Spike Chunsoft’s localization department in California seems to be building up a notable reputation rather quickly. Some gamers have informed us that Steam threads decrying the censorship in Zanki Zero: Last Beginning and the upcoming Crystar have been getting locked and merged, with some cases being a little more extreme than others.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Spike Chunsoft had announced some of the changes that were being made to the Western localization of Zanki Zero: Last Beginning, outlining the censorship that the game had undertaken for its release. Later, gamers on their own discovered that the upcoming Crystar release on Steam and PS4 had censored a couple of frames out of the opening movie. I personally reached out to Spike Chunsoft to ask them about the Crystar situation, but never received a response.
Well, gamers decided to take actions into their own hands and began discussing the censorship of Crystar in the forums. However, they found that any time they made a thread about the cenosrship, it would be deleted. Finally, the forum moderators merged all of the questions and complaints about censorship into a single thread titled “Is this going to be censored?”
The question is never answered, but user Denyal airs his frustrations anyway, for the fourth time…
“this is probably the fourth thread I make and will probably get deleted like all my others, Zanki Zero just released on steam, people are not happy about the censorship and how Spike has been managing the situation, closing threads, merging user responses and not a single comment about the topic.
“all we want to know is if Crystar will be censored in any way. I contacted the director of the game Fuyuki Hayashi and he is completely against censorship, but I know the choice is on Spike Chunsoft…
“well i hope someone reads this thread before it gets deleted, again.”
Everything he says is true.
If you go to the Zanki Zero: Last Beginning Steam forums, you’ll note that there are a couple of locked threads that have been hit by the moderation staff. One of them was recently posted on April 10th, 2019 by user Shylaar, who simply asked…
“Why is the game censored on Steam when there’s no need for it to be?
“Please answer this question, Spike Chunsoft. There’s no need for this to be a discussion among users. It would also be nice if you could address the Crystar censorship which you have made zero acknowledgement of at all, whereas you provided a press release for Zanki Zero.”
As you can see, the question was neither inflammatory nor dogmatic, but the thread was locked regardless.
The same applied to a thread made by Black Wolf on March 9th, 2019, where he wrote…
“Is there a censorship here?
“So it is to my understanding that there is a censorship to this game. Now what im wondering is if the censorship only applies to the PS4 version of the game or if it applies to the PC/Steam Version too.”
On April 9th, 2019, the community manager for Spike Chunsoft hopped into the thread and locked it, and gave the following reason why…
“I believe that everything there is to say on the subject has been said by all sides of the argument; the conversation is turning toxic so I’m locking this thread.”
This is typically lingo used by a certain crowd to deflect criticism and dissent.
This also doesn’t seem to spell good tidings for Crystar, since the Spike Chunsoft has been mum about what sort of censorship has been applied to the game. Some users who have attempted to further challenge them on it have been banned from the Steam community hubs for both games.
Usually this turns into a trend, where the censorship keeps escalating, fans keep getting angrier, there’s some sort of blowup, a Kotaku or Polygon article about “harassment” ensues, there’s a Reddit thread where the moderators carefully curate the comments and make virtue signaling statements about “toxicity” and “entitlement”, and then eventually when the games release they’re met with low sales, barren forums, mixed review scores and an anemic fanbase. Maybe Spike Chunsoft will turn things around before it gets that bad, but they don’t seem to be on the right track so far.
Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is available on Steam right now for $59.99. Crystar, meanwhile, is due out on Steam on August 27th, 2019.
(Thanks for the news tip San)