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Dragon Quest XI on Switch is based on PS4 version, localization will not be censored

Square-Enix has already told Switch fans that they'll be waiting a long time for Dragon Quest XI on Switch, but at least we know the game is coming. While details are scarce on the project, we do have confirmation that the Switch version is going to use the PS4 verison as a base. Furthermore, Square-Enix confirmed that the NA/EU release of Dragon Quest XI is not going to be censored from the Japanese version. The localization will include all the Japanese cultural references, as well as any/all content that might be considered risque.

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Top Rated Comment

These censorship announcements are really stupid.

Wonderful news that it won't be censored.

These censorship announcements are really stupid.

nurio
Mon Apr 16 18 06:40am
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

To be fair, there's some precedence with censorship in Dragon Quest. (Whether we can call it actual censorship or localization is neither here not there, so I'll leave that debate in the middle.)
As such, it makes sense to announce that this title won't have these issues like past games have had

So... what, was the PS4 version censored or something?

No, they just means when it comes over to North America they're not going to tone down things that are sexual or violent in nature. Like if a female character is wearing a really revealing outfit that shows off a lot of cleavage they're not going to cover the cleavage, or if there's a scene showing someone or something getting stabbed through with a sword they're not going to remove the stabbing (like what Namco did when Tales of Berseria was localized).

Still annoyed they aren't localizing the 3ds version.

If there is someone here that believes games shouldn't be censored, would you mind explaining your reasoning? The people that I have known to have this opinion generally are just upset that there will be less sexual content, which is fair enough, but often not appropriate for the target audience in the region the games is being localised for.

Sun Apr 15 18 06:20pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

It's not a big issue with me; I usually never know what as been censored or not. But when it is brought to my attention, I always say leave it uncensored. I'm not a worried parent so it is in my interest to get the content as it was originally conceived. I don't want it watered down and filtered. I don't need it neutered.

hawk
Sun Apr 15 18 11:14pm
Rating: 2

Part of it is the idea that a game developer is essentially saying, "See this sexy/violent thing here? Japanese people can handle it. But Americans can't. So let's protect the Americans from having to see it."

jd
Mon Apr 16 18 02:43am
Rating: 2

Not sure if it's to protect Americans so much as it's to protect them from backlash from whiney Americans.

nurio
Mon Apr 16 18 06:36am
Rating: 1

Exactly this. They're covering for themselves, not actually protecting other people. I also think it's usually the publisher's decision, not the developer's

That makes sense. It's probably the best decision to do so, but it would be annoying if it resulted in content being removed.

That is probably more true than many people care to admit.

I think people would get upset if someone posted a well thought out answer as to why censoring may be good in some scenarios. That's how the Internet works.

autumnalblake
Mon Apr 16 18 08:46am
Rating: 1 (Updated 2 times)

This website has a very good community that can have a proper discussion, in my experience.

I think that censorship is appropriate in the cases when something may be more acceptable in Japanese culture, but will offend people in other countries (for example, Japan has different views on non-hetrosexuality, which are present in some games). In cases like these, censorship from the localisation team prevents the game causing offence, while not affecting the experience in a meaningful way. Offending groups of people is never a good thing.

Get your downvotes ready boys and girls. ;) Here's an honest answer from a real life dad with elementary aged kids.

tl;dr - Not everyone has the same values as you and businesses want to make money.

First, you must understand that different homes are not like yours. Sure your parents might shout obscenities towards each other when they're arguing. Mine sure did! Some parents might even be cool with their kids swearing. But then there are homes like mine where I don't shout obscenities at my wife... ever. I don't swear at my kids... ever. And I understand this gets people angry because I'm some sort of goodie two shoes, but wouldn't you rather live in an environment where you're not cursed at and disrespected? I know my wife and kids sure do. Yes, I get kids pick up a lot from school. I was a kid once. But shouldn't my home be a comfortable place absent of the bullying and cruelty of school? Judge me if you must, but I care more about what my wife and kids think of me than random people online.

Because of how I choose to run my home, if a game has a lot of cursing, I won't buy it. It isn't for me. It doesn't fit in my home. Businesses understand this, so they sometimes choose to soften the language a bit to get their game/movie/whatever into my home.

Let's talk about violence. Consider for a moment that you may be desensitized to the violence. For me, I want violence to be dramatic and tragic. When my family sees violence I want their brains to immediately think, "This is a bad thing". So I don't buy a lot of violent games. I especially never buy games that require cruel and unjust violence to progress. To put it in perspective, "Phoenix Wright" - Okay for my home. "GTA V" - Not okay for my home.

And finally, let's talk about sex... baby (sorry, couldn't help the dad joke... which was probably lost on all of you born after 1995). To me, women are not objects for my pleasure, but real humans just like me. A game can be made without sexualizing a woman for no reason at all. I don't want my son to grow up thinking of women as a lessor human, but rather a compliment that is equal in dignity to him. Let's admit it. Some games are just as playable without the heroine running around in her underwear. And the plot makes way more sense when women are dressed appropriately.

