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Localization Director for Capcom Aimed to Keep Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Meme Free

During his presentation on Game Developers Conference 2016 today, localization director Andrew Alfonso spoke a bit about his team efforts to translate games into Western audiences.

One of the games mentioned was Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, released last year in February in the U.S. and Europe. He stated:

“I started thinking that I don’t want people picking up my games on release saying, ‘I like these in-style meme references,’ and then another player picking up the games four years later and thinking, ‘They referenced 300 — that sucks!'”

This point was later emphasized on his presentation, as tweeted by  game developer Brian Folley: “Don’t Drive To Meme Country”

This seems to be a current concern with Nintendo consumers and fans, which have criticized the disruptive inclusion of outdated and forced “meme culture” into recent titles such as Fire Emblem: Fates and Bravely Second. Criticism and even Twitter campaigns were created in protest when those games came out.

But it seems players concerns are being taken heard by Capcom localization team. Remains to be seen if this concern will be taken in account by other developers.

,
Diogo Teixeira

About

A gamer since a young age, starting with oldies such as the IBM 386, Atari, and Commodore 64. A Portuguese guy with a tendency for snappy and witty remarks. Also harbors an obsession for adventure games.



72 comments
  1. Colt Machina
    Colt Machina
    March 18, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Good. I hate maymay games and fuck those who enables them

  2. djluke_1993
    djluke_1993
    March 18, 2016 at 9:36 am

    BREAKING NEW!!!!
    Nintendo have currently broken their Monster Hunter Exclusive contract with Capcom. Because Nintendo didn’t find them outdated enough…

  3. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    March 18, 2016 at 9:40 am

    That’s well and good, Capcom. Now how about you get rid of the buttslap censoring PC police?

  4. deadeye
    deadeye
    March 18, 2016 at 9:48 am

    That quote is EXACTLY why memes or pop-culture references in general are a bad idea.

    Not only is it just a lazy attempt to appeal to the mainstream, it dates the game and even makes it somewhat inaccessible to later generations, as they probably won’t get it.

    Also, when you’re playing a game in a medieval setting in a world that is far different from our own and all of a sudden someone drops a fucking Simpson’s reference, it totally takes you out of the game. Immersion is gone, suspension of disbelief is shattered.

    So “Don’t drive to meme country” is really solid advice that I hope more people get behind.

  5. Dom The Elegy
    Dom The Elegy
    March 18, 2016 at 9:48 am

    THANK!
    FUCK!

  6. magicalfollower
    magicalfollower
    March 18, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Sick burn on NoA/Treehouse!

  7. Feniks
    Feniks
    March 18, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Sad that this is even necessary. Nobody would even THINK about putting memes into Western games. But fuck Japan and weebs am I right? Gamers need to grow up they are all part of the evil patriarchy anyway.

  8. matty
    matty
    March 18, 2016 at 10:07 am

    There may be a few exceptions, but the only time memes should be localized is when the original Japanese script has them (e.g. Steins;Gate).

  9. Captain Vidya
    Captain Vidya
    March 18, 2016 at 10:09 am

    So you mean Capcom wants people to make their games where someone can pick their games up after the meme dies off and they’re not left scratching their heads wondering why the character is speaking in broken english/other language or saying something completely out of place/context for the setting?

    It’s about time someone said it.

  10. SiliconNooB
    SiliconNooB
    March 18, 2016 at 10:10 am

    That’s a big ol’ slap in the face to Nintendo!

  11. Anon630
    Anon630
    March 18, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Remember when games did so poorly in their home country that they could sell internationally and needed sprucing up before coming the West? Me neither.

    The people who are butchering IPs with their own dialog are a cancer, and I’m sure when enough time passes, the social justice fad will die off with people realizing how cringe-worthy these individuals were. I wake up every morning thinking, “Oh god, I’m still in the same dimension as these idiots!”

  12. Audie Bakerson
    Audie Bakerson
    March 18, 2016 at 10:46 am

    There’s actually a handful of NES games that did receive substantial gameplay improvements during the translation process.

    These are few and far between though.

  13. Sculptor
    Sculptor
    March 18, 2016 at 10:49 am

    wtf is he talking about, MH4U was filled with cheap meme content and colloquialisms.

    These are good talking points for sure, but not talking points that he actively tried to get happening in MH4U, that’s some straight up deception right there.

  14. Wonderkarp
    Wonderkarp
    March 18, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Nintendo was quoted to saying “They didnt Roxxors teh Suxxors” and proceeded to Gangnam Style Dance away from the contract

  15. Anon630
    Anon630
    March 18, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Yeah, that was my mistake. I had translation in mind when I said ‘sprucing’.

