Square Enix and Tokyo RPG Factory turned themselves into the scorn of PS Vita owners everywhere this week by confirming that the Vita version of their JRPG, I Am Setsuna, will not be localized into English.
Director Atsushi Hashimoto has heard the distaste and displeasure from the user base, but he claims, while speaking to Polygon, that this was only done to accommodate for Western gamers’ desire for “big screen” games and immersion, which is why we are also getting the game on Steam.
“I think the focus was leaning more toward that sense of immersion, being able to jump into the world on a larger screen. That’s one of the bigger elements that sort of drove that decision for the no Vita plan.
Of course, there is the technical market aspect as well. Unfortunately the Vita market isn’t as large as the console and the PC-based [market] … that’s the sort of direction the team decided that they wanted to take for the U.S. release, was to rely on the players that are on the Steam platform as well.”
When pressed on the viability of the Vita in the West, Hashimoto claims that the Vita is more popular in Japan thanks to the country being a commuter society. However, he does still view the Vita as a “sort of” viable platform.
“We definitely see the Vita fans, and we acknowledge that there are very passionate fans out there, and we think it’s great. We do feel it’s a viable sort of platform. Of course, it’s just a matter of scale. We don’t mean to give you the impression that we feel that the Vita market is weak or anything; by no means do we want to make it seem like it’s any sort of inferior platform. It is a platform where there are very passionate fans that love the games that are on that platform.”
Further comments point out that the game is not a spiritual-successor to Chrono Trigger, as many seem to believe, but is rather just an homage to games of that era. Tokyo RPG Factory is also considering extra content for the English release.
Speaking with USGamer at GDC, Hashimoto also claimed that Square Enix “will consider the Vita release” if the demand for the Vita version is there.
I Am Setsuna launches for the PlayStation 4 and PC this summer.