A recent interview with the Tales series producer, Hideo Baba, reveals his stance on integrating global appeal for the Tales games. When Baba was asked about how he feels about the “western status” of the series popularity, this was his response:
“The Tales series has been developed with Japanese players in mind, so achieving success in Japan is a major goal for us. But when the development schedule makes it possible, we do like to create localized versions for some titles in the hopes that players outside of Japan will hear about the series and get to like it.”
Later on in the Interview, when further pressed about the subject of global appeal for the series, Baba stood his ground:
“If we worried too much about what foreign players might think when we were developing them, we wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of our strengths as game creators. That’s our first priority — to preserve what makes the Tales series so great. It’s up to the foreign players whether they like them or not.”
These are very interesting statements, since many fans of the popular Final Fantasy series feel recent titles have suffered because of Square-Enix’s attempt to “westernize” the series. I am personally a big fan of the Tales series (as mentioned in the “Tiger Festival” episode of the Spoony Bard podcast), and one of the reasons is it has a much different feel than western RPG’s. Western game critics often claim games like the Tales series are repetitive and full of tired cliché’s, but personally I would rather explore colorful and imaginative worlds with fun characters than run and gun from one blasted-out foxhole to another any day. Hit the source for the full interview with Hideo Baba!