Famitsu.com spoke with Level-5 boss Akihiro Hino during Namco Bandai’s Global Gamers Day event last week. During the interview, Hino talks about the game’s overseas delay, the reason why the DS version was not localized, and a potential sequel.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is due in Q1 2013. The team is trying to create as accurate a translation as possible, thus the large gap between its Japanese November 2011 release. The game has over a million words to translate.
While the Japanese voiceovers are always an option, the English voiceovers will adapt similar styles. Drippy, for example, has an Osaka accent in the Japanese voiceover. However, in the English voiceover, he adopts a Welsh accent.
A Level-5 localization director is heading up Ni no Kuni‘s English translation. He has plenty of experience in localization, though this is his first title for Level-5.
Nintendo DS Version
The Nintendo DS version of Ni no Kuni was not localized due to the difficulties that would arise trying to sell the game with the necessary “Magic Master” spell book. The book itself would have also been difficult to translate. The PlayStation 3 version of the game includes a digital version of the book.
If the overseas version of Ni no Kuni performs well, Level-5 would like to create more entries in what would then become the Ni no Kuni series. Hino seems keen on the game’s success, noting past Level-5 games’ tendency to sell better overseas. Dark Cloud sold 120,000 in Japan, but went on to sell over a million worldwide. Dark Cloud 2 and the Professor Layton series have shown similar results. Ni no Kuni also has the backing of Studio Ghibli, which is a widely admired animation studio in the west.