So, lots of people have had questions/concerns about the decisions we've made in localizing the title. While I have made some statements myself about the changes we're making, HERE
is our official statement as a company. Whatever I may have personally said, you can consider this our company's definitive position.
Here are some common questions I've heard, so please look this over before posting.
Q: Did you make these changes based on one specific region? If so, why not just release different versions in different regions?
A: No, these changes are not based on one region. We made our decision after talking with EVERY region's rating board and getting feedback from each one. So different versions isn't an option in this case regardless, and more generally speaking, different versions for different regions is incredibly cost-prohibitive for a company our size, and so isn't a great option overall.
Q: Can you release an unedited DLC pack for each region later?
A: No. Any DLC that may change a game's rating must be evaluated separately, and if it does get a higher rating, the main game will also gain that rating retroactively.
Q: Was this decision actually made to appeal to a wider audience?
A: No. We made only the changes we felt were necessary in order to release the game at all in each region. If you hear us refer to "reaching a wider audience" it's because if we can't release a game in a given region, then we aren't reaching that audience.
Q: Do you honestly believe the changes were necessary? I heard that the ESRB/PEGI/OFLC doesn't actually care about this kind of content.
A: We can't comment about the information other people have or haven't gotten from individual rating boards. We were in touch with the rating boards ourselves and made our decision accordingly. It's up to you to decide if you believe us or not, but we've said all there is to say on that subject.
Q: Can you tell me exactly what each region said, what their problems were with the content, etc.?
A: Unfortunately, no. We've released as much information as possible regarding our discussions with the rating boards. There's nothing more for us to say on that topic.
Q: What about this other game that seems to have much worse content? If game X was okay, shouldn't this one be okay?
A: Since we weren't involved with games from any other company, we can't comment on their ratings or content. You would have to discuss that with the rating boards that actually reviewed them, or the companies that released them. We can only make decisions based on our direct discussions with the rating boards.
Q: Why not just submit the final, unedited version of the game to each rating board, and if they have issues, change it then?
A: Getting a game rated is one of the last things we do in the localization process. We can't get an official rating until the game has been fully translated and programmed for a Western release, which is also when we begin debugging the game (QA). Due to the time it takes to get a rating, we sometimes don't get all regional ratings until near the end of QA. If we were to get a rating that prevented us from releasing the game at this point, it would have a huge effect on the schedule of not only that game, but every project we have lined up after it. The game would have to be reprogrammed and retested, which while it may not sound like much trouble...very much is. For a company of our size, this simply isn't feasible. This is precisely why we contacted the boards ahead of time - it was a decision that had to be made well in advance of submission.
If anyone has any other questions that aren't addressed here, I'll be happy to add them. I'll try to keep up on the thread, but other than this original post and any updates here, I will likely not be engaging in conversation - I want to keep all information centralized. You're free to PM me as well, but based on recent PM conversations with people trying to threaten my job and other problems over my replies, I will be limiting my interaction there as well.
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: I'm not going to limit discussion of the topic itself, but any amount of hostility, aggression, or otherwise negative or destructive conversation will be strictly moderated. That's true whether it's aimed at us directly or at other users.