Psycho-Pass, Criminal Girls and Limited Editions an Interview with NISA

Monday, April 4th, 2016

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Oprainfall had the honor to sit with Robbie and Alan from NISA to discuss their upcoming titles such as Pyscho-Pass and other future projects at GDC 2016.

When did Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness get on NISA’s radar?

Alan: It wasn’t part of the discussion at first, but at last year’s TGS it was brought up in a conversation with our execs and their licencing company.

The game was originally an Xbox One exclusive and then ported over to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita; do you know what led to the console change?

Alan: I have no clue, but I have a feeling that it was just a timed exclusive and they always had the intention to put it on something else. Although, that is my personal opinion.


Do you know if there will be cross-save functionality between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita versions?

Robbie: Unfortunately, there is no cross-save.

Does your team find it more difficult to work on a visual novel with a lot text as opposed to a different genre?

Robbie: Yea, it’s very text heavy, our translation and editing team is always trying to make sure that the English translation is very similar to the Japanese text.

Alan: The biggest issues we come across are consistency issues, like, how did we do this here and how can we approach this the same way. Because of the volume of text we have to keep that quality control really tight.

Do the characters in the game have the same tone, emotion and humor found in the Anime?

Alan: Oh yea and it is fully voiced by the original Japanese anime voice actors.

Will there be an English dub?

Alan: No, there is only the Japanese dub.

There was a companion app released on mobile phones for the PlayStation 4 version in Japan, will that also make it’s way over?

Alan: We are looking into it. We do know about it and are going to see what we can do.

There was a Limited Edition of Psycho-Pass released in Japan, what do you guys have planned for the localized version?

Alan: We are working on that now so please stay tuned.

Danganronpa Steam teaser image

With the success of Danganronpa, do you see and increase in interest of visual novels in North America?

Alan: The market is definitely starting to come around. I began working in the video game industry 4 or 5 years ago [and] my head office actually makes quite a few visual novels every year in Japan and they were always like “Why don’t you guys do this one?” and we’d say “Well, we’d have to think about it”, but ever since the popularity of games like 999 and Danganronpa we’ve seen the increase in gamers who want those story experiences. That really helps our decision on what games we should bring over.

Speaking of Danganronpa, do you have any future plans with Danganronpa 3?

Alan: There’s always a possibility, but we haven’t announced anything about Danganronpa 3.

Criminal Girls Invite Only

Criminal Girls 2 was teased at your most recent press event, what kind of reception have you received since the tease?

Alan: To be really honest, fans just don’t want it to be censored.

Robbie: That’s pretty much the common comment.

So what do you guys think? Is it going to have to go through any changes?

Alan: We are talking to ESRB now to see if there’s anything we have to do, but we do want to be transparent with that. If there’s anything that needs to be changed fans will know from the very beginning that this is what happened, this is why we did it, and this is what’s changed.

There was a comment made about the PC port of Criminal Girls that NISA doesn’t want an unrated game on Steam, is that true?

Robbie: I believe our executive made that comment and he just wants to make sure that all our titles go through the proper channels.

Why did you decide to do two different Limited Editions of Grand Kingdom?

Alan: We originally just wanted to get the game out to as many people as possible so we thought a general LE release would be cool, but then we decided that a super crazy edition would work for this game. It doesn’t work for every game, but Grand Kingdom is pretty special.

With The Firefly Diary you released an exclusive physical edition on your online store, do you plan on doing that with Yomawari Night Alone?

Alan: I would totally be up for that, but we’ll see.

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions or comments please post them below!

  • Mr0303

    That was a good interview. I like how upfront the guys from NISA are. They realise that the fans want uncensored games and they seem to try their best to deliver. I quite liked Criminal Girls despite the unnecessary censorship. NISA has my kudos for even trying to bring a game like that to the Western market and that they are really clear about what is being changed, so that the customer can make an informed decision.

    • azariosays

      I’m in the same area, I’ve talked to them about 5 months before the reveal and members just said “no” when i asked about criminal girls 2, others said that they wish they brought that one over instead of the first one because it was better. the fact that they are even attempting it is awesome.

  • ZelpherFayt

    Nice Interview you asked some great questions pretty much everything I wanted to know lol. I also liked the responses NISA gave to them.

    • azariosays

      hey thanks! if you ever have any questions always hit me up 🙂

  • Great interview, hopefully they’ll keep surprising us.

  • Panpopo

    Great interview! The comments were certainly interesting. It is nice that they say they want to be transparent, but we shall see. I will believe it when I see it, or better yet they act on it.

    Even when Criminal Girls was censored, they still got flack for it, and it still got banned on Twitch. No matter what they decide the same thing will happen with the sequel.

    • azariosays

      Thank you! next time we will meet up with them will be at E3 so i think this was a perfect time to catch up before the big event 🙂

  • Dgnfly

    Their translations still worry me. knowing they throw in meme’s and other crap that doesen’t belong in an anime styled game.

