Persona 5 has finally released outside of Japan, and early indications are that this just might be the greatest Persona game ever made. This is saying something, as the Persona series has been a fan-favorite for quite some time, and not just in Japan. yet, because of how the series is, there’s a major aspect of development that often gets forgotten about: Localization. For those who don’t know, localization is taking the language of the game (in this case Japanese) and translating it into the languages of other countries. Apparently, that was a major challenge for Persona 5.
This statement comes Yu Namba, who is Senior Project Manager for Atlus USA, and was in charge of localization of Persona 5 (among other Persona titles he’s worked on), and as he noted on the PlayStation Europe Blog, this was a massive undertaking. How so? Well, according to him:
“P5 was a monster in terms of localisation scope. It boasted the most number of translators and editors on a team, and everyone spent countless nights making the English version of P5 a reality.”
That’s saying something coming from him, but he was sure that not only good his team do it, but they would make sure that they would keep it as true as they could to the original Japanese version. This though raised some problems, as there are some things that just don’t translate. Furthermore, because of languages are built (as in the letters and sentence structures) what might work as a sentence in Japanese might not work as well in English, and thus, sentences have to either be reworded, or cut completely, which was something very tough to do for Namba and his team.
Every decision had to be made in unison with the team, and Namba noted that that’s exactly what happened. To that end, he not only believes that Persona 5 is the best game in the series, but also the best localized one.