision, but yes, sadly, it has stopped us from localizing certain Compile Heart games. We don’t want to censor anymore because we know that’s not true to the original developed art.

Moe Chronicles was released with English subs in Asia. Will we start seeing English releases in Asia more often?

Haru –That’s actually Compile Heart Asia’s decision, not really ours. We could start seeing that more in Asia, but maybe we should do something to change in the West in the future. Anyway, we just don’t want to censor anymore.

What are your thoughts on the PlayStation Vita?

Yamamoto –  In Japan, from a developers point of view it’s really easy to gauge and tell that having a console that’s a handheld is really important. So as a developer it’s easy to gauge what people want and that makes it easy to develop on the Vita.

What’s it like going from developer to director?

Yamamoto – As a developer I have that passion that I want to be on the floor with my fellow developers. I don’t want to be that director that says here’s an idea go do it. I want to be working and developing with my team.

There were no visual novels announced at the press event. So again, we got sidetracked talking about Amnesia: Memories and the many ways to get the bad endings.

One last question (since time was up), is there any chance Date-a-Live will get localized?

Haru – Right now, we don’t have any plans, but maybe in the future.

Sadly, I didn’t have more time to talk Disgaea and Trillion with Yamamoto-San, but we agreed to speak again soon for a proper interview.

  • MusouTensei

    I really like this guy.

    • azariosays

      me!? lol jk yea it was a huge honor to speak with these gentlemen.

    • MusouTensei

      Nah you’re cool too, thanks for the interview 🙂

  • “We don’t want to censor anymore because we know that’s not true to the original developed art.”

    Thank you

    • Moofinator

      But it has stopped them from releasing games in the west. That’s not good.

    • Zero Beat

      Yeah, that’s the problem. Our choices for some games are games that are censored or no games at all, and in the latter case you then you have to rely on the import market (which is very expensive) and hope that you can actually play the game without having to order a foreign console and special adaptors to hook it up.

    • grgspunk

      Then maybe they should grab their balls and be a little more BOLDER in choosing their games.

    • A late reply, but I’d rather see games not being released than being released with western world pandering edits and censorship.

  • OverlordZetta

    Well, if there’s a way to get people to forget that their localizations have been dropping in quality for a while now, it’s this kind of censorship talk.

    If what they’re saying is true (which is doubtful), it shouldn’t really be seen as a positive thing, guys.

    Instead of being able to slowly make content like the Monpiece and Moero games considered acceptable through games released with minor censorship (which is how it happens – an edited game here, a censored game there, and in a few years, the content has slowly become common enough that the shock value is gone), we’ve instead created an environment where internet commenters throw fits over minor edits and localization companies just don’t bother. I don’t necessarily mean like Nintendo’s recent edits, but more understandable edits from some of these smaller companies.

    What have they actually done here? They let another branch localize the game for another region, we’ll see importers import, but nothing actually happens in the regions where the game might’ve seen censorship, except that that type of content becomes LESS acceptable as less and less games are localized. Why will companies bother when we keep giving them an out?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up seeing something like this for Valkyrie Drive, honestly.

    All in all, this attitude spreading through companies isn’t actually a win for anyone here, yet people are lauding it like it is – not to mention it masks more important issues, like how IFI’s been localizing some of their games’ scripts.

    • Keichi Morisato

      hey, do i know you from somewhere?

    • OverlordZetta

      Quite possibly!

    • azariosays

      we all friends here!

    • Firion Hope

      But they more or less admitted they didn’t actually need to make those edits for the esrb, no one made them do it but themselves. And this seems to be the case more and more. They have to choose whether to receive backlash from people who weren’t going to play their games in the first place (which ultimately gives them more exposure, plus there’s no guarantee small edits will prevent that) or recieve backlash from paying fans. Choice seems easy to me.

    • blackice85

      Yeah, I mean are we just supposed to stay silent then? Wouldn’t that be seen as agreeing with censorship then?

    • Firion Hope

      Not sure what you mean exactly?

    • NeoTechni

      Hes claiming theh did it willingly so it doesmt matter that its censorship, which he is wrong

    • OverlordZetta

      Not necessarily, no.

    • Keirnoth

      They need to stop sending it out to “localizers” who also think they’re moral arbiters for the industry. There are some localizers who think like religious conservatives and companies need to be encouraged by the consumer not to use them for their localizations.

