Tom Lipschultz, Anti-Censorship Localizer Departs XSeed Games
XSeed Games

Two employees recently left the localization abode of XSeed Games: Brittany Avery and Tom Lipschultz. Both of the localizers worked with the rest of the XSeed staff to translate and publish very niche Japanese games for Western gamers who don’t speak with the blessings of the moon runes.

Both Lipschults and Avery made tweets on October 26th, 2018 indicating that they have indeed parted ways with XSeed Games, which sent a ripple effect through the gaming community, especially the anti-censorship community.

While Avery’s departure as a localization producer from XSeed Games came across more as her being let go, it was portrayed by Lipschultz as a mutual decoupling between him and XSeed.

In fact, he mentions across the tweets that it was due to his very adamant fight against censorship that eventually led to him becoming burned out, indirectly.

For those of you who have been following XSeed Games and the titles they’ve localized for Western gamers, you would know that Lipschultz has been very vocal and very communicative with the gaming community, offering them insight and information into the localization process (for as much as he was allowed), and the sort of topics, imagery, and language that was sometimes brought into the discussion for censorship. At nearly every turn Lipschultz would outline what sort of content he fought to keep within the games, as well as the times when his fight against censorship was a losing one. In one particular case, Lipschultz asked to be removed from the translation credits for the Western version of Akiba’s Beat due to some of the censorship that took place within the game.

He was also quite adamant about preserving the anti-censorship culture within XSeed Games in order to ensure that Japanese titles stayed as close to the original developer’s vision as possible. Although, it was in early 2018 that Lipschultz made statements fearing that Western localizers would continue to alter (and butcher) many Japanese games being translated/localized for international audiences, especially during today’s tumultuous political climate.

This level of stress was something that Lipschultz eventually wanted to take a break from, and he mentioned in his very active Twitter feed that he would be taking a job in Japan as a teacher, because he’s always wanted to go back.

Some gamers worried that Lipschultz and Avery leaving XSeed Games on the same day was the sign of a bad omen and that perhaps the company was downsizing following the news that Sony’s new policy would force the company to censor games like Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal. However, Lipschultz stated that the two of them leaving on the same day was just coincide.

The fight against censorship is an ongoing one, and a potentially stressful one. In today’s sociopolitically-charged ecosystem of ideas, the ones leaning toward authoritarianism and content control are the ones that are winning out at the moment. This rings especially true with Sony’s new worldwide policy in place that prohibits developers from including sensual, sexual, or arousing content themed around feminine women who are depicted in ways to attract straight males.

This new policy has prohibited games like Super Seducer and Omega Labyrinth Z from releasing in the West on the PS4, and it has also had retroactive effects for Japanese games as well, where Japanese developers are now forced to censor older titles being re-released in Japan for the PS4.

With Lipschultz out of XSeed Games, the fight against censorship definitely looks dire. Hopefully his replacement will show as much verve for anti-censorship as he did.

[Update:] A reader spotted an exchange that Lipschultz had with one of OAG’s own contributors about his possible replacement and whether or not XSeed would continue to fight the anti-censorship battle following his departure. Lipschultz basically confirmed that other XSeed staff weren’t quite as staunchly anti-censorship as he was.

(Thanks for the news tip ISwear)


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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