Wasting money on smaller languages

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Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby Hyo Razuki » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:04 pm

I seriously think they should drop those German, French, Spanish and Italian subtitles from the game. Why would we waste our money on those small language translations if we could actually spend it on things which actually make the game better. No racism accusations please, I'm German myself but I don't see the point wasting 400,000 $ on translations while we could put it into other more useful stretch goals.

There should be the Japanese original and English for the rest of the world and that's that. S1 and 2 didn't have smaller language subtitles (except for the notebook in S2 which would be in the language you set your DC in) and no one complained.

To any non-English or -Japanese speaking person in the world wanting to play S3 I say: Shenmue is giving you the best reason in the world to learn English, so start learning. Don't be lazy and ask for subtitles in your language.

It just pisses me off every time I read the stretch goals on Kickstarter knowing we wasted 400,000 $ on translations which we could have actually spent on something cool.

If there was a big demand for smaller language subtitles they could put that out as patches via the internet once the game is out. Hell, they could even think about giving out the translation and proofreading to native speakers in the Dojo. I really don't think development money should be wasted on that. What do you guys think?

Guess I'll write that to them on Kickstarter. If enough people say so, they might actually drop those languages. What do you think?
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby shredingskin » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:09 pm

It's far more expensive to do 2 VO than 5 subtitles.

I kinda get it, a lot of these people tend to know english, maybe spanish speakers a little less since it's the second language around the world (excluding chinese).

I think that Russian subtitles are a little bit more important, since it's a big market that doesn't speak english, and Chinese subtitles would be imperative.
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby BayStone » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:13 pm

You know, now that I think about it, the 400k sort of bothers me. I'd really like to know how they came to this conclusion. Simple subtitles shouldn't really be this expensive. What am I missing here.
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby Henry Spencer » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:16 pm

BayStone wrote: You know, now that I think about it, the 400k sort of bothers me. I'd really like to know how they came to this conclusion. Simple subtitles shouldn't really be this expensive. What am I missing here.


Localization costs money, man. If they hire it out to a third party company, which I imagine they are doing, since I kind of doubt there's anybody apart of YSNet who can speak French, German, Spanish and all of the other languages who will be doing all of the localization, then it kind of is money that could be better put to other uses, such as with regards to the actual game itself.
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby Hyo Razuki » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:20 pm

I know a lot of people speak Russian but how big of a video game market Russia is. As for China... I've lived and worked there for two years. They do play a lot of video games but it's (almost) exclusively pirated games. I've never even met a single Chinese person who has paid for a legitimate copy of a video game so I think China as a video game market is very neglectable, at least in terms of software.

I truely think they should kick out all other languages. 400,000$ is 400,000$. Plus, what better reason in the world to learn English (or even Japanese) could there be, than Shenmue? ;-)
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby BayStone » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:20 pm

Henry Spencer wrote:
BayStone wrote: You know, now that I think about it, the 400k sort of bothers me. I'd really like to know how they came to this conclusion. Simple subtitles shouldn't really be this expensive. What am I missing here.


Localization costs money, man. If they hire it out to a third party company, which I imagine they are doing, since I kind of doubt there's anybody apart of YSNet who can speak French, German, Spanish and all of the other languages who will be doing all of the localization, then it kind of is money that could be better put to other uses, such as with regards to the actual game itself.


Yeah, I know it costs money and it's done by a 3rd party, :) but I just can't fathom where the actual costs come from. 100k doesn't seem right to me. I've never really thought about this from this point of view, so there's undoubtedly a hole in my knowledge, but 100k seems a bit high to me, considering what is actually involved in this.

EDIT: I guess this could involve actual asset modification (signs, etc.), which could explain this, but I dunno.
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby BlueMue » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:24 pm

It won't cost 400k to write the subtitles. It's just how the strech goals are laid out.
I think it's a good thing that they actually planned these subtitles from the very beginning.

Shenmue and Shenmue II got some bad feedback for not having German subtitles (or any other then English in the PAL version for that matter) and I know of people that don't play the game because they can't get into the story that much without having native language subtitles. That is the biggest thing. People didn't play the game becuase of that, it alienated gamers by only having english subtitles.

Shenmue III should not fall into a niche product category by not offering translated subtitles, like every other game does today. I know Shenmue is niche and III is only a Kickstarter game but come on, this is NOT a waste of money.

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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby BayStone » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:27 pm

BlueMue wrote:It's just how the strech goals are laid out.


