Tuesday, 20 November 2012

7th Dragon: Will We Ever See It in the West?

I first saw this game during a trip
to Japan a few years ago, and have
been fascinated with it ever since.
Sega is one of those companies that leaves a lot of people scratching their heads with some of the business decisions that it makes. I'm not going to start talking about all of them here because that would take a massive blog post unto itself, but I do want to look at some of their recent choices, or I guess lack of choices, in games that they've localized for the West. Really, I just want to rant a bit about how 7th Dragon has never seen a release outside of Japan because it seems like such a waste.

I know it's a bit of a niche game, but it's not like companies such as Atlus, XSEED, and NIS America haven't found ways to turn a profit on such games. Why can't Sega find a way to do the same? From what I've read, some publishers seem to think that the game was too challenging for a Western market. This seems silly, and like an excuse one would have heard in the early 90s as to why a game wasn't coming out here. There are plenty of people who like tough games here, so I find it difficult to believe that challenge would be an issue. According to Hardcore Gaming 101, there may also have been tensions between Kazuya Niinou and Atlus, which prevented Atlus from localizing the game for the West, which is a shame if it's true.

There was a futuristic sequel on the PSP that we never got either.
I'm not going to describe the game in detail here, there's a decent Wikipedia page discussing it, and an absolutely fantastic article describing the RPG at Hardcore Gaming 101, so check those sites out if you want to learn more about the game. I'll just say that it's a really snazzy overhead RPG with a bit of a who's who of JRPG developers involved with it (Kazuya Niinou of Etrian Odyssey fame, Reiko Kodama of Phantasy Star and Skies of Arcadia, and composer Yuzo Koshiro).

It's probably too late to hope for the DS game to come our way in anything other than a fan made English patch (probably the same for the PSP game), but with recent news that a new install is being shown in an upcoming Famitsu, it's gotten me thinking about the series again, and what a shame it is that it never came to the West. Sad Jejun is sad.

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