  16. Johnathon
    Johnathon
    March 18, 2016 at 10:54 am

    or you get castlevania 3 where they made the game play worse :^(

    Or battletoads where theu made it a rental spam over here :^(

  17. TsukuyomiMagi99
    TsukuyomiMagi99
    March 18, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Alright! Way to go Capcom you did something right for a change! Now if you didn’t make stupid business practices I’d actually like you. Baby steps though baby steps.

  18. Amerilard
    Amerilard
    March 18, 2016 at 11:12 am

    fuck ninturdo

  19. deadeye
    deadeye
    March 18, 2016 at 11:15 am

    What baffles me is that a lot of dialogue changes in games have nothing to do with “social justice”.

    They’re just changed for the hell of it. To make it funny, or make it appeal to a certain audience I guess.

    The Treehouse seems like they want a certain image. It’s like they try to be Disney or Pixar where the movies are understandable to kids but still (usually) entertaining to older folks. Which is fine and all. Nintendo has kinda done that for awhile. What they forget is they’re not the ones making the games and some games that are being made are clearly not going for that kind of image. But they don’t care, and they make all the dialogue “funny” and “quirky”. Characters generally will be given a very exaggerated personality trait.

    It’s either that or they just literally don’t know how to translate any other way.

  20. Brimfyre
    Brimfyre
    March 18, 2016 at 11:34 am

    We will have to struggle a little while longer, but this is encouraging to see some actual developer push back.

  21. Chocolate ISISCream
    Chocolate ISISCream
    March 18, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Don’t forget! The soundtrack was worse as well! God bless the VRC6 audio expansion chip.

  22. Zanard Bell
    Zanard Bell
    March 18, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Remember that feeling you get when CNN or some mainstream TV features an up-and-coming meme on their segment? That cringey feeling?

    This is why you don’t ‘meme up’ a game.

  23. Johnathon
    Johnathon
    March 18, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    I believe actually that’s the biggest loss thinking about it.

    I ask of people seeing this to listen to the first minuet of a few tracks in both the famicom and nes versions and just see how much was changed

  24. orbo
    orbo
    March 18, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    It’s sad, and ironic, when I can compliment capcom over everyone else for not doing something localization teams shouldn’t be doing in the first place.

  25. Lepito
    Lepito
    March 18, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    This man speaks the truth. It’s a nice sentiment but to act as if the MH localizations are completely meme-free is disingenuous. The quality gap between MH4U’s localization and FE:F’s however is pretty distressing.

  26. Carl B.
    Carl B.
    March 18, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Good first article bro.
    Also, C64 FOREVER!

  27. Immahnoob
    Immahnoob
    March 18, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Destroyed by Capcom. The irony.

  28. Immahnoob
    Immahnoob
    March 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    FEF is a complete utter failure in terms of localization.

    http://imgur.com/a/X2w49

  29. Chocolate ISISCream
    Chocolate ISISCream
    March 18, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Gotta ask them to listen to Lagrange Point, Gimmick! and MS Madara as well.

  30. dsadsada
    dsadsada
    March 18, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    IMO, ‘vigorous thrusting ending in an explosive climax’ is timeless.

  31. Johnathon
    Johnathon
    March 18, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Take a moment to consider that the devs thought this to be important enough to make known.

  32. 革命的な鶏
    革命的な鶏
    March 18, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    If that means we get to see MH on other platforms then I am all for it.

  33. Anon630
    Anon630
    March 18, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    What about games inserting personal pronouns or literally re-skinning characters into different ethnicities? In fact, it’s so engrained in the current year that you need a pair of rubber gloves just to handle the female form in your own title.

  34. InkBrush
    InkBrush
    March 18, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Didn’t Mighty SCAM No.9 pretty much plastered Game Grumps in a level?

  35. Stilzkin
    Stilzkin
    March 18, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    What kind of memes did MH4U have?

  36. InkBrush
    InkBrush
    March 18, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Also Skullgirls is massively guilty as fuck of cramming meme garbage in their game as well.

  37. John Smith
    John Smith
    March 18, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    He also goes on to say that 8-4 is a good localization company
    1 step forward.
    2 steps back.

  38. アントナント
    アントナント
    March 18, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Are you fucking kidding me?

  39. 萌えゲー
    萌えゲー
    March 18, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    But weeb money is just as good as pleb money…ef em let’s import/pirate~

  40. Narmy
    Narmy
    March 18, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    >8-4
    >quality localization

    does not compute

  41. Uncle Slick
    Uncle Slick
    March 18, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Fuck memes.

  42. scemar
    scemar
    March 18, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    THANK YOU
    YES
    PLEASE
    CHILL WITH THE MEMES

  43. アントナント
    アントナント
    March 18, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Not to forget that BinariSonori is the team which removed content from Bravely Second such as the bad quest end that might make people feel “undue regret for their actions.”

