By Steve Baltimore / January 17th, 2020
A couple of days ago a stir was raised during a Q and A session on NIS America’s Trails of Cold Steel 3 Twitch stream. The team members were asked how often they ran into jokes that didn’t work in English, and how do they go about redoing them. The first part of their response was about how hard it is to make Japanese puns work in English. This is a pretty common issue localization teams run into, but it was they second part of this response that raised some eyebrows.
They started talking about Japanese jokes having different values than Western jokes. They went on to talk about how these jokes were changed to be less sexist, for example, and how they felt sometimes what they came up with was better than how it started. They do this in order to make jokes more culturally appropriate.
Here is the live stream and it will start at the mark this question was asked.
Needless to say, some fans were not very impressed with this response as they felt like NIS America had censored the game without being transparent about changes that had been made. We reached out to Erin Kim, the PR Coordinator for NIS America, and asked her about the comments made on the live stream.
Here is her response:
NIS America does not engage in censorship or overzealous editing. We stand by our dedication to the authenticity of our localization efforts to properly contextualize a title within a localized framework for an English-speaking audience.
Erin Kim | *Public Relations Coordinator *
*NIS America, Inc.*
While I was waiting to hear back from NIS America I did some extra research into this topic on various forums and boards around the net. I couldn’t find a single player that played this game in Japanese and English that could point out any major changes to the text. I’m not sure why the localization team chose that phrasing for their answer given the amount of censorship that has been going on with Japanese games for the past year at the hands of Sony and others, but I think they should really be more cautious going forward.
I will update this story if any significant and credible changes are found, but I don’t expect to.
CensorshipNIS AmericaTrails of Cold Steel 3