Yeah, I can see that. A bit misleading though, also if KS hadn't hit all the subtitle stretch goals, things would've been even more funky. :)
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby Amir » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:27 pm

BlueMue wrote: It won't cost 400k to write the subtitles. It's just how the strech goals are laid out.
I think it's a good thing that they actually planned these subtitles from the very beginning.

Shenmue and Shenmue II got some bad feedback for not having German subtitles (or any other then English in the PAL version for that matter) and I know of people that don't play the game because they can't get into the story that much without having native language subtitles. That is the biggest thing. People didn't play the game becuase of that, it alienated gamers by only having english subtitles.

Shenmue III should not fall into a niche product category by not offering translated subtitles, like every other game does today. I know Shenmue is niche and III is only a Kickstarter game but come on, this is NOT a waste of money.


Yeah, I think they just included the subtitles as stretch goals to get people from those countries to donate, clever idea.

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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby Henry Spencer » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:28 pm

BayStone wrote:
Henry Spencer wrote:
BayStone wrote: You know, now that I think about it, the 400k sort of bothers me. I'd really like to know how they came to this conclusion. Simple subtitles shouldn't really be this expensive. What am I missing here.


Localization costs money, man. If they hire it out to a third party company, which I imagine they are doing, since I kind of doubt there's anybody apart of YSNet who can speak French, German, Spanish and all of the other languages who will be doing all of the localization, then it kind of is money that could be better put to other uses, such as with regards to the actual game itself.


Yeah, I know it costs money and it's done by a 3rd party, :) but I just can't fathom where the actual costs come from. 100k doesn't seem right to me. I've never really thought about this from this point of view, so there's undoubtedly a hole in my knowledge, but 100k seems a bit high to me, considering what is actually involved in this.

EDIT: I guess this could involve actual asset modification (signs, etc.), which could explain this, but I dunno.


Yeah, I didn't mean it would cost THAT much, but it would cost a fair bit and add extra time on to development. It's cool that they're actually adding these languages into the game this time instead of just English this time, but really, there's so many languages, that it'd make sense to be a picky and choosy with which ones to do, since there's only so many languages they can do it in. If it's going to cost them an arm and a leg, then it might be best to change the language to something where there's a larger install base like Chinese (Cantonese/Mandarin) or wherever. I remember there being a big demand for Shenmue Online when it was announced in China.
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby ys » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:36 pm

I was thinking the exact same thing yesterday. I don't consider them to be small languages (compared to what I speak in daily life) but it's indeed a bit annoying that other features might not make it because of this.

Sure, I realize that in some countries fewer people understand English or simply just prefer their own language. But there are many other countries like this who do not get their own subtitles. Maybe they're thinking of potential lost sales from these countries? But still, having fewer interesting features affects the total product for everyone and by extension, potential worldwide sales.

Also, I've seen localization costs before for big RPG's and it didn't actually come close to these sums.

Personally, I would have focused on the game features itself first of all and just start with Japanese voice acting and English subtitles. Then, if money allows it, they could look into things like English voice acting and other subtitles.
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby Seraph87 » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:38 pm

BayStone wrote: You know, now that I think about it, the 400k sort of bothers me. I'd really like to know how they came to this conclusion. Simple subtitles shouldn't really be this expensive. What am I missing here.

High quality translations can get a lot more expensive than you think, even without voice over. There's the agency, the translators and the reviewers that have to be paid and the subtitles have to be properly incorporated into the game which also takes some time. The developer also constantly needs to provide information and context for the translators for difficult and unclear passages (which is a problem with most clients, I'm experiencing it myself regualarly when working on texts). However, 400k really seems a bit overkill but it just seems to be an estimation for the stretch goals and not based on real costs.
Last edited by Seraph87 on Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby south carmain » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:41 pm

I would say it's quite important to shenmue's success on the long term. One of the reasons shenmue failed in Europe was because they just released it on the entire continent in English (and despite that look at the support it has in countries like France, imagine how big that support would be if the majority of the population could actually understand it). Spanish is also a bigger language than English when it comes to native speakers...
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby Henry Spencer » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:43 pm

I'm kind of surprised there isn't a tier for Chinese or Korean considering how they were promoting Shenmue Online...feel sorry for that fanbase a bit.
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Re: Wasting money on smaller languages

Postby Hyo Razuki » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:47 pm

About the 100000 $ per language... I think that could easily be reached if you want a professional translation for a game as big as Shenmue. I'm not a translator but I had some friends who worked as freelance translators for German-Chinese or German-Japanese, German-English and so on. Some of them could easily charge 20 Euros per page (and they actually got booked and paid at that price;-)) before they had even graduaded from university. So if you want a professional translation team it is effing expensive.
Last edited by Hyo Razuki on Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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