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Run to the Sun - NIS America Interview


NIS America

We took some time yesterday to talk directly with Nao Zook from NIS America. We collected questions from our message boards last month, and tossed in a few of our own. Also in on the interview are multiple members of their localization staff.

(Reader Question) I noticed that NIS America has a knack for localizing other companies' games, such as Gust's Atelier Iris. Is there any chance that they could localize games such as the Tales games not released in North America?
Nao: Tales games are a great series, and if we have an opportunity to localize these games, we would be honored to do so. Not only the Tales series, but if there are any other great series like that we would love to localize them. You know a lot about RPG games, so give us any suggestions for games you think would be a hit in the U.S. market!

(Reader Question) Although it is still early in production, do they have plans on picking up Ar tonelico II, after localizing the first game?
Nao: ... :-)

(Reader Question) If NISA could choose any one past RPG to localize a remake of, which one would be chosen?
Nao: Here are ideas from our localization team. These ideas are completely the personal preferences of each localization team member.

"Super Robot Wars" It's the dream collaboration of classic robot animes. The game mechanics are simple, but even just watching your favorite heroes interact with each other is freakin' exciting. (Jack, Director of localization)

"Suikoden 1+2." That was my first experience with a truly epic, absorbing storyline and dozens of really interesting characters. (Phoenix, an editor/script writer)

"Popolocrois" Because it was my first gridbase, and it was cute. There were lotza character storylines, and since it was one of the first RPGs that I finished to the end, it had to have something that kept me going. Sadly, I don't think it'll make it into localization (because it's so old) but because it didn't, there's a reason. (Satomi, translator/ localization coordinator)

"Fire Pro Wrestling" Because it's the only Japanese game I've played outside of work that hasn't really come over in a substantial way (even though it's not an RPG). (Steve, editor/script writer)

(Reader Question) It isn't a secret that games like Atelier Iris, Ar tonelico, Disgaea and others don't exactly push the limits of the PS2 in terms of graphics. I was wondering if NISA feels any pressure to try and quickly move onto the newest generation of hardware (where most gamers are expecting absurd visuals), or if you (NISA) are content to continue making great games for the PS2 and PSP?
Nao: We would like you to shift your idea from "NISA only focuses on graphics" to "NISA's main focus is to have a great, enjoyable game system." So, with that in mind, we will not move on to the next gen hardware just because of the superiority in graphics of these next gen systems. However, if we feel that other hardware is better fit and able to expand NIS' titles, we will certainly go with the next gen console!

(Reader Question) Any chance of Disgaea on the Nintendo DS?
Nao: Let me just say this... you can look forward to it!

(Reader Question) Given that the Atelier Iris sub-series of the overall Atelier series has been at least modestly successful here in the U.S., has NISA considered bringing over the earlier Atelier games?
Nao: At this moment, we don't have any plans for bringing over the earlier Atelier games, but we are always open for opportunities.

With Disgaea hitting the PSP, is there any talk of the second one doing the same?
Nao: Hmmm, well, this is a hard question. We don't know if Disgaea 2 will be released for PSP just yet. The possibility is always there, though.

What about your other PS2 games?
Nao: Will NISA's other PS2 games also hit PSP? There are some ideas being discussed, but they might be on other mobile consoles... :)

With GrimGrimoire being NISA's first non-RPG release, are you looking to continue to focus mostly on the RPG genre, or do you wan to expand into other genres?
Nao: NISA will always focus on RPG games, but at the same time our main goal is to create sensational, enjoyable, great game-system games. So if we find any games in different genres that are interesting, and match our values, we will definitely go for it. However, we can confirm that we won't localize a fighting game. (So sorry, Steve!)

Anything else you would like to say in closing?
Nao: Thank you very much for this great Q&A opportunity! We always appreciate all the support you guys provide for us! Again, thank you very much!

RPGamer would like to deeply thank Nao and the others at NIS America for their time in answering our questions and their generous hospitality this week.

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