    • OverlordZetta

      Keep in mind that IF/CH aren’t rich companies as it is, and this was their first release that already had clear issues with it. They were not rolling in any form of money, and successful developers already have issues with multiple submissions for ESRB.

      Considering that, I think it’s understandable what they did. Is it the best situation? No. However, considering we were previously in a world where we thought the game would never have a chance in hell of being released in English, to see that be the reaction it got is just disappointing.

    • Firion Hope

      The fee to get rated by the esrb for under 250k games (I’d imagine something like that would have a low budget) is $800. Equivalent to 40 copies if they made 50% profit

    • Mea K

      Why would anyone care a bunch of moms find a niche game “shocking”? There’s no reason they should even know it exists unless some panic monger starts a petition that everyone important will just ignore. I’d argue one of the best things about going after a niche market is you don’t have to pander to the sensibilities of the public at large.

      There are all sorts of games out there that would trigger a negative response if you showed them to certain groups. That’s why you don’t.

    • OverlordZetta

      They care because they want to have their games on store shelves. That’s the point. The world is not simply all “me me me” – you want your interests to be accepted so that stores will be willing to stock your games, so that companies find it okay to make physical copies of your games.

      Mortal Kombat can be shown on store shelves and can warrant physical copies. If we keep going in this direction, that will never happen for these games. We’ll just keep seeing limited production runs and digital only releases.

    • Feniks

      This is true, I can buy “Japanese schoolgirl anal simulator” in my local gamestore no problemo but Americans are not so lucky.

      Until that changes censorship will remain. Maybe when games are all sold digitally things will change in the US.

    • Derp Minos

      Sorry but I am personally never going to be ok with censorship. Especially because in 99% cases it targets me directly.

    • SullenSamurai

      I’m usually with you 100%, OZ (I see you around on Destructoid), but I think I’d have to disagree with you here, at least in part. Although it really sucks when publishers/localizers set down an ultimatum that boils down to “it’s censor it or don’t release it all”, not only is this dilemma usually unnecessary (I’d say a good 80% of the time there’s no one like the ESRB forcing such a choice), but us accepting such dilemmas as unavoidable and hoping for slow but steady improvement just doesn’t seem to work — this is what many of us have tried for years now (decades for some of us, I imagine), and progress at best has amounted to two steps forward, one step back…so, some progress, I suppose, but not nearly enough.

      I do think there is a modicum of desensitization to certain types of content going on (I don’t think Senran Kagura would have made it over here five years ago), but we’re also seeing desensitization to the removal of certain types of content as well. You alter a bit of stuff here, take a bit of stuff away there, and the world doesn’t end (read: people still buy your product), publishers/localizers think what they’re doing is harmless, because I suppose it is to them; they still got their money. And next time they feel compelled to change something to dodge some hypothetical controversy, especially if it’s the type of content they’ve changed before (e.g., pettanko/loli-ish girls, sexy costumes, touching minigames) they look at precedent and do the same thing again, maybe not more severely, but certainly more guiltlessly.

      Honestly, they should be terrified of censoring or needlessly altering their products, they should be afraid of their potential consumers, certainly far more than (their perception of) the hoi polloi. Because when they’re not afraid of us, they expect us to make concessions, they assume they can openly patronize us and still receive our patronage. And that’s not healthy for the industry (or my sanity).

    • OverlordZetta

      That’s definitely a possibility – Nintendo’s recent edits are all excellent examples of this.

      On the other hand, recognizing cultural differences and where the boundaries legitimately are in that region is important to – then you push those boundaries. You don’t destroy them, but if you keep pushing them, eventually you’ll have pushed them to the point that when you look back, that thing you had to censor would be fine by someday’s standards.

      However, if you just never bring games over, then what? You reinforce the idea that there’s something wrong with those games, that they shouldn’t be brought over, and soon you’ll have people saying they shouldn’t be made at all.

      And what happens when companies start listening to that too?

      A lost localization should never, EVER be treated as a victory.