All in all business want to make money, so they make business decisions to get their product into my home. This is good for you because games that don't sell don't have sequels.

For me, I would like a dynamic censorship solution. A way that both parties are happy. One where I can say, "Here's how much sex, swearing, drug use, etc... that I'm comfortable with" and the game simply adjusts. I lower the meter to more tame and women get appropriate clothes and say "dangit" more. :D You can leave it where you want.

Can you give some examples of games that weren't acceptable to you (for your kids) in their original form, but that companies censored and then you felt that with those changes it was appropriate for your kids?

Not really. Mostly because I'm not familiar with the content of the original game. I judge a game based on the localized version. One game I won't get because of being uncensored is SNK Heroines. It's a shame because the game looks otherwise perfectly fine. Oh, and Beyond Good and Evil II's trailer convinced me not to buy it. Such a shame because I was looking forward to it.

But let me throw out an example from the movie world. When I was a kid, channels like TBS would play censored versions of popular movies. So I watched many favorites including "Karate Kid", "Beatlejuice", "Back to the Future", and even "Howard the Duck" that way. Today, censored copies aren't available. While I have no problem watching these movies uncensored, I wouldn't want to play them uncensored for my kids. So they'll just have to wait until they're a bit older before being exposed to these classics.

At the end of the day, what I read online is kids complaining that they put more clothes on a 14 year old character or something. But really, is that a terrible thing that takes away from the game? Is it really that bad that the hero doesn't drop an F-Bomb?

nurio
Mon Apr 16 18 04:25pm
Rating: 1

At the end of the day, what I read online is kids complaining that they put more clothes on a 14 year old character or something. But really, is that a terrible thing that takes away from the game? Is it really that bad that the hero doesn't drop an F-Bomb?
While I can't really speak for others, for me, it often isn't about the content itself that gets cut out, but rather the fact that it gets cut out at all. For example, when I look at a game like Senran Kagura Shinobi Refle or Gal*Gun 2 (if I recall the titles correctly), they're not really games for me, but if I had learned that content was cut from it because else it might offend other people, it bothers me. Because if they wouldn't like that content, they just should look away / not buy it, and the company shouldn't bend to their will.

Now, like you said, some companies censor themselves so that they broaden the potential market (and some companies censor themselves to prevent backlash), and it's tricky to know on which side to be, because both sides make sense. But in the end, I think it's more ideal if a product can be what it needs to be, and that's why I am always happy to see games like Shinobi Refle, even if they're really not my cup of tea

I guess that's the rub. I won't organize a protest of some game because of content. I won't tell people that they are bad for playing a game I won't buy. But, I will "not buy it". And when asked by other parents with similar values, I'd let them know that it isn't for their homes either. Effectively, it becomes sort of an "unintended" boycott.

The example of the games you listed wouldn't make good business sense to censor them since they essentially exist as "soft porn". I wouldn't buy them regardless, so they may as well go for the audience they're targeting and not worry about me. But where it becomes dicey would be a game like Xenoblade. Xenoblade would be on the fence and so they might choose to make strategic business changes to put me on the side of the fence that buys their product. For better or worse, guys like me are the silent majority.

I've given this some more thought and there is also something to be said for the opposite. Having a game that was supposed to be 'clean', but to add (semi) erotic content just to appeal to a certain demographic and increase sales that way. Anime and visual novels come to mind, with particular emphasis on the latter. It's almost to the point that visual novels have become synonymous to porn, since so many titles have erotic content in it. Titles without any such content often have a tougher time unless they've already made a name for themselves. Likewise (but to a lesser degree) a lot of anime also shoehorn 'ecchi' scenes into the story, even if they feel out of place, just so that it will catch the attention of a certain demographic who is already the most likely to buy anime.

With its anime art style, I wonder if Xenoblade Chronicles 2 had the same idea, since they sure upped the naughtiness a bit for that game

I think it is good that you do your homework on the things you let you kids play / watch. My view though is to not try to have things censored for them but just buy them things that are already appropriate. There are a lot of great kids games and movies. Let kids be kids. There is no harm in having them wait for the other things. No rush.

I am not very familiar with SNK Heroines but what is it you would like censored? My impression is that the sexiness of the characters is pervasive throughout the entire game. You would probably have to not only change the outfits but also the animations. It would be a totally different game, for a totally different audience than what was originally envisioned. You wouldn't be making it great for everyone but really just changing from one target audience to another. Unless you had some small changes in mind. But again if we are talking about small changes I would wonder if they are really necessary to change or just pointless changes.

If we censor all these games to make them appropriate for kids then we are also saying that the group who likes the things as they are can't have that experience. Is that really right? I think a company should decide what their target audience is and then go for it. If you like it, buy it, if not then don't. Money sends a big message.

