Amagami Dating Sim Localization Will Be 1000% Gayer To Combat Right-Wingers, Says Localizer [Update]
Amagami

[Update:] Some other localizers are saying that Thomas James has been joking about localizing Amagami within his circle of friends, and that he’s not actually working on a localization. I did reach out to James to get a clarification on the matter. If he responds, the article will be updated with his response.

[Original article:] Enterbrain!’s Amagami is allegedly in localization by the same person who worked on Monster Hunter: Generations and Tales of Berseria. Not only that, but the localizer, Thomas James, publicly stated that in response to a review from Christ Centered Games, he was going to make one of the characters “1000% gayer”

It all started with a review from Christ Centered Games for Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition, which was initially published way back in June of 2016. In the bottom section of the “Moral Warnings” section, there’s a slight heads-up to parents that one of the characters appears to be bisexual.

This warning from Christ Centered Games piqued the interest of another localizer, who tipped off Thomas James to the bit. The tweet was posted on April 9th, 2019, and that’s when James responded.

So apparently James is part of the team working on Amagami’s localization. He doesn’t reveal what platforms it’s for. The game originally came out back in 2009 in Japan for the PS2, according to the Visual Novel Database. James also did a Medium piece advocating for the localization and release of the game back in January of 2018.

In a follow-up tweet some people asked if this meant that the game is currently in active localization development. James responded by saying that the reveal for the English localization was a “world exclusive” in the thread.

For those of you leery of James’ credits as a localizer for Japanese video games, take note that he has a notable pedigree on his website Freelansations.com, where he outlines that he’s worked on games like Monster Hunter Generations for the Nintendo 3DS, and Tales of Berseria for PS4 and PC.

This is corroborated in an interview he had with Digital Trends that was published on February 2nd, 2019.

James’ politics slip through during the interview while he’s praising the localization team who worked on Yakuza 6, saying…

“There’s always going to be some misogyny, for lack of a better word. You have to evoke, sometimes, similar ideas but from a different place, in order to get audiences abroad to understand the overall mentality, especially in terms of how these characters are expressing their masculinity and what not.”

This was further expounded upon by Scott Strichart, a localization producer who worked on Yakuza 6. Strichart stated…

“I’m sure some players think we do overreach a little, while others appreciate that by taking what might seem like an occasional liberty, that we’re telling the story of the game in a way that was always intended to be gripping. It’s all about respect of the source material — for every bit of charm we may have lost in translation, hopefully there was some bit of charm to be gained elsewhere by nature of converting it to English.”

What this means for Amagami is that gamers may expect some “liberties” being taken to accommodate the translation to James’ politics, if the tweet is anything to go by.

Some people might say that this is all just a joke, or that he wouldn’t really ramp up the gayness in a dating simulator to get back at people like those who work at Christ Centered Games. However… we did see something similar happen with The Last of Us 2.

Remember back in 2017 when various people began telling Naughty Dog creative director, Neil Druckmann, to keep the LGBTQ stuff out of games like The Last of Us 2? Remember when Druckmann said that comments like that compelled him to add even more “diversity” to his games? Well that following year, at E3 2018, we ended up with the trailer below.

This kind of subversion has always been a huge issue with gamers, especially since people like Nich Maragos from Nintendo Treehouse told companies not to pick up the localization for Senran Kagura games, as reported by TheGG.net. Maragos was also responsible for working on Fire Emblem: Fates, which had a myriad of localization issues that was widely criticized by fans both for the censorship and for changing various aspects of the characters and dialogue.

Fans have also been up in arms as ResetEra has been trying to subvert the localization for Atlus’ Catherine: Full Body, claiming that the game’s content and ending was transphobic, even after it was clarified that the content was not transphobic. One of the voice actresses acknowledged ResetEra’s pleas and claimed that the Western localization would adjust the game to excise any “bigotry”.

The question is whether or not the publisher of Amagami will step in to curtail any potential SJW politicization or propaganda from being filtered into the dating sim, assuming it really is in development. If publishers don’t keep a tight leash on James, then gamers are going to be in for a frustrating ride if Amagami ever does release in the West.

(Thanks for the news tip Mad Lucied)

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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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