    • SullenSamurai

      Oh definitely, games being passed up on for localization is never really cause for celebration. But the problem is, we don’t get to call the shots there — that’s up to the publishers and localization studios. If these parties, when faced with the dilemma that they either have to A) censor something and risk pissing off their fans, or B) release something as is and risk pissing off people in the peripheral, hastily pencil in a third option, C) do not release, and circle it frantically, that’s completely on them. I’m not going to blame myself if that happens because I voiced my discontent at the possibility of option A) being circled instead, and I shouldn’t; if their response to my and like-minded criticism was to give up entirely, they either misread the situation entirely (which is still on them) or they’re simply being petulant and childish.

      To blame ourselves for games not being localized because we spoke up and put our foot down on censorship is a dangerous line of reasoning, because not only is it quite simply the wrong conclusion to come to, the alternative is we say and do nothing and simply hope the publishers/localizers somehow get it right all on their own — and that could take a while (indefinitely, even).

      When looking at the current situation with DOAX3, for instance, I wouldn’t discount the input of the naysayers who’ve hounded the DOA series as a whole since its inception, but ultimately, the ones chiefly to blame for the game (potentially, let’s keep watching) not being released in the west are Koei-Tecmo and Team Ninja themselves; they’re not being forced to withhold the game, they’re simply showing an embarrassing lack of conviction.

      Cultural differences between Japan and the United States (and the UK, and Germany, and France, et al) do exist, but when they’re apparent in a Japanese product, they shouldn’t be seen as barriers to foreign distribution that need to be bypassed, lowered, or outright destroyed in order for release to be possible. On the contrary, these cultural differences should really be preserved at all costs; that’s a big part of the appeal of a Japanese product (and the same goes for any other media from any other country) — that’s a big part of the reason they have something worth selling to begin with.

      The notion that something (especially in a work of fiction) is fit for Japan but unfit for the rest of the world is an entirely self-inflicted psychosis that needs to be dissuaded at all costs, not only in the West, but also in Japan. So although I’m glad IFI doesn’t wish to censor anything moving forward, I’m honestly annoyed that they think withholding certain products that they, sadly, probably wish they could censor is the solution to this problem; because the real solution (assuming the product in question has a ripe demographic and there is no outside legal interference) is to release it and divert all power to the shields. This is something many Japanese developers and publishers haven’t come to terms with yet. Otherwise, we might be seeing more pressure from across the Pacific to curtail the types of localization we’ve been getting lately; instead, sometimes it’s the Japanese themselves that screw everything up (see Monster Monpiece and If my Heart had Wings).

    • CrusaderEsper

      Unfortunately that’s not how it works. Companies don’t say “okay, we just censor a little bit this time and next time we can censor less.” They say “okay so we got away with censoring this last time, what should we censor this time?” You have a great post from Tom from XSEED that spoke candidly about the initial discussions about Senran Kagura and the first things people said were “Okay, how do we censor this game?” and when people said censorship was not needed they responded “But these other games were censored and it turned out okay.”

      Censorship is a slippery slope that should never be started down. All it sets is precedent that companies will then blindly follow. I applaud IFI for coming to their senses and opting to release Monster Monpiece uncensored on Steam. I hope they send it off to the ESRB to get a M rating again… because that’s the rating it will get.

    • OverlordZetta

      And yet we’ve got some very clear examples of how things have changed. Look at how extreme violent content is compared to a few years ago. Look at how NIS was able to release Criminal Girls with minor edits, when they couldn’t release the original game at all.

      If you don’t even try, then you’re never going to make progress.

      Also? IFI didn’t “come to their senses” at all. That’s exactly what they want you to think here. They saw an opportunity (that Steam doesn’t follow the ESRB) and took it.

      Did you read what they said here? They said they’re not going to localize games at all if they feel they have to censor them. This means that if they feel a game would be another Monster Monpiece (Vita), they just won’t bother. And they’ve done that twice now.

      The difference with Monpiece PC is that Steam doesn’t follow the ESRB’s rating system.

    • CrusaderEsper

      NISA could have localized Criminal Girls on the PSP if they had wanted to. They would have censored it just as they censored the Vita release of the game. And you call adding lots of smoke and steam along with REMOVING ALL THE AUDIO “minor edits”?

      I would rather a game not come out at all than for us to get a butchered version. I won’t buy it either way so it ultimately makes little difference to me. I will import an Asian-English release as I did with Moe Chronicles and will do with Moe Crystal assuming IFI chooses not to localize it. If you actually read the interview though you’ll notice that he said “maybe we should do something to change in the West in the future.” so I am slightly optimistic.

