On their Investor Relations, Capcom, the creators of game franchises such as Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Monster Hunter, and more have made a statement regarding their considerations during localization.
In their “Sustainability” section under “Relationship with Customers“, the company candidly explains that their localization process includes considering “Japanese norms” which could “can end up hurting users”.
You can read the full statement below:
Localization and culturalization
Capcom games are enjoyed worldwide. In the fiscal year ended March 2022, the percentage of home video games sold overseas was 83.1%. Naturally, translation (localization) of video games developed in Japanese is required so that game players around the world can enjoy them. The volume and importance of localization is increasing year after year due to factors such as improvements in game machine performance, support for online gameplay, and an increase in the number of languages accompanying a more diversified, global audience. As such, Capcom’s localization team is involved in game development from the initial stages.
By carrying out localization concurrently with development, rather than following completion of the Japanese language version as had been done in the past, Capcom is able to launch games simultaneously around the globe. What is more, depending on the country, simply translating games developed under Japanese norms can end up hurting users unexpectedly due to historical, religious, or cultural differences.
As such, we focus on employing staff from around the world to culturize the games so that they can be enjoyed by all, regardless of locale.
Localization has become a hot button issue in recent years as many games end up censored for their western release. Many times, this is a result of a platform-holder’s policies such as PlayStation copies of Alice Gear Aegis CX: Concerto of Simulatrix censoring outfits left untouched on platforms like the Nintendo Switch.
However sometimes, these changes come from the developer themselves.