Author Topic: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization  (Read 2578 times)

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Offline Shaymin

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Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« on: August 09, 2015, 03:28:31 AM »

The truth stings a little bit, especially when it comes to Captain Rainbow.

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/news/40915/treehouse-employee-interview-sheds-light-on-localization

A recent interview with a Nintendo Treehouse localization writer has shed more light on what goes into a game localization.

Chris Pranger of the Treehouse appeared on a recent episode of the Part Time Gamers podcast and discussed the process of localization, including the cost decisions that Nintendo of America has to make.

Speaking in regards to Xenoblade Chronicles: "People love that game, you know, within a certain group. That game is not the type of game that just pulls in enough to justify the costs on that. So that’s like, we got it in the States by luck, that NoE decided “Oh, we’ll take the fall. We’ll localize that.” Okay, cause someone is going to have to eat the costs somewhere, because that game is guaranteed to not sell enough to justify how big that game is. You know, hundreds of hours, all voiced. That’s a lot of money that goes into that."

The interview also touches on the fate of Captain Rainbow and the pressure of dealing with niche fanbases.

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Offline azeke

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2015, 10:49:27 AM »
That is a great interview, listened to it a week ago.

It's funny how it took blogs a week to report on it and when they did they misquoted it to make it like Treehouse guy makes fun on forum posters and defends Wii U name while he did none of that.

But of course, thousands of people only read headlines and none of them gonna listen to actual podcast:
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Offline Soren

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2015, 01:27:29 PM »
I'm pretty sure Nintendo only deals with niche fanbases these days...

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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 02:39:22 PM »
To me, this goes to show that they need more uniformity among their branches.

Offline Ceric

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 05:22:01 PM »
To me, this goes to show that they need more uniformity among their branches.
A realization that they are all one branch and accounting practices that lets that happen.

At work we recently  had a change in how training was done.  Every year $2,000 per employee was put into the budget for training in each department and every year we were denied training until they moved that money out of the department budget and put it in the HR budget and *bam* training started to get approved.
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Offline Enner

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 06:25:00 PM »
Great show all around. I loved how off-the-cuff it was and I hope there won't be (too much) blow back from it. Nintendo fans need to have more opportunities to interview Nintendo employees, not less.


On picking games to localize: I can understand that games such as Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story are huge undertakings. I don't ever want to be a person that makes light of the work and money required from the localization department and the original developer to take a game from one language to another. It is still frustrating for me to see how companies such as Atlus USA and XSeed can take on these huge undertakings regularly, yet Nintendo of America deems it too risky of a proposition. Sadly, the definitive answer to my frustration will require information from companies that are probably trade secrets.


The simplest answer I can think of is that Nintendo of America didn't have the budget, either on hand or available to ask from NCL. That answer opens a new rabbit hold of implications and questions that make less sense to me.


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Offline Ian Sane

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2015, 02:16:40 PM »
NOA's policy about games they consider niche would make way more sense if Nintendo consoles weren't so notorious for having poor third party support.  If they had good third party support there would be enough games and variety to keep the userbase happy.  As is when they don't feel like localizing something like Xenoblade it leaves a big hole in the lineup.  They sit on a "niche" game and the Nintendo console goes months with jack **** on it.  There were some big gaps in 2011 for example where a rainfall release would really hit the spot but instead we got nothing.  There is value in a game's release beyond just its raw sales figures.  Having a healthy lineup of games keeps the userbase happy and that can affect if they buy your next console.  Does the Wii U's weak sales suggest that the Wii userbase was happy with long droughts?

If you focused on JUST the huge mega hits a Nintendo console would have like one or two games released a year and who the hell would buy a console with such a thin lineup?  A console also needs supporting titles that may not have the same sales potential but make the console as a whole a better product.  There is value in that.  You don't want to constantly be taking losses on underselling titles but in general having more good games in your lineup is a good thing.

Is someone that thinks that NOA has no interest in localizing good games if they're not big hits like Mario or Zelda MORE likely to continue to buy Nintendo consoles or LESS?

Offline azeke

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2015, 12:20:11 PM »
Aaaaand the guy was fired.

Because people on internet twisted his words into something he never said.

Job well done.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2015, 02:40:42 PM »
Aaaaand the guy was fired.

Because people on internet twisted his words into something he never said.

Job well done.


Hope he finds a good landing spot.


Anyone working in Treehouse probably should know better than to talk about Nintendo in any public capacity, and I'm sure it violated some kind of NDA... but it's really hard for me to look at the specifics of what was discussed and justify him getting fired for it.
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Offline azeke

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2015, 02:51:56 PM »
The most infuriating is that NeoGAF thread that has since been reposted is still the main source of information despite it having heavily misquoted to fit some kind of agenda from topicstarter.

It wasn't even the first thread to report on this blog, but it became by FAR more populated simply because of clickbait title and narrative that OP put into Pranger's mouth. Majority of people read that thread and think he literally called them idiots and get angry.

Obviously, this thread was re-posted by other gaming journalism rags and even tanslated and cross-posted to japanese blogs obviously in even more distorted shape.

Idiocy all around.
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Offline Enner

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2015, 04:22:46 PM »
Ah, I spoke too soon!


Poking around Twitter, it seems it's not uncommon for big video game companies to be so secretive with everything, though Nintendo is particularly thorny when it comes to such firings.

Offline Shaymin

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2015, 09:29:39 PM »
I honestly thought about deleting this story once it got out that he was fired.

Though that'd be the equivalent of locking the barn door after the horse got out, killed a guy and started the Great Chicago Fire.
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Offline Enner

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Re: Treehouse Employee Interview Sheds Light On Localization
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2015, 05:04:29 PM »
As much as it might be slimy to say so, it isn't your fault or the podcast hosts' fault that Mr. Pranger lost his job. Okay, maybe the podcast hosts should have questioned or double-checked with Pranger that his appearance was approved by Nintendo. Ultimately, it was Pranger's job to know about his company's media policies in detail and if it was okay for him to make a public appearance on the podcast.