    • Sylveria Shini

      I’ve said often that when we get upset over censorship, we really need to pick our battles better. People saying they wouldn’t buy Dungeon Travelers 2 because of 4-6 images being removed because they’re really close to that pedo line is silly when we’re seeing major plot elements butchered, characters changed, aspects of gameplay and customization features taken away or covered up, and games just outright not being localized at all because of the fear of backlash from SJWs and enthusiasts alike.

      No censorship should be condoned, but, we have to be realistic. If it’s a title you want to support, support it, unless the censorship is especially absurd, and >politely< express your dissatisfaction to the localization branch and the parent company. Let them know you'll support them if they stick their neck out there, because if they think "we" are going drop the axe just as quickly as the Political Correctness police, of course they're not going to take any risks for us.

    • Keirnoth

      I disagree. The reason why we get upset over “small amounts” of censorship is *BECAUSE* it sets a precedent to censor the bigger stuff. We want to avoid that precedent from ever taking place. If you choose to fight for the content you agree with (the “butchered” plot points/changed characters, which obviously I am 100% on your side for) and leave out stuff you disagree with (the loli stuff, which I need to remind you, are simply drawings and does not harm anyone physically) then you are being inconsistent with your logic.

      Free speech is easy to fight for when it’s something you agree with – what is most important is fighting for free speech and free expression you *don’t* agree with, and most importantly, encouraging game companies not to set a precedent that will make it acceptable for Western companies and localizers to censor or change any of the content we consume.

    • Sylveria Shini

      You’re taking the position that I agree with the censorship of loli content. I don’t. I simply understand that it at this point in the history of gaming in western society that it IS going to happen to a degree. I believe we are better off being realistic and supporting the titles and allowing it to naturally become more socially acceptable from what does filter in, which it will as time progresses and western gaming, and western society, find it less “shocking” as Zetta said.

      As I said some time ago, 5 years ago a game like Dungeon Travelers or Senran Kagura would NEVER have been localized. The fact we got them, at all, with fairly minor changes, shows that the market is growing and western studios/the western audience are growing more accepting of that type of game. If we start getting all outraged, demanding boycotts and saying things like no censorship or no sale, we are actively disincentivizing studios from even TRYING to bring it to us. They are not going to, AT ALL, if we throw hissyfits about small changes. AGAIN. I DO NOT CONDONE ANY CENSORSHIP. But we are being unreasonable to expect uncut loli action (as an example) being brought to the US yet.

      I do not believe in the censorship slippery slope when it comes to these kinds of games in this context. If we’re dealing with a studio that doesn’t want to censor stuff, like IFI, its not in the best interest of the studio that isn’t pushing censorship ideology to censor stuff. It costs them more money to change the things than not to and they know that toning down the sexuality does not equate to more sales. On the other hand, we do have studios like NISA, whoever localized Xenoblade X, Fire Emblem, and so on who do want to push a censorship agenda, yes, we do have to worry about them pushing for more. In other words, we, as consumers, need to be informed about WHY the censorship was done, how severe it was, and then react appropriately rather than thinking and acting in absolutes which are ultimately harmful for everyone.

    • Derp Minos

      Sorry but no. I won’t accept the DT2 censorship. Especially considering they’ve pretty much cut half of the loli content from the game as a result. You may not care about lolis, but I do. I’ll fight for them until death.

    • OverlordZetta

      Exactly this.

      The situation we’ve created now is developers and localization companies just won’t create risks anymore.

    • Chrono

      “which is how it happens – an edited game here, a censored game there,
      and in a few years, the content has slowly become common enough that the
      shock value is gone”

      Source? If they are already aware that these games would sell better than they did in Japan (Like with DOAX), but choose not to bring them over anyway because of a small group of crazy people, even if your method does work, what good would it do if you never convince those crazy people?

    • OverlordZetta

      The DOAX situation isn’t quite true, from what I understand. They sold better here when they were Xbox exclusives, and so more people owned Xboxes – however, when you compare how many people owned Xboxes in Japan to how many people bought the game, and then do the same here, it actually turns out that the games still sold better with actual Xbox owners in Japan than here.

    • Chrono

      Well, the install base for any console will always be much higher in the West than in Japan, because of the massive population difference. Of course, that goes for the PS4 as well. There’s no reason to think history wouldn’t repeat itself with DOAX3.

