Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment coming to Europe in July
posted on 05.13.14 at 09:16 PM EDT by (@salromano)
Like North America, the European version will be digital-only.

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment

Bandai Namco has confirmed it will release Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment in Europe and Australia this July.

The game was confirmed for a summer release in North America late last month.

Like the North American version, the European and Australian versions of the game will be a digital-only release.

“Adding such a strong license to our portfolio in Europe and Australia is an honour for us. Fans were looking forward to enjoy this game, we listened to them.“ said Bandai Namco Europe vice president of IP strategy Herve Hoerdt said.

“Our close collaboration with Sony allows us to release more and more niche games; Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is the result of this successful partnership!”

Play-Asia
  • Ta23 Ta28

    “Our close collaboration with Sony allows us to release more and more niche games”

    Interesting statement.

    • Zackasaur

      Sony have definitely been helping Japanese devs localise.

      • Guest

        can you link me somewhere that Sony been helping Japanese devs Pleeeease. it will help me a lot.

        • Sevyne

          Sony has an entire branch dedicated to assisting 3rd parties with localization/porting/etc. That news is like really old now. It’s just that we are starting to see the rewards from that as of recent.

          That and the whole #jrpgvita thing going on with Sony. (putting in that hashtag made me cringe, but that’s what it’s known as).

          You can even find a little bit of info right on this site (more random tidbits scattered around the internet if ya dig a bit).

          http://gematsu.com/2013/08/scea-forms-third-party-production-team

          http://gematsu.com/2013/11/sonys-third-party-production-team-will-have-at-least-one-if-not-a-few-announcements-within-the-next-six-months

          Those are two links from right here on Gematsu. Any other searching you’ll have to do on your own.

          • MrFinalgamer

            I guess that explains why so many niche games are getting localized. Hopefully at E3, or gamescom we see the…bigger projects (all the PSP games we missed)

            • Sevyne

              I don’t really expect much out of E3, but I hope we get one or two surprises. We’ll likely just hear more about games we already know are coming. Maybe we’ll get news of a few new ones by gamescom.

              • MrFinalgamer

                I want InFamous on mah Vita, hope to see an announcement at E3…although I doubt it =(

                I won’t even mention the JRPGs I want since most already know XD

    • MrFinalgamer

      Hope that includes Digimon!

    • tubers

      Wonder if that means the newly formed 3rd party relations team has been doing more than recognized (Shahid and GioCorsi).

  • TheBlackRabbit

    digital….oh well

  • dark-kyon

    madoka next please.

  • Zackasaur

    Not buying digital. :/

  • DrForbidden

    “Adding such a strong license to our portfolio in Europe and Australia is an honour for us.”

    Guess it still isn’t ‘strong’ enough to warrant a physical release…

    • Sevyne

      Strong license or not, it’s still an extremely niche game. Not that I really like all of these digital releases, but I’ll take it over nothing and I know why they do it.

      • 罪罰

        It’s coming, albeit digital only but you get to play the game, that’s what matters, to me anyways.

        • Sevyne

          Yep.

      • DrForbidden

        Hmmm… with the first season of the anime already available on BD and DVD, the second season going for simulcast, and the light novels getting translated into English, I don’t really agree that this is an ‘extremely niche’ title.

        There is plenty of interest among anime fans and otaku in general for the franchise. It’s only niche if you define anything that only anime-interested audiences are interested in as niche (read: virtually all anime-based games).

        • Sevyne

          It having a BD and DVD and also airing in the west does not make it even close mainstream (not saying you think that, but just covering ground). Sure, it’s more noticed here than a lot of other animes and LNs, but even then it’s appeal doesn’t reach as broad as you may hope.

          Also to add to that, the second strike against it’s appeal is the kind of game it is. While I’m a big fan of jrpgs and arpgs, they’re also not a massive draw in the west either. Sure, the desire for rpgs in general is growing a little bit again (especially on portables), but they are still a gamble to release here on a big budget. Very few can get away with tossing tons of cash at an rpg and actually pull a profit.

          Basically, I’m saying exactly what your second statement is saying (because anime fans are in fact a part of a niche crowd). This is kind of my point. They’ll draw a bigger crowd of potential buyers on the name alone, but it’s still likely not enough to warrant taking a hit on a physical release. Maybe a limited physical run similar to Shinovi Versus would have been feasible though.

          Damn, sorry for the long-winded post. haha

          • DrForbidden

            That’s fine, don’t worry about the length. I don’t disagree that it is a cost and a potential returns issue for Namdai. I don’t think it is accurate or adequate to base their sales decision on the ‘nicheness’ of the title, however, especially considering that the term is largely subjective.

            If we want to really talk about nicheness, then basically every other game on the Vita which is not Killzone: Mercenary or Soul Sacrifice can be arguably described as niche. Deception IV? Valhalla Knights 3? Gravity Rush? These would all be niche games that got physical releases. For crying out loud, Xblaze is getting a physical release, and that title is as niche as niche can get, what with it being a visual novel spin-off of a fighting game franchise. With the level of (growing) attention that the SAO franchise has in the west, calling it niche is kind of unconvincing to me. All the other titles I mentioned would have even smaller audience bases than SAO, all things considered.

