Tales of Facebook

By • April 23, 2011

Been meaning to make this post for a while, but I kept putting it off. People have been asking, so let’s talk about how I’m working with Namco-Bandai.Those of you who are following the Tales series Facebook page may have noticed that some dude named Matt was recently made one of the admins. And that’s me. Shortly after the announcement of Tales of Graces for localization, Namco-Bandai’s community manager Rich Bantegui aka FilthieRich got in touch with Tempus of Tales of Graces fan translation fame. Rich wanted people who could be the bridge between fans and Namdai. And that’s where Tempus and I come in as community managers.

Hearing Rich talk about community is enough to get me really excited as a Tales fan. He wants to get people excited about Graces so that it’s a huge success. Graces is the first step in helping convince Namdai that Tales fans are here to stay. So we’re helping to spread the word. And we’re here to listen. Rich really wants to hear what fans have to say and Tempus and I are able to help span that gap between Namdai and the fans. This is the kind of interaction and attention that Tales fans have been seeking for years.

So what exactly do we do as community managers? Part of it is just being involved with the community and taking the pulse of the fanbase. Rich wants to know what people are talking about, so by staying involved, we can help him stay in touch with the fans of the series. Part of it is getting people excited about Tales – that Tales Union contest was something that we planned. Rich said he wanted something to bring people together. He provided the prizes, and we provided the chance for people to get involved. We hope to run more contests and give out more great prizes going forward. Fan passion was a big part of what got us Tales of Graces in the first place, so keeping that passion focused in a meaningful way is the best way to ensure the success of the game and the series. And part of it is helping to plan how Tales of Graces and the Tales Series is presented at a higher level.

This was a chance I jumped at – a chance to support the series I love in an even more meaningful way. That doesn’t mean that just because I acquired the Community Manager title that I’ve lost the Translator title. I will continue working for the community in the same way that I always have, I’ve just added some additional ways that I can help ensure that Tales finds the international success that it deserves. My goal remains the same it always has been – help fans outside Japan get access to more Tales games. We’re always looking for great ideas to help support the Tales series, so if you’ve got some, share them!

About the Author

I'm the translator for Absolute Zero. I also take care of the project updates.

28 Responses to “Tales of Facebook”

  1. As a fan of the JRPG genre in general I just have to thank you for your efforts!

  2. you’ve been a great help to this series throughhim, thank you for everything
    let’s hope this is a new era for tales :p

  3. Congratz to you and Tempus throughhim. I think it speaks not only for Tempus’ and your skills as translators, but also as communicators, to have achieved getting the attention of Bandai in such a manner. I know it sounds kinda asssuckie but I really mean that.

  4. Congrats to both of you *claps* looking forward to see if this influences future tales πŸ™‚

  5. I have been following this site for years now and am always happy to be able to play games I would never have had the chance to otherwise (unless I learn Japanese that is). I have to say that the effort you put into bringing us these great games is so appreciated. I had a blast with “Tales of Innocence” and can honestly say that I find the language in Japanese with subtitles a much more pleasant way to play these games. The other JRPG games out there that give the option for the original language with subtitles in English are always more memorable in my opinion.

    You and the great folks that have worked on the past translations have done an outstanding job. I look forward to future gaming sessions that will be possible thanks to that effort. I’m glad that there are those willing to give their time for others and with no other reward than a job well done. Thanks so much for your continued support of the Tales games and the Tales fans.
    J-

  6. congratz throughhim these are great news, well my only idea is that BANDAI-NAMCO release some sor of patch to those who already bought their TOG: F game in japanese… well it’s all ^^ good news that NAMCO-BANDAI is worrying about us here in america U_U

  7. Btw throughhim, I totally get that your focus as community managers of the western Tales fan-base is on North American localizations.

    My question is however: do Europe and/or Australia fall entirely out of that, let’s call it “juristiction” for lack of a better word, or might some of these “factions” (again, lack of better word) actually get a message across via your contact with Rich?

    (*super-duper-straight-forward-mode-on* messages along the lines of: “you know rich; if you aren’t planning on releasing in Europe anyway, then for Pete’s sake, don’t regionlock that/those game(s))

  8. @Hatake: Yeah, I believe Europe and Australia are pretty much out of Rich’s jurisdiction. His position is Community Manager for Namco Bandai Games North America. Europe and Australia have their own management and localization arms. So while the localization of a property in one region does raise the likelihood of a truly international release, it’s not a guarantee and I don’t think there’s much Rich can do about it really. All of the international offices branched off the original Japanese company, so they still look to Japan for guidance on some issues, but even then, the localization decisions come from the regional headquarters. There is coordination between the different regional headquarters, I’m sure, but honestly, your best bet is to seek out the decision makers or community managers for your region and start asking them about the release. I think that would be more effective than trying to go through Rich for it.