  • I<3Pawnee

    This isn’t meant to be rude in any way, and I really hope that it doesn’t come off that way, but I really think that you need to read some of your sentences out loud. I’ve noticed that a lot of your articles have some really clunky errors in sentence structure or spelling. “In recent video game news Team Ninja PR has announced that they are not planning on releasing Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 here in the due to how sexualization of women in video games is viewed in the West.”

    I also have to express my disappointment that this site continues to participate in a battle that it has stated it has remained neutral on. Calling out a specific instance that this site is obviously very passionate about in an otherwise good interview is… tiring. Just my personal opinion, of course, but I feel like it would have been better to have asked that question in a far more broad manner. The way in which it was asked (and, indeed, the titling of of this article) makes it feel like the site is pushing an agenda.

    • Silhouette

      I don’t think that’s fair.

      Just because something is held as important by one group, doesn’t mean it is exclusive to them. Censorship is something that many people hold as unacceptable and important to recognize when it happens, regardless of group or affiliation.

      I think that trying to take something like that, box it in and label it as the object of undesirables only is a terrible practice, and only serves to limit one’s perspective. In my opinion, that is even worse with regard to things like censorship, which require active commentary (and therefore a willingness to approach the subject) in order to oppose it effectively.

      I apologize if I’m interpreting your intentions incorrectly, but that is what I’m getting from your comment.

    • I<3Pawnee

      My apologies. I’m not very eloquent. I totally agree that censorship is a very important topic. And I certainly agree that it should be discussed. I’m mostly just commenting on the website’s (as a whole) continual statements that they are remaining neutral on the issue of censorship, yet continually posting content that is very clearly taking a stance. A website that is neutral shouldn’t be in open opposition, should it?

      I’m leaving my personal stance out of the equation here, and solely professing what I feel like the site is doing. I hope that makes more sense!

    • Silhouette

      It would appear that I was mistaken, then! Sorry for that!

      I admit, I was not entirely aware that this site had made a commitment to neutrality on the issue of censorship, specifically, although personally I would wonder why they would. I do think it’d be a bit silly to be in open opposition in spite of a prior commitment.

      Although, I do believe it isn’t exactly open, in this case, though I can appreciate your claim that the actions were somewhat suspect, at least. If I had to attempt to justify it, I could say that IF deals in a lot of games that one could safely assume would be affected by that issue, and therefore it could be a valid question, but I’d be forced to admit it would be a stretch.

      That said, has this site truly made such a commitment on something as almost universally reviled ( and with what I would assert is good reason) as censorship? I ask in earnest, as it just seems strange.

    • Keirnoth

      You forget there are those who are fine with things they don’t like being censored, especially if it’s content that a party considers “offensive”. Nevermind the fact that this material is fantasy and most mature people can separate this material from real life. It’s so strange I’m seeing people who push progressive values think it’s ok for content to be changed when it’s brought over here because of some supposed moral values, when these people used to be the ones who fought against interests that wanted what religious people would call ‘sexual deviancy’ to be squashed out in the 80s and 90s.

      The circle completes itself, eh?

    • SullenSamurai

      I can see where you’re coming from, and I respect it; I’m hearing a lot of “It doesn’t really bother me, buuut…[insert: reasons it does actually bother you]” around this issue from both sides, and it’s obnoxious. That being said, I’ve noticed that Operation Rainfall’s staff (just like its community) is somewhat fractured on the topic, so one could argue that mathematically it (nearly) balances out to neutral.

      There does seem to be a progressive leaning towards the anti-censorship crowd on this site (which, I’m not going to lie, pleases me), but that’s in part due to the recent “censorship” (I’ll put that in bunny ears to cover my ass) spree we’ve had in the past few months (Fatal Frame 5, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Street Fighter V, DOAX3, Blade and Soul). And if this site was ever neutral on this topic (I’m not sure it was ever committed to it, but I could be wrong), I suspect it may not stay that way as long as this trend keeps up.

    • JDobbs

      I can confirm to you the recent issues that have come up with this subject have fractured the staff for the past two months. Despite claiming neutrality on the matter, its far from the truth. Some departed from the site because they no longer were respected for their opinions and no longer felt welcome. A change in ownership also played a role to the current situation. As you said, the community is fractured and its not a healthy situation and its the same on the other side as well. Some would say its a toxic situation. If anyone is expecting anything to change, it likely won’t for a long time.