            • Sevyne

              I won’t disagree with you on your points as proven with the other games you listed. You definitely aren’t wrong.

              This is Namdai we’re talking about here though. A company who up until recently wasn’t giving us much of anything at all. They’re much less likely to take bigger risks than the likes of Aksys (who’s been amazingly good towards Vita and super niche games/genres), and XSEED (also been incredibly good, though they do sometimes do digital only as well).

              I kind of chalk it up as Namdai not being ready to jump into the deep end of the pool just yet. We’ll see how things pan out in the future though.

            • Chestnut Bowl

              “If we want to really talk about nicheness, then basically every other game on the Vita which is not Killzone: Mercenary or Soul Sacrifice can be arguably described as niche. Deception IV? Valhalla Knights 3? Gravity Rush? These would all be niche games that got physical releases”

              And I guarantee all of those games have much cheaper licensing costs, especially since in each of those cases the game was brought over by the company that owns the IP.

              • DrForbidden

                That’s probably true. Still, it didn’t stop them going physical is Asia. I guess that just means that Namdai believes the game won’t sell nearly as well in the western market compared to Asia. That’s kind of stupid, though, considering the difference in affluence between the 2 regions.

      • Elvick

        It’s more “mainstream” than Hyperdimension Neptunia PP. And that’s getting a retail release… and Shinovi Versus… which is getting a retail release in NA…

        A limited retail release should have happened.

        Not sure why people continue to act like a physical release means they have to have 50 million copies in a warehouse somewhere.

        edit; Even Aksys’ otome localizations get retail releases and that’s uber niche.

        • Sevyne

          I actually go into that a little bit in my other post below. Trust me, I do agree to an extent.

    • michel

      I have no problem with digital only releases… I simply don’t buy them! ;)

  • 罪罰

    Sony should drop the price of the memory cards extremely if all these publishers are doing digital only for some of their games.

    • DrForbidden

      They can’t rip you off if they drop the price…

      • 罪罰

        SONEEEHHHHH

    • Sevyne

      This I can totally agree with.

      If we’re going to get tons of digital only titles, the memory card prices need to be more reasonable. It’s really one of the few hangups I have about digital games on Vita.

      • 罪罰

        I get they are trying to prevent hacking but come on, 50 bucks for 16gbs when a regular SD card goes for 12 bucks. Damn, that money could’ve gone to da games.

        • http://www.psvitadirect.com/ Kurisu Makise

          Er, not that the price is good or anything but the 16GB costs $39.99 not $50.

        • Elvick

          The price has nothing to do with hacking though. Propriety? Okay fine. Overpriced? No.

          Drop dem prices Sony.

    • tubers

      Probably one of the little reasons why retailer would stock up on VITAs (that probably have low profit margins fore core-units) because the cards may have higher profit margins for both Sony and retailers. Not much in demand games either (relative to direct competitor).

      ..or maybe not.

  • Tetris

    So I guess it’ll be a July release for NA as well?

    • DrForbidden

      Might be June.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/playstationunity DXVII

    If 90% of the game’s players make a krito I will rage.

    • Khrno

      Don’t worry, you might be one of the few that would make a -krito-, whatever that’s supposed to be ;)

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/playstationunity DXVII

        No I most definitely will not.

  • Kiryu

    Ehm yeah,that’s nice of you Sony but i will get the Taiwanese version.

    • Sang Nguyen

      Problem with that is if you use your EU or NA account, you won’t be able to download any DLCs.

  • Renaldi Saputra

    “Fans were looking forward to enjoy this game, we listened to them.”
    so is Digimon World Re:Digitize Decode and another games by Bandai Namco.

    They should know what they must do next

    • Ladius

      Chances are we will see more handheld localizations from them if we support the titles they’ve already announced, they’ve said Tales of Innocence R could be localized if Hearts R does well and I think Digimon could have a chance, too, just as the upcoming 3DS Tales of the World game.

      • Renaldi Saputra

        I agree with you

  • http://www.psvitadirect.com/ Kurisu Makise

    I recall adding Sword Art Online to my voting list for #jrpgvita so I guess Namco really did decide to play ball.

  • Elvick

    Bah, digital only there too. D:<

    "Our close collaboration with Sony allows us to release more and more niche games; Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is the result of this successful partnership!”

    So much for Sony having nothing to do with this stuff…

  • natchu96

    How on earth did this happen as well?

  • http://myanimelist.net/profile/chibuki chibuki

    It’s not like I need even more games to play this year, but will still buy it. Hope this partnership blossoms to the eventual release of Cyber Sleuth.

  • Learii

    what month is will released in NA?

    • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 武神水樹

      They haven’t said

      • Learii

        oh ok

  • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 武神水樹

    I wanna play

  • DrForbidden

    It’s unlikely we’ll know until after it has been released.

  • Adam Swenson

    My body is ready!!! I love sword art online!