Localization, Muv-Luv, and Steam: An Interview With Degica Games

Friday, April 29th, 2016

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muv luv | Degica games

One of the highlights during my time at PAX East was spending time at Degica Games’ booth. I had a chance to spend time playing Koihime Enbu, Deathsmiles and Eternal Destiny, as well as having an opportunity to talk with Mitch, the global sales director of the company. We covered topics such as their reversal on Eternal Destiny’s covered up card illustrations, how new players can get into Koihime Enbu, and whether we will actually see the promised online multiplayer for the Steam version of Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds.

First I’d like to ask about the Eternal Destiny localization. Particularly, what fans have been talking about on Steam concerning the alterations made to the game during localization. You ended up offering the players a choice in the game to have the content altered or not; was this due to fan feedback?

Mitch – Absolutely. When we picked up Eternal Destiny we took a very close look through the game and we thought it was a good-fun game. There were a few images that we thought were a little too risque for the West (about 6-10 total out of 500 or so) so we asked the developers to cover those up a little bit, which they did. We then posted the coming soon page to Steam and mentioned that few alterations have been made. There was quite a lot of feedback from fans that they wanted the original uncensored version. So we went back to the developers and asked them what we could do. The solution we came up with was to toggle between the two. With this you could choose to have the original version that was on the PlayStation Vita in Japan or the version with the few minor changes to the cards.

eternal destiny

Is this an option that you would consider for future released games as well?

Mitch – Absolutely yes. We really want to give fans what they want and what they’re looking for. At the same time we want to have a version that applies to other groups because there’s certain themes and things that people don’t like.

How do you consider which games you publish in the West?

Mitch – It really depends. A lot of the time we are looking for titles that might not make outside of Japan without a helping hand. So titles are under certain niches, and in those niches we try and go for whatever we think the coolest is. So we publish what we’d like to see come across [to the West].

You have a reputation for doing PC ports of games that were formerly on console. Do find that to be a difficult or easy process?

Mitch – The reason this is is because we’ve built up a reputation in Japan as a good PC-Steam publisher. So a lot of companies will approach us with their console title and say they would like a PC version. “Can you help us publish it, market it, promote it, build a community?” That kind of stuff. So generally, they’ll handle the port themselves or we have a few other companies we work with, but we are starting to get more into directly porting ourselves. But it’s not something we’ve done a whole lot.

Koihime Enbu | Degica games

Is there any chance Koihime Enbu (which is releasing on Steam) could come to consoles?

Mitch – We’d love to do that. We haven’t made any official announcements about that, but it is something we are very interested in doing. So at this time we are working with developers and seeing what we can do to bring it to consoles.

In your opinion what is the best way for a new player interested in the game to get to know the characters better?

Mitch – Well there’s a couple of different ways: playing the original visual novel [Koihime Musou] would make sense and the game itself also gets the characters across.

Degica has a few different genres that they publish; what is your personal favorite?

Mitch – Well we started with RPG Maker and that did really really well and then we started looking for other titles to publish. And the first one we got was Crimson Clover, which is an incredibly good shmup, and from there everything kinda snowballed. So that’s probably the genre I’m most excited about doing.

Muv-Luv was incredibly successful. How are things going with that?

Mitch – It was much bigger than we had originally anticipated, so there’s obviously a little bit of growing pains about scaling up our operations in order to support that sort of thing. We had thousands of more orders than we expected. In terms of translation, things are going very well; we hope to release part one in late May to early June and Part 2-Alternative in September to October. We’ve already started on the reward fulfillment and stuff. We recently sent out the Yuuko’s gift bag which is one of the Kickstarter pledge tiers: containing pins, stickers, metals, that kind of stuff. So yea, things are going well. There have been some growing pains but I’m really excited to get this project out to the fans who have been waiting so patiently. We’re just really happy to be able to work on this.

So out of the games you are showcasing today what is the game you’ve spent the most time with?

Mitch – That would have to be Pharaoh Rebirth from Chroma. It’s a really really solid platformer that’s part of our Nico Indie Project.

phantom breaker | Degica games

You’re probably going to hate me for this question, but when is online going to released for Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds?

Mitch – The answer is: soon. It’s something we’ve been working on for a year and there was a lot of developmental roadblocks that we ran into. This was because the development team was short staffed and issues with the netcode. We are now working directly with the developer, who comes into our office a few times a week, and we sit down with him to walk him through the stuff he needs to integrate in online multiplayer. Currently the character select is working, the lobby select is working, but when you actually get into the game it desyncs. I’m hoping to have an announcement and update about it in the next month. I want it just as much as anyone so I’d love to have it live and available for everyone by the Summer.

So what do you think about the interview and about Degica Games’ titles? Let us know in the comments below.

About Joe Sigadel

Joe is the reporting manager for oprainfall, he is also a broadcaster on Twitch and loves showing off many of the games we report about on his channel. He has also been known to defended Senran Kagura from those who only want to accept it at face value.