    • Keirnoth

      I’ll be honest, I don’t know why one would be FOR censorship on this site.

      It’s the very definition of being illiberal and regressive. I know this puts me in a “you’re either for us or against us camp”, but I don’t understand how one can make a logical argument for censorship in video games and then push other progressive politics of “tolerance” and “diversity” at the same time.

    • azariosays

      Personally as long as I’m here will continue to push and educate the importance of anti-censorship and as I continue to meet with pubs and devs will make that fact loud and clear for them to express themselves however they want.

    • azariosays

      I had an editor go over the article, but I guess they missed this. I didn’t get back home from the event till 4am and then transcribed the interview to get it out as quickly as possible. Sorry for the errors.

    • Narmy

      I certainly hope they wouldn’t remain neutral on such an important issue. I stopped following this site a while ago specifically because of their weak stance on censorship. We need more sites speaking up about this, especially sites that cover niche games like this one.

    • Crystal Colwell

      We refrained from taking a stance with some of the things going on in the past. That we don’t align with any formed groups doesn’t mean we don’t have an opinion. 🙂 Most of us are anti-censorship and we will continue to bring you articles that express our views. Thanks for checking back in once we started being a bit more vocal. <3

    • Keirnoth

      Please continue to do so. You may be aware there is a certain movement going out there that is pushing to keep free expression in video games. Obviously you don’t have to support it since that’ll get you flack from those who are on the other side of the debate, but I really enjoy the fact that sites that cover niche games know why preventing censorship is a serious issue.

    • Crystal Colwell

      We sure will! I personally feel we were a bit too quiet about it for a while and am glad we are being more vocal. I kind of love that we don’t need to align with any movement or etc. but can still get our point across and let our readers know where we stand. Well where most of us stand. I can’t speak for every volunteer lol

    • azariosays

      Nice to see you back <3

    • Crystal Colwell

      It’s hard to ask things in a broader manner when they specifically stated why they would not be bringing the game over. Anyhow, thanks for letting us know how you feel. We like getting feedback of all kinds. Hope you have a great day.

    • I<3Pawnee

      On that matter, we’ll agree to disagree. Which is totally fine, because that’s what is so great about opinions. 🙂

      On an entirely different note, wasn’t there a comment on here about the fracturing of the site that seems to be gone now?

    • azariosays

      We have a pretty strict rule for ex authors of the site discussing matters spoken behind closed doors. Although I didn’t delete the comment I can see why a mod took it down.

      So I’ll pretty much say that I am not neutral when it comes to censorship, but I am not the site. We have a diverse group of writes and managers who each have their own views.

    • I<3Pawnee

      Forgive me, but isn’t that censorship? There have been other comments that are somewhat similar, but they’ve never been deleted before. Why would this one in particular be deleted? I know that you can’t go in to the details, but it seems odd that there would be censorship in the midst of all this anti-censorship rhetoric.

      I completely understand that you are a separate entity from the site, and are most certainly free to have your own views and opinions and everything. You will never hear me try to say anything otherwise. It just feels like there’s an awful lot of personal opinion injected into these news articles. The title, for example. Censorship was a fairly small portion of this interview, and you made it seem like they discuss the cost of “no more censorship” – and I must admit to being confused by that phrasing. Are you inferring from his comments that the cost of no more censorship is that we don’t get games at all? I don’t see “no more censorship” or the cost of it being discussed quoted anywhere in the article, so quoting that seems to be injecting opinion.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is (and I’m not doing a great job of it) that the site is less and less newsy, and more and more opinion. This interview, for example, you are a representative of the site, are you not? There on behalf of oprainfall? So asking a question worded so very specifically (the question could have been asked broadly – just the topic of women being sexualized as a generality and what have you) on an issue the site has been admittedly vocal about feels more like pushing an agenda than reporting on the news. Comments that you make like “Personally as long as I’m here will continue to push and educate the
      importance of anti-censorship and as I continue to meet with pubs and
      devs will make that fact loud and clear for them to express themselves
      however they want.” only make me feel like you’re melding personal agenda and the website together, so that they aren’t able to be distinguished from one another.

      If the site as a whole is in support of reporting *against* censorship, then that’s obviously fine. It just gets confusing to get differing statements from staff members, you know?