    So yeah “quality” localizations

  44. Daryl Corey
    Daryl Corey
    March 18, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    It is sad that it has gotten to the point I want to erect a shrine to this man for just doing his job right

  45. Vibhor
    Vibhor
    March 18, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Localisers have been shitting up japanese games for decades now m8
    If anything, I am more surprised more publishers aren’t using “Unbutchered translations” as a selling point

  46. NuclearCherries
    NuclearCherries
    March 18, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    I really hope Nintendo takes note of this.
    There is nothing that dates a game more than a meme reference.

  47. No_Good_Names_Ever
    No_Good_Names_Ever
    March 18, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Oh fuck, they actually made a Smokey the Bear reference?!
    Kid’s didn’t care about him when I was little and the edgy little shits today sure as hell won’t like him any better.

  48. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    March 18, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Memes are not inherently bad. But they have a time and a place, and a Monster Hunter game probably isn’t the place.

  49. bdp
    bdp
    March 18, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    After Fates i’d rather have them over treehouse.

  50. bdp
    bdp
    March 18, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Wow the list of changes was a lot more massive than i thought.

  51. Gamer
    Gamer
    March 18, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Bless you Andrew Alfonso.

    This was the only good thing to come from GDC I saw so far.

  52. Immahnoob
    Immahnoob
    March 18, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    More will be added tomorrow.

  53. Fenrir007
    Fenrir007
    March 18, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    “They’re just changed for the hell of it.””

    Or to make the localization bill bigger. “Hey, we changed 3000 things” must give you a bigger paycheck than “Hey, we changed 30 things”.

  54. Josh
    Josh
    March 18, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Glad to see some people still have standards

  55. Random Dude
    Random Dude
    March 18, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Time, place, and quantity. Add few meme for quick, cheap humor; Sprinkles a game with fuck ton of meme and you have a shit more cancerous than cancer.

  56. Random Dude
    Random Dude
    March 18, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Source? I need my quick cringe fix.

  57. InkBrush
    InkBrush
    March 19, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Is that true?

  58. InkBrush
    InkBrush
    March 19, 2016 at 1:47 am

    You mean still trying to recover from the shit that ass clown Inafune caused before he left to jew the Megaman fanboys out of four million?

    Yeah.

  59. Derek
    Derek
    March 19, 2016 at 3:28 am

    Nah, I think they are more concerned about staying above water, hard to explain to the boss when your game falls below the 8/10 range because it was too uncut and some butthurt SJW review talks shit about it.

  60. Derek
    Derek
    March 19, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Company tends to focus on quality over quantity, but that is the big problem with the industry is they are at the tender mercies of a sensitive journalist cartel who will dock points because certain mechanics made them feel uncomfortable.

  61. Eldhin Hellknight
    Eldhin Hellknight
    March 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Respect they deserve

  62. David Curry
    David Curry
    March 19, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    You’re not really going to avoid colloquialisms entirely– most 80s, 90s and 00s games show that they belong in their time– but it’s a good idea to avoid making the dialogue as “dank” as possible.

  63. TheCynicalReaper
    TheCynicalReaper
    March 19, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    NICE! This is so happy it’s grand
    I’m so glad they poked Treehouse in the eye like this, and NISA, and every other trash “localizer”.

    Who is this guy? We need more of him and his team. I’m not into hunting games anymore and I’m already looking to buy this

  64. morzinbo
    morzinbo
    March 22, 2016 at 5:55 am

    Isn’t that Xseed’s biggest selling point?

  65. Hfar
    Hfar
    May 29, 2016 at 12:42 am

    And who wants to bet that “Don’t drive to meme country” will become an un-ironic meme?

  66. gamebabble
    gamebabble
    May 30, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEMES

  67. GamersBlogX
    GamersBlogX
    July 14, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    And I come here now. 4U’s localization is already ten times better then MHGen’s localization. Why you might ask? Because MHGen has memes. No, I’m not kidding. It has Git Gud, and “IS YOUR BODY READY????” It has Monster Hunter in-jokes which I do not mind as much, seeing how it was supposed to be a celebration for Monster Hunter.

  68. GamersBlogX
    GamersBlogX
    July 16, 2016 at 5:39 am

    Tad late to reply to this, but yeah. 8-4 did Awakening’s localization, which wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t great, but at least it was tolerable.

  69. darkgamer001
    darkgamer001
    July 17, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Thank you for pointing it out.
    I came back to this article to see if anyone was going to say anything.
    Just a few hours of playing and so far:
    “git gud”
    “you wanna be the very best, like no hunter ever was?”
    multiple “noob” and “scrub” references
    “Mewling 1337 Airship”

    Watch out guys, we’ve come to a point where the promise of good localization has become a selling point, but unless we hold these companies accountable, it’ll just be another empty, broken promise.

    Sad times….but at least they keep fueling my motivation when learning Japanese.