    • tBanzai

      It’s NISA, I sincerely hope they understand that they’ve turned into something of a joke in the industry because of how bad their translations end up being.

      Awareness, admittance, would be the first step of improving.

    • Dgnfly

      ya they are on par with Nintendo treehouse translations.

    • azariosays

      I wouldn’t go that far, NISA localizes games like Disgaea and they use to localize neptunia, those games are very meme heavy as it is. Jokes are probably the hardest form of text to localize since NA and EU audiences wouldn’t understand jokes that are based off of a comedy act that is only popular in Japan. So maybe they’ve strayed at some points, but to put them on par with a company they takes the entire text into their own hands…I don’t think so.

    • Dgnfly

      No but their refusal to take thing as they are and insert those meme that are off no relation towards the context makes most ppl feel they are doing the same thing and their big track record off censorship.

      Even if they don’t understand it they could try looking it up. cause lazyness is no excuse for a consumer not to understand something. thats why so many need english dub lazyness to understand something. i could understand they do it for young kids but at some point ppl need to stop feeling they need somebody to hold their hand their entire life.

      i would either advise they make a online guide that explains those jokes then marks them so ppl could look them up, kinda like how the Teamgaki does it with their yearly translations off the Gaki no tsukai:Batsu series.

    • azariosays

      yea, i see where you’re getting and that would be nice to include that extra work. This type of translation would need to start and then not stop though. At some point this text is translated, but then it goes through localization. What we can hope for and ask for is that localization teams work hard at preserving the product to it’s original text. There’s a lot of weird issues that people will never understand though like why characters can’t say the name “Neptune” when it has something to do with Japanese spelling of it. That’s something that isn’t explained, but NISA has included it all the nep games they’ve worked on.

      it’s a slippery slope in the end because would you buy their product if they did what you asked? And would doing what you asked make others stop buying it? Gamers and fans will always have different point of views and these small publishers have to take all of that into consideration every time they chose a game to localize.

      I like the points you make.

    • Dgnfly

      I would buy like most hardcore fans for a true translation, i think its cause i open myself up towards its culture like most hardcore fans. its just that casuals won’t bother cause they are closed of toward the experience of other janguages the fact that everything gets nativly dubbed closes them of.

      its kinda like with yakuza games they have no relations towards english dub yet ppl demand it why cause they never been exposed to anything else but their own language and cause of the lack of understanding they reject it.

      I know i’m picking sides cause like with censorship a lot off ppl are against and are for it. but i feel we need to stick to the principle off the thing that is, Take thing for what they are not for what you want them to be.

      I know your point is valid and thats the business side off things but i just can’t get myself to like it.

    • Steve Baltimore

      There has to be a balance. A direct translation would be horrible, but you want them to stay as close to the source as possible.

    • Dgnfly

      Depend how direct you want it to be and also depends on the users skill in japanese basicly. but i’d say fansub style would be good enough. it just is with all the meme’s and sometimes overly western style of talking makes it feel more fake and sometimes strays away from the true meaning. Kinda like how Ni no kuni translation was nothing more then dubtitles for the sake off lazyness and most words diden’t fit the translations some words were twisted while the actual meaning would have fitted in.

      And with visual novels being heavy text like psycho-pass i don’t need any Meme’s in it just for the sake off adding their own kinda spice like NISA staff once said i just want it to make sense without any westernization for the sake off certain ppl’s lack off understanding.

  • tBanzai

    I wish more companies would be more matter-of-fact and honest on things like censorship, kind of like this.

    That said I think we need to fulfill a quota so if you’ll excuse me…


    • Dgnfly

      Sorry but NIS america isen’t direct either certain releases in the past they diden’t outright tell ppl things were censored. its just now ppl have become more aware off it so to avoid any problems they now have no choice but to come out with it.

    • tBanzai

      Therefore, kinda.

      I don’t think any company is totally upfront about stuff like that other than XSEED.

    • azariosays

      Yea, well they told me they would support the Vita and trails in the sky the third is only coming to PC. Don’t worry i’m meeting up with them in a month and will figure out what that’s about 😉

    • Pobedni

      I think it’s more of a problem with psp than the vita, wasn’t there talks about how Sony doesn’t allow games without trophies on psn anymore?
      XSEED is kinda wallowing in PC-ports way too much lately, but let’s hope that they’ll at least announce Net High and Valkyrie Drive in the coming months!

    • azariosays

      quota reached <3

  • Zelpok

    While I wasn’t expecting a dub for Mandatory Happiness, I would have liked to have seen one – the anime dub was pretty good. And I’m so glad that it switched consoles. I find the Vita to be the perfect VN machine.

  • I could always use more Psycho-Pass in my life.

  • bob

    Good news on Psychopass, it always seemed interesting to me , but being a JP Xbone exclusive, I never would’ve expected a PS4/Vita port, or a nifty NISA LE either.