      I hope that makes sense.

    • Crystal Colwell

      Other comments that were made were likely speculation by readers. It is no secret that not everyone agrees on everything. It would be kind of insane to expect that haha but we respect the privacy of our volunteers who might not want their personal opinions thrown into the public by someone other than them doing it. The comment didnt go quite that far but could have easily lead into that happening. Sorry we had to mod a comment and we promise not to make habit of it.

      The reason you see differing opinions is because we encourage all of our volunteers to share their opinion. We realize that it can be kind of confusing but we are all for allowing differing opinions on here. Most of our readers are anti censorship as well but we want the ones who aren’t to find content here that they agree with as well. After all it wouldn’t be fair for us to censor someone just because they don’t have an opinion of the majority. 😉

      We enjoy having opinions on the site as it allows our readers to get to know us, and more often than not it gives them the opportunity to see that they are not alone. We do try to cover a lot of news as well and I am sorry if you feel that we have been slacking on that lately. We will strive to bring you even more news. <3

    • Crystal Colwell

      Also.. <3 That is absolutely the beauty of opinions! We are all allowed to have our own and don't have to always agree.

    • azariosays

      I’m sorry I don’t have time to address all your finely detailed points. Anyway, “no more censorship” is a phrase often said in comments from anti-censorship individuals. So this is what happens, no censorship means the game doesn’t come out.

      Jacob knows the rules and though we don’t censor our comment sections he broke a rule held by coworkers and even ex coworkers. I have no control over mods in the comments though but I know we have rarely if ever deleted any comments. This was a special case. I’m explaining this to you even though I don’t have to btw.

      I do represent the site, but I also ask our readers what THEY want to ask. Fan comments and emails are often passed over when it comes to pubs and devs. So I have an opportunity to ask them questions face to face and get the answers they are wanting. OpRainfall is there for our readers first and foremost in my eyes. I will always do what I can for them.

    • I<3Pawnee

      I was just making some personal observations. Obviously the way I interpret things isn’t going to be the way everybody interprets things. I simply was looking for some clarification as well, which you very kindly provided to me, in spite of not having to.

      I actually didn’t know that Jacob was the commentator, and I’m not sure that all the other readers would have known that as well, so explicitly naming him (after his comment is taken down) kind of feels like a public reprimand, doesn’t it?

      Lastly, my comments about the title were mainly because I felt it was misleading. I’m not really remarking on the content here, but the way in which it is presented. It’s wonderful that you are in a position to give your readers a voice that they may not have. It really is. I just feel that a lot of the news articles published lately are being sensationalized, given misleading titles, or are more opinion than news.

      Anywho. Just my random thoughts. 🙂

  • JonathanisPrimus

    “In Japan, from a developers point of view it’s really easy to gauge and
    tell that having a console that’s a handheld is really important. So as a
    developer it’s easy to gauge what people want and that makes it easy to
    develop on the Vita.”

    Basically, Sony is fucked in Japan once Vita is done.

    • Kirielson

      Highly doubt that with the PS4.

    • JonathanisPrimus

      You mean the system that is still selling worse than PS3 did in Japan despite a price cut and plenty of massive announcements? Yeah, okay. At best PS4 barely outdoes PS3’s LTD over there. Vita’s sales have always been awful compared to PSP’s, even in Japan, but it only has a fraction of the support its predecessor received.

    • Kirielson

      The PS4 has been doing so so in Japan but I’m feeling its more about the gaming scenario then anything else. Let’s see how Dragon Quest comes out.

  • Karo

    “Anyway, we just don’t want to censor anymore.”

    This is all I’ve ever wanted to hear. Bless these wonderful people.

  • NeoSkyte

    A Noire fan plus doesn’t like censorship….I like this guy

    • azariosays

      haha, i’m all about blanc. I laughed at how quickly he said noire too btw. thanks for reading!

    • Keirnoth

      That’s a funny way to say Vert. 😛

    • Crystal Colwell

      I was thinking it was a weird way to say Nep. :p

    • Keirnoth

      NepuNepu is certainly another way to say Vert too. 😀

  • rudhvelyn

    “We don’t want to censor anymore because we know that’s not true to the original developed art.”
    This makes me really hopeful but I have to admit i’m worried its entirely PR speak.

