At Gamescom 2016 in Cologne, Germany, we had a chance to have a chat with Summer Lesson Producer Katsuhiro Harada, and ask him whether there is any possibility of a western localization of the upcoming PlayStation VR exclusive.
Harada-san explained that it’s very difficult to localize this kind of VR game to the west, be cause in VR if the lip sync is even slightly off the game doesn’t feel natural, while in normal games it’s less evident.
Doing perfect lip syncing for every language would ve very expensive, so Bandai Namco would need some basis to believe that the game would do well before they could decide to actually bring it over.
Harada-san also mentioned that the company isn’t quite sure that the game would match a western audience’s taste, since it’s a title in which you simply interact with a digital character. He feels that western gamers in general might be more keen on shooting and punching enemies in VR.
Harada-san then brought The London Heist by SCE London Studio (specifically a scene in which the player is strapped to a chair and being interrogated) as an example of a game that many western developers might see as a cool thing to do with VR, while Japanese developers look more at character interaction.
That said, Harada-san also clarified that the possibility of a localization isn’t zero.