  9. Thanx for your reply throughhim!

    Yeah I pretty much expected that answer. I thought I’d ask just in case though. πŸ™‚

    On a related note, fortunately, I have a U.S. 3ds, so I’m just gonna cross my fingers for abyss3d hitting stateside πŸ˜€

  10. It’s great to see that they’re trying. Tales games are amazing and ToV was definitely the best jrpg to hit stateside so far in this gen of consoles. The reason that they don’t sell as well as other jrpg titles that aren’t as great though, *coughffxiiicough* is because they lack, or decide not to spend enough funds on advertising. No offense to you throughhim, but I think Namdai’s money is better spent on advertizing rather than hiring CMs for what is essentially a small, to medium size community that is already loyal and will eat up any Tales game that will release on a console they own. Which brings me to another point, lack of consistency. The tales series should try to be more consistent when it comes to releasing games on consoles. They should try to stick to one damn console instead of changing it up for every release. If they do that they might be able to better hold onto their current fanbbase and build upon it. To be honest when I look at a lot of the decisions Namdai’s made over the the last 10 years in regards to this series it makes me wonder how they’re still in business. It seems like they’re trying to intentionally ruin the survival chances of this series with every decision they make. It’s sad to see such talented teams work under dimwitted, talentless management.

    On a side note though, what does this mean in regards to the fan translation scene? Is there no conflict in interest at all? If not, you should try and see about getting a budget for your ongoing/future projects and then releasing on them on PSN/XBL.

  11. Well, they’re not actually paying us anything. It’s volunteer work. So they’re probably getting fairly good returns on what they’re paying. Haha.

    I absolutely agree with your statement about consistency. It is important and something that the series has lacked in the past. Who knows, if Graces is successful, maybe we’ll finally see that change.

    We were approached because we were involved in fan translation but that has nothing to do with what we’re doing now. I don’t intend to allow either role to interfere with my duties for the other.

  12. I would like the next Tales of… game to have a lot less superfluous dialogue.

    Tell him that excessive amounts of dialog to not equal plot.

    Do not change the battle system, though. I would put up with twice the amount of irritating anime preteens whining about their individuality for that.

  13. Wow throughhim, your connection with Rich really does work! Why I only mentioned my wish for a US Abyss3ds release yesterday, and here ya go:

    http://tales.namco.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=85868&start=930

    Now, for my next wish. I could really use a pool shaped like pacman to impress my friends. It’s a Namco character, so Rich should be able to pull it off! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

  14. “We’re always looking for great ideas to help support the Tales series, so if you’ve got some, share them!”

    Okay, I’ve been waiting to say this… mwha.

    I gotta say that I love trailers. A lot, really. A really good trailer can get me hyped for a game for how many months necessary — that, I think, is one of Square’s greatest strenghts: their game trailers are really well-done, have great sound editing, exhibit the story while avoiding spoilers, show off the flashiest scenes and gameplay moves… etc.

    Tales trailers on the other hand tend to be… lackluster. I mean, in Japan, lots and lots of trailers are released until the release, as a way to keep fans from forgetting that the game exists. And they get progressively better too; I think you remember how much I loved that one Innocence trailer from TGS. That was an awesome trailer. The official Vesperia american trailer, on the other hand, was really lackluster (the DotnW trailer was a step in the right direction. Not quite there yet, though). Not to mention that it was the only trailer, period.

    So, what I want to say? Make trailers! Seriously. Namco has to keep the game on the map. Make multiple (good) trailers/gameplay videos, gradatively over time. Announce voice actors. Announce features. Post screenshots with the most amusing lines. Always keep the game on the map.

    That is my suggestion.

  15. It’s really awesome that your efforts are being recognised by Namdai in a more official way! I’m gonna head over to the Facebook page in a mo and post a little message to show my support!

    For OBVIOUS reasons, I just want more Tales games actually translated! And what’s more, released in the EU! Living in the UK means that there are barely any Tales games I can play without emulation, I mean, the main reason I want a 3DS at the moment is the vague hope that Abyss 3D will get a UK release.

    The Tales Series doesn’t have the greatest following in the UK, but the Tales fans I know are die-hard and spend obscene amounts of money on not only the games, but merchandise too.

    So please, more translations and UK releases! We’re suffering over here! Sure, Vesperia is awesome, but it took 10 months between the American release and the UK release… Pretty stupid considering it only plays in one language anyway.

    But yeah… Please… UK… We’re so sad. ):

  16. Do you think there might ever be a chance of Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X being localized? That, I think, would truly be awesome! I think English-speaking Tales fans really deserve a chance to play the game that started it all (aside from the crappy GBA port we got a few years ago), and Tales of Phantasia X is currently the best version/re-make available. Plus, with the Narikiri Dungeon remake, it’s two games in one!