    • azariosays

      I was worried about this too, but he actually answered those questions without talking to the PR who was present first.

    • alto_angelo

      Hello, i just want to say THANK YOU for doing this interview, and asking the question people have been wanting to ask to publisher

      what we need now is a megaphone big enough to tell these publisher that their games DO have audience in here and the puritans doesnt represent the general audience

    • azariosays

      You’re welcome. Thank you for reading <3

    • Keirnoth

      Please continue to push for free expression in our gaming media. I was sent this link by some people I know and the most important part of this article was the director’s stance on censorship.

      Thank you for this video – I just hope these guys stop doing the censoring like they did for their older games. People are adult enough to handle it and the audience that likes this stuff *knows* what it’s about, and most importantly *are mature enough to know it’s not real*

    • azariosays

      i very much agree! I will be conducting more interviews with publishers in the future and would love people to chime in with questions that i should ask. a few of the ones above are from readers and i want them to have as much of a voice as i do.

    • Keirnoth

      You earned my place in the sites to read. I’m really glad you’ve been able to get direct access to these guys – please remind them their fans in the West appreciate the content the way it is, and also let them know to be careful of certain localizers who try to modify content to be more ‘culturally acceptable’ here in the West!

  • Audie Bakerson

    One thing to note: The interview was conducted through a translator, so it have been a single game due to how the Nipponese language works.

  • AvanStrike

    Thanks for this interview.

  • BurgerUnit

    “Certain Compile Heart games”

    Pretty confident he is talking about the Moero Chronicle games. Because aside from Nep, only other series they have released in the past several years is Date a Live I think.

    • azariosays

      oh you know i am 😉

  • Maxy

    First they self-censore their games, spit on the vita fanbase, make translations so bad that they almost look like a collection of memes from 4ch barely resembling an original text and then just “woo-hoo, here, eat some ultra-populistic interviews, love us!” I really feel like I’m starting to despise the guy.

  • Rysear

    IFI really ought to stop making PC ports for Neptunia. It’s ruining the fan base and killing the Vita.

  • Cousin Jeffrey

    A pointless interview

  • Vernify

    It must have been a fairly pleasurable time interview with these folks. For lack of a better term, they seemed fairly chill and that last question has me fairly hopeful Date-a-Live will see the light of day here. All that aside, I’m glad to see they aren’t all aboard the censor train and are trying to keep the works of the original artist involved in the games.

  • Daverost

    It’ll be a cold day in hell when the DAL games get localized. They’re good games (though I didn’t really like the second until the final route), but there are too many issues with licensed titles and IFI doesn’t seem to have a lot of confidence in VN releases.

  • chizwoz

    Well the censorship comment is depressing. They should frankly just ignore the media’s bullshit crusading and just focus on the sales. If it sells to people, keep making them. End of story.
    So many people struggle with this idea that the media doesn’t represent everyone. It represents itself and usually the moral fashions of the liberal elites at any given time.

  • Chomag

    It’s not the western law that forces the censorship, it’s rather the more subjective SJWs filth that ruin everyone’s fun.

  • Christopher C

    next time you have an interview, ask about date a live again.

  • Cakemagic

    These guys seems really nice, I really like Idea Factory and their response to the PC gamers as well. Definitely gave me a better image of them and if I had money, I’ll going to start playing their games as well in the future.

    I hope Compile Heart will try their best to release any kind of English version anywhere in the world, so the west can enjoy it as well. Either that or I have to start mastering Japanese.

  • Renaldi Saputra

    I don’t think they will localize that DAL thing. It’s an anime/LN adaptation spin off VN, also it’s not localized since 2013.

  • You should have asked if they were willing to put “Date A Live” up on Prefundia and Kickstarter!

  • Darkling

    Did you tell him that pretty much all of those games can be released uncensored in Europe they very likely would all get a PEGI-16 rating

  • Mordeth_Kai

    I hope they see the potential of the PC and outlets that will allow AO and unrated titles.

    Been really enjoying their games of late.

  • vertical09

    Really happy to hear this. Hopefully it means they won’t feel like they’re limited to what they can bring over anymore.

  • renji00

    Everyone wants Date-a-Live. They should really do DaL, now that the combined Vita Version is out.

  • Yandere

    How about doing subtitles for JRPG only, do not region lock them so Western fans can just import them directly to support those franchise.