Dashing Nerds recently had the privilege of being able to interview Idea Factory International. Idea Factory are the creators of the Neptunia JRPG series, among others, and Idea Factory International handles the localization and publishing of games!
DN: For those who are unfamiliar with Idea Factory International and Idea
Factory, what is Idea Factory?
IF : Idea Factory is a Japanese video game developer and publisher, that
specializes in RPGs. Idea Factory also has subsidiaries, Compile Heart,
known for their RPGS, and Otomate, known for their otome titles. As Idea
Factory International, we localize and publish Idea Factory games for an
international audience outside of Japan. Our most popular series is
DN: Idea Factory International is a localization company and publisher, so
what is the typical process involved when localizing a title? Just for
example, let’s use your new title, Megadimension Neptunia VII ( V 2, as in Victory 2) coming
February 2nd for PS4. How far in advance do you get the title to begin
localizing? Do you get the title while it is still being worked on in
Japan? What are the most time consuming steps to the localization process?
IF: In Megadimension Neptunia VII’s case, we started working a little after its
release in Japan. First, we receive game’s text, translate and edit it, and
then record English voiceover. That first half is the most time-consuming
part, there’s a lot of preparation the localization team has to do before
the development team can even build a playable English ROM. After that, the
localized text and voices are implemented into the game, and then debug
begins. After that, the ROM goes through the first-party approval process.
Once the game is good to go, we can publish it! Overall, the entire process
takes about 7 to 9 months depending on the size of the game.
But while this is happening, the design, production, and marketing team are
working hard to create the English logo, cover, manual, trailers, and
website, as well as organize game distribution to retailers, and
communicate with media and fans to spread the word about the title. I just
wanted to stress, there’s more to localization than just the game itself!
DN: While on the topic of localization, the library of titles produced cover
quite the gamut of genres. From the visual novel genre with Amnesia:
Memories, card battlers with Monster Monpiece, RPG with the Neptunia series
of course, and the offshoots of the Neptunia universe covering action,
strategy, and soon multiplayer action in MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS
Zombies, which genre would you say is the most difficult and time consuming
to localize? Are there any challenges that arise from a particular genre
that you wouldn’t encounter in others?
IF: Visual novel games like Amnesia: Memories are definitely difficult just
because of the sheer volume of text there is to translate and edit. It’s an
overall challenge, simply because the more text there is, the more time the
localization team has to put into proofreading the text.
DN: A lot of Idea Factory International’s titles are now finding their way
onto the Steam platform, are you finding good success and a positive
reception of your titles on the Steam/PC platform?
IF: The Steam community has definitely warmly welcomed our titles, and for that
we’re very glad!
We’ve been meeting more Iffy fans through Steam who never got to play
series like Neptunia on a console and it’s wonderful seeing just how
well-received our console titles can be on the PC! Our last title, Fairy
Fencer F, was well-reviewed for its Steam release so it’s safe to say that
Steam users love JRPGs and definitely want more.
DN: You have a new Neptunia title releasing in just a couple of weeks
with Megadimension Neptunia VII. This will be the first Nep title on the current generation
of consoles. Tell us a bit about what is going on this time with Nep and
IF: Megadimension Neptunia VII is actually three different stories, packed into
one game! So there’s more than a lot going for Nep and the gang. You’ll
meet new characters like Uzume, Umio, Adult Neptune, and the Gold Third (check
out their character pages on the Megadimension Neptunia VII website!) in
your journey through Zero Dimension, Hyperdimension, and the Heart
Dimension. It’s not only next gen, but there’s new transformations, called
“NEXT forms” too! The Neptunia team really took it to the next level with
this one. I hope everyone enjoys it!
DN: The PS4 doesn’t have a huge amount of JRPG titles in it’s library, so
for people that are looking for a new JRPG to play, but may not be familiar
with the Neptunia series, is this a good title to jump into with, or is it
closely tied with the other games in terms of timeline and story?
IF: The Neptunia series is expansive, and as you mentioned, has several
different spin-offs. Even if new players aren’t familiar with Nep and the
gang, I think Megadimension Neptunia VII is still a good place to start
off. Game consoles personified as cute girls and the Console Wars is
something relatable to any gamer, so they’ll be caught up to speed quickly!
DN: And finally, what video game or experience got you hooked on video
games. As gamers, we all have those memories of a game that will always
stick with us. What game or memory was it for you?
IF: My favorite video game of all-time is Skies of Arcadia for the SEGA
Dreamcast/Nintendo Gamecube. I haven’t played a JRPG like it since, and
it’s the reason that JRPG is my favorite genre to this day!
Check out the official trailer for Mega Dimension Neptunia VII releasing February 2nd exclusively on the Playstation 4!