    I’m thinking primarily about Tales fans who aren’t really into the fan translation scene. My cousins, for example, have played every single Tales game released here America, but they know nothing about fan translations, modded consoles, game emulation, or anything like that.

  17. On a personal level, I would love to see ToP: NDX localized. I loved the remake of Narikiri Dungeon and the version of ToP that was included was certainly the best version of Phantasia to date. It’s an amazing package and a great value for gamers who know Japanese. I think it would be great if we did get it, but I don’t think that’s a very likely scenario.

    I don’t think that any of the PSP games are very likely for localization at this point. There are a several reasons I say that, but the two main ones are piracy and the NGP. Much like the DS, I think piracy is a major part of the equation when it comes to PSP localization. There are just too many potential sales lost to pirates for a series like Tales that demands a lot of resources to localize to begin with. The 3DS and PS3 (even with recent events) are still the safest bets when it comes to avoiding rampant piracy. The second issue is the NGP, the PSP’s replacement. With a new system on the way, the old one is slowly phased out. Since it doesn’t seem like the NGP is going to support UMD’s, it’s hard to say that it would be a worthwhile purchase for consumers and thus harder to justify the localization.

  18. HAH! See? I was right about you secretly working for Namco and just wanted to advertise Graces being translated!

  19. Saloma, what are you talking about?

  20. What Namco/Bandai needs to know is that it helps to actually be able to find a game in a store before it gets discontinued.

    When I look at Valkyria Chronicles, Eternal Sonata, Fragile Dreams, Tales of Vesperia, etc you know what I can say definitively?

    You couldn’t even see these in a store. I’ve literally missed the release of each of these games (except Vesperia… which ended up being a half-game with the best parts IE flynn and the full story being on the ps3 version) simply for one reason – because I wasn’t aware they were out, and by the time i realized they were (only a few months after) it was already too late.

    I’m glad eternal sonata got the PS3 rerelease treatment, but I had to eventually track a copy down online rather than just come across it at ebay.

    So you can say that sales suck – but it doesn’t help that the prints are so low!

  21. I’ve been following Filthie Rich since around Tekken 6’s launch, and man things have been HAPPENIN’ since then. I was pretty happy when he landed the community manager job, and this definitely adds to my rapture. If I was worried before, I’m definitely not now. There may be some up and down days in the future, but I’m really thankful for what you guys have been doing.

  22. Will we get to hear more of your sexy voice?

  23. Recommend that the advertise it and not just a little bit, a lot. The real problem is that Tales games see almost no advertisement revenue and word of mouth simply just isn’t enough. Viral internet activity and being within the community is only half-way there, they need to focus on showing Tales to a new crowd, especially if they want to focus on having a strong foothold outside of Japan.

    I believe that Tales can do it, but Namco-Bandai must stop calling it a failure when they only put half their heart into it.

  24. Congratulations, throughhim! With you on board sales will surely soar into the hundreds of thousands. Work hard, now!

    @Sahgo

    I think that’s actually a really good point. I’ll be honest — I do sort of agree with the “needs moar ads” argument for Tales, but I have no idea how one would go about actually advertising in an effective manner. You hit upon a good point — great trailers, previews, and commericals are probably the best way to do it. That’s something that could get people excited about the game — a trailer that goes for a personal Graces touch and isn’t just “heroes band together… to save the world!!”. They’re kind of expensive to produce though, so money is likely a big issue. Not sure where would be the best venue for video commercials, either… TV? Youtube? Or just animated banners on GameFAQs/other gaming sites with ad slots?

  25. At least NB is adding wood to the flame, so that people can actually see the smoke.

    Too bad they completely dodge any question related to a release date. I know it’s because announcing one can disappoint when it doesn’t pull through, but it’s easier to wait when you know when it will come.

    Anyway, throughhim, good for you. I hope this new marketing strategy rakes in the sales, and I won’t have to destroy years of free time just to study japanes for the Tales series.

  26. Guy this is fantastic!!! I desire you lucky , thanks to your interest everyone win and who knows.. possibly one day release date will be same in Japan and USA, dual games from japan up the sales sure!!! one day our dream done reallity with Vesperia release date in USA, could happen same for TALES OF XILLIA?

    P.S: If Tales of XIllia will be released in USA, I can rest in peace… xD, I keep crossing my fingers.. ^_^

  27. this is so full of win! πŸ˜€

  28. Dude, if you are a bridge between the developers and the fans, then convince them to localize Tales of Graces for the Wii. It’s a total ripoff that they apparently can’t take voice data and text translation for the PS3 version and put it into the Wii version.

    It would not only be a great idea, but those who don’t have PS3s would DEFINITELY pay for a Wii version.

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