Localizing games "is a must" if Capcom hopes to successfully break into regions like Eastern Europe, South Africa, India and the Middle East, according to Capcom executive Katsuhiko Ichii.
Speaking in an internal company interview, Ichii, who is the director and executive corporate officer at Capcom, said the company has a history of emphasizing the importance of the North American and European markets, but now it wants to be an active player in the world market.
"The key is to develop game titles fully adapted to the unique elements of their respective target markets, rather than endure the painful experience of setting a single standard for the global deployment of one title," he said in the interview. "When it comes to the actual development of a game, we need to accurately recognize and incorporate the tastes of gamers in each region."
Ichii cites examples like the Ace Attorney and Sengoku Basara series, which have been immensely popular in Japan but the same success has not translated into other regions. On the other hand, series like Resident Evil and Street Fighter have found success both in Japan and abroad. Ichii believes that Capcom games can succeed in multiple markets — it's a matter of finding a way to break into these regions and localizing the games.
"We need to accurately recognize and incorporate the tastes of gamers in each region."
"We've seen a great deal of expansion of markets in emerging countries and regions, such as Russia, Eastern Europe, South Africa, India and the Middle East," he said. "When you combine the size of these new markets, they're about as large as the markets in major developed nations such as Germany and France."
Ichii says that to successfully break into these regions, "localization is a must", which is why as of next year Capcom will begin doing voiceovers for their games in the languages of five to seven countries. At the moment, voiceovers are only done in English. Capcom also plans to have in-game text translated into 13-15 languages.
"This will give us a major boost in the area of game localization," Ichii said.