Monolith Soft’s Project X Zone—the massive tactical RPG crossover 3DS title starring Capcom, Namco Bandai, and Sega icons from various games—might go international. All it needs is one solid push.
Featuring characters from Street Fighter, Mega Man, Darkstalkers, Valkyria Chronicles III, Virtua Fighter, Tekken, and Xenosaga, the game is a licensing nightmare.
However, Tekken director Katsuhiro Harada thinks that what can be done in Japan could happen for North America and Europe, going far enough to propose a localization for the game to Namco Bandai’s executive board:
I proposed localization of Project X Zone.
— Katsuhiro Harada (@Harada_TEKKEN) September 23, 2012
Such an undertaking would be a unique experiment for the publisher, as a traditional RPG like this obviously isn’t something Namco Bandai expects would sell that well outside of Japan. That, plus the expense of localization and a rolling international launch, was likely the same reason that 2005’s Namco X Capcom was never released in North America and Europe.
In fact, Harada further explains the difficulty of bringing a game like Project X Zone to other regions with pointed transparency. According to him, the RPG genre carries a “very high” localization cost, much more than fighting games:
I can understand what you say and what you want to say. But your opinion is pointless. They are decided by relation between cost, and a Genre, and a business plan. It is nonsense to compare this genre with the genre which sells 1 million (like fighting games. But, the localization cost of X zone is very high than “Fighting Game genre”).
Anyway, I proposed localization of X zone promptly. I said. And I always hear fan’s request. Well.. listen. SHUT UP and Stay tuned. I’ll play TTT2 now.
That pretty sums it up, and if Harada’s noticed fan demand for this game, it’s reasonable to think Namco Bandai might take the risk. After all, they have no problem throwing money into Naruto titles every year.
Monolith Soft is a quality developer that’s (almost) never made a bad video game. Judging by the hard work that went into international releases of the Xenosaga series and Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier, a U.S./Europe 3DS launch for Project X Zone would likely be very well-received.