Sakura Wars Localization Producer On How the Western Title Was Picked
Sakura Wars, the western name of Shin Sakura Taisen, now available on PS4, was picked by the development team after a very lengthy discussion.
Sakura Wars on PS4, the first console entry in years in the iconic franchise by Sega, has been out for a few months now in the west. Over in Japan, the game is titled Shin Sakura Taisen (New Sakura Wars), hinting at a new beginning for the series. In the west, the PS4 game shares its name with the franchise as a whole. Many fans, myself included, were speculating on how the name was coined for this new entry, first announced with the temporary title “Project Sakura Wars” in the west.
DualShockers recently had the opportunity to interview part of the Sakura Wars development team at Sega, including Localization Producer Andrew Davis, who explained how the western title was picked after a “very lengthy discussion”:
Andrew Davis: “We considered many options, such as “Shin Sakura Wars” (but “Shin” doesn’t signify much if you don’t know Japanese), “New Sakura Wars” (but it’s a bit unwieldy in English), “Sakura Wars: [various subtitles having to do with romance]” (but that doesn’t communicate that this is a new starting point accessible to all players, and as we played more of the final game we grew to understand that the romance aspects were only one part of the experience)… Ultimately, since the Western footprint for the old series was so thin, we decided to present it with the simple, catchy title Sakura Wars, even as we acknowledge that this could foster confusion when talking about the older series.”
We also asked how previous games in the series could be titled, assuming they get localized one day:
Andrew Davis: “it’s still too early to say whether we’ll have a chance to revