This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) taking place in Los Angeles has been filled with news about Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE) upcoming virtual reality (VR) headset, the PlayStation VR. From release dates for the headset itself, to the reveal of exclusive videogame content, and a packed booth on the show floor that has 40 VR demos for attendees to try, Sony has certainly kept fans of VR happy. Though announcements for the Japan release of the headset have been slightly quieter and more likely to be posted online rather than announced on stage, Japanese PlayStation VR fans have also had the release date confirmed and been shown a lineup of all the games planned for release in their region.
As is always the case, there are some videogames scheduled for release in Japan that aren’t likely to be released globally. For PlayStation VR this includes rhythm action title Hatsune Miku VR: Future Live and, so it was thought, social simulator Summer Lesson.
Now, however, it seems there is a chance Summer Lesson could be released further afield than Japan according to the title’s producer Katsuhiro Harada. In an interview with Siliconera Harada was asked whether, now that the title as been confirmed for release in Japan with a release date, there would be any chance of the title being localised for other countries. In response Harada was quick to point out that, due to its social interaction-heavy content, localising the title would be an extremely difficult task. The first problem, he said, would be the difficulty of fixing the lip syncing for each language as “you really need this to be perfect to have immersion in gameplay.” He went on to say “Also, when you have characters from every different race or nationality, someone else would say ‘mine is not included,’ which is the climate we currently see with games. Since there are people who can’t set aside the game and the actual problems in society, I don’t want open that can of worms.”
Despite these considerable difficulties, Harada did say that if a region has particularly enthusiastic fans “that does make it more possible”, referring to the fact that the enthusiasm of Japanese fans is how the videogame actually came to be a title for release in the first place.
Summer Lesson is to be released in Japan on October 13th 2016 at the same time as the PSVR headset. VRFocus will follow its release and report any localisation developments as they happen.