Friday, 6 April 2012

Kickstarter 2 - Localization Boogaloo

Will Kickstarter give opportunities for people to play games that wouldn't otherwise make it out of Japan?

Ever since Double Fine drew attention to the power that Kickstarter could lend games there's been no shortage of projects attempting to be funded -- granted, there were plenty before as well, but Double Fine arguably brought a lot of attention to the idea -- even projects like Wasteland 2 are being funded through Kickstarter. So what is the next logical step? Well, how about localization of games that would otherwise never get a release outside of Japan?

The most notable project for localization I can find at the moment is the Class of Heroes 2 localization for the PSP that's currently on Kickstarter. They are aiming to localize the entire series, but they figure that the second is a good place to start. The concept behind the game doesn't seem so far-fetched as to prevent a localization otherwise, but doing something like this could -- if successful -- lead to more obscure projects, or perhaps older ones, getting a chance to be released over here legally.

Certainly there are some other considerations to make for popular series. Games like Super Robot Wars would probably be a nightmare to release over here due to licensing, but there are people that want to play these games and actually give money back to the companies that developed them; localization is the first step to them being able to do so officially and legally.

The Kickstarter also offers gamers a chance to be recognized as part of the people that brought the localization to life. Rewards range from copies of the games to even a trip to E3 or becoming a character in the game itself. Certainly if I had the money being able to go to E3 as somewhat of a VIP (at least to these guys) would be an amazing experience and one that I'd certainly capitalize on.

What I'm ultimately getting at here though is that the uses we've seen for Kickstarter are going to range from funding projects, to allowing work to be done with already existing franchises. I certainly wish the people working on the Class of Heroes 2 localization the best of luck, because if they succeed it will go a long way to proving that not only can Kickstarter fund games, but also help them in other ways as well.

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