Namco Bandai promising 'a lot more support' for the Tales franchise

We speak to Namco Bandai about the future of the Tales series, and why the franchise was put on hiatus in America.

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Namco Bandai's Tales of franchise is immensely popular in Japan, rivaling even the most final of fantasies. The latest release, Tales of Xillia, sold over 500,000 copies in its first month in Japan.

While the series enjoys the spotlight in Japan, things are quite different in America. Ever since the release of Tales of Vesperia on Xbox 360 in 2008, the series has been quiet, much to the chagrin of fans. Since then, Namco Bandai has skipped localization on the PS3 version of Vesperia, Tales of Hearts, Tales of Innocence, and Tales of Graces.

The hiatus on the franchise will be lifted with the release of Tales of Graces F, a PS3-enhanced release of the original 2009 game. It will be the first original Tales game to hit US shores in more than three years. Also coming soon: Tales of the Abyss for 3DS, a port of the PS2 classic. These two releases are part of an initiative to revive the series in America, and make it a growing focus for Namco Bandai.

"There's going to be continued support for the Tales series that we've never had before," Namco Bandai associate brand manager Josh Sepielli told me. "We've taken a lot of steps as a company from the point we've released Vesperia to where we are now. There's a lot more coordination with Japan when we're getting these games, when we're getting information. We're going to start getting the timing closer together. We're very focused on being a lot more international."

Namco Bandai is taking a page from Square Enix's playbook. Final Fantasy XIII-2, for example, had localization begin during development. As a result, there's only a one month delay between the Japanese and English language release of the text and voice-heavy game.

"Moving forward, there's going to be a lot more support for the franchise," Sepielli reiterated to me when I asked him if Tales of Xillia is coming to the US. While it seems likely, given his enthusiasm for the franchise, there's still one issue that has the franchise's future still in doubt.

"The fan base is very hardcore; but at the same time, they don't make a very large audience," Sepielli admitted. "I'd be lying to you if I said if these games bomb, they're going to turn around and make Xillia."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 10, 2011 11:30 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Namco Bandai promising 'a lot more support' for the Tales franchise.

    We speak to Namco Bandai about the future of the Tales series, and why the franchise was put on hiatus in America.

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      October 10, 2011 11:49 AM

      That's cool. I really liked Tales of Symphonia. Never had enough time to play through the others.

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      October 10, 2011 11:51 AM

      Hopefully this means Xillia is coming since it's pretty much the best the series has seen.

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      October 10, 2011 11:54 AM

      I'm not a fan of JRPGs at all.

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      October 10, 2011 12:11 PM

      I've been playing the fan translation of Tales of Innocence and it's really good. http://a0t.co/innocence/

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      October 10, 2011 12:40 PM

      Finally.

      I'm still bitter about not getting Rebirth, Destiny 2 or the Destiny remake, along with all the recent ones.

      And Xillia looks great.

      I think part of their problem is that they acknowledge the small audience and then localize it for a big audience (English VA, changing opening themes, dropping the Japanese VA in skits, etc) instead of just keeping it the way the small, more Japanese-friendly audience is likely to want anyway.

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        October 10, 2011 12:49 PM

        Seriously all I need is localized menus and subtitles :(

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      October 10, 2011 12:41 PM

      Tales of Destiny is one of my all time favorite games. Most of the Tales games are great!

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      October 11, 2011 2:17 AM

      the reason the tales series does get much hypr is because namco atleast for america don't make the effort to give the games much hype like they do with soul calivur and their other games we get excited for if they gave tales more hype then maybe more people would make the effort to buy the games otherwise it will just be like ar tonelico and other japanese games that just sit on the shelves making people curious but not knowing what the game really is cause there is no hype to the game.

      it just feels like namco be trollin to me

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      October 13, 2011 12:05 AM

      I'd be VERY happy to support Namco's Tales series, if they would support my system of choice (360).

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