Speaking of those movies, one important difference is that adults and teenagers could get the full flavor version of the movies that has the original artistic vision intact but with games once it is censored everyone just gets the watered down version. I wouldn't want all my movies censored for kids and that also goes for games.

Sometimes it does make a big difference if the hero drops f bombs or not (or whatever else might be censored). You are building a carefully crafted tone, an atmosphere, a style, an experience. Sometimes by censoring, you are removing the things that have the biggest impact.

With SNK Heroines specifically watch the Western Nintendo Direct and the Japaneses one. If the game was like the trailer in the Western version then I'd be fine with it. But because it is possible to play the Western one like they advertised in Japan, then I'm not going to buy it. I'm not mad at them or anything, but it's just not for me.

And that's the rub. Business knows that guys like me don't care what others play, but care very much what I play. So in order to get my dollars they will make strategic business decisions in order to make that possible. I won't make a stink of it, I just will buy other things.

Businesses understand this, so they sometimes choose to soften the language a bit to get their game/movie/whatever into my home. [...] All in all business want to make money, so they make business decisions to get their product into my home.
I think this is the core of the matter. And I think deep down most people understand this as well. This means that the debate is often about whether one is okay with compromise for the sake of sales, or if a publisher/developer should stick with the original idea.

For me, I would like a dynamic censorship solution. A way that both parties are happy. One where I can say, "Here's how much sex, swearing, drug use, etc... that I'm comfortable with" and the game simply adjusts. I lower the meter to more tame and women get appropriate clothes and say "dangit" more. :D You can leave it where you want.
While ideal, I don't think that's financially viable in the sense that this won't bring in many more sales as to be make up the investment it costs to make this system. Also, the ESRB (or whatever ratings board) won't care there are these options and they will rate the content based on the highest available regardless. For example, a game with a curse filter will still have the ESRB rate it for profanity, even though you can filter it out

That's true about the ESRB. But if this was a common practice, one could have an "E-T" rating or "T-M" rating.

But I don't think it would be financially difficult. I've toyed with this idea for a long time. Part of me wants to implement it in my own game to show how it's possible. But it would feel really awkward for me to make an M rated game.

I suppose it depends on how deeply rooted these elements are in your game. If you think about stuff like voice acting, you'd have to pay voice actors extra to record extra lines. If your game has certain animations (be it hand-drawn or modeled), you'd have to pay animators extra too. Oh, and if the writing in your game has certain scenes, they either need to be rewritten or circumvented otherwise. If it's just something simple as a profanity filter, then it's relatively easy and cheap to do, but not if you'd have to remake whole parts of a game. This is especially cumbersome if you allow a scale, for example from full nudity to no nudity at all, you could also have different degrees of nudity.

I'd love something like that for Pokemon, except the only difference would be that the less censored setting has Game Corner. XD The only problem with a system like that is how it would work with the rating system, but that is something the system could adapt to. The box could show the minimum and maximum ratings, and there is a warning on the box telling the parent to set up the game, so they can choose the rating system. It could also work on a system level, you could set a separate censorship for each user account, and each user has a passcode to access their account.

They should add some of the Legacy dungeons that the 3DS version has.

In my opinion, as a general rule: If a game is meant for kids, then it should change to meet the cultural standards in each region it is exported to. Games for older audiences should be left alone.

How many time will Square Enix tell us that the Switch version is based on the PS4. Like seriously. They been repeating the same information about the Switch version since last year.

Well that's good. I'm not a fan of censorship in games becuase i want the artists original ideas and view to be well represented. (Yes I'm one of those "videogames are an artform" guys) also Dragon quest barely ever has anything I wouldn't let my kid see. It's no more violent or sexual then a Batman the animated series edisope

autumnalblake
Mon Apr 16 18 08:53am
(Updated 1 time)

I do mostly agree with what you have said, and violence or sexuality do not to be censored. They are shown in the rating, so if you don't want to see it, don't play it. However, if the censored content was likely to have offended people through actual insulting language or behaviours depicted (such as racism, sexism or homophobia) without being used as the views of an antagonist, it shouldn't have been put there in the first place, so it is OK to be censored in my opinion. The best way to do this is to change the language as to change to topic, rather than just removing that content.

That's reasonable, but what about media that specifically tackle such topics as racism. There are a lot of movies about racism, aren't there? Censoring/taking out the racism from such movies means there's nothing left of the movie.
I guess what I'm asking is, would topics such as racism, sexism or homophobia be okay in a game (or other media) uncensored as long as it has meaning to it?

However, if the censored content was likely to have offended people through actual insulting language or behaviours depicted (such as racism, sexism or homophobia) without being used as the views of an antagonist

I worded that really unintelligently. What I meant to say was that if the content is dealing with the topic as an issue and attempting to make people more careful about what they say, for example, that doesn't need to be censored. If the creators have used a derogatory term or a negative stereotype for a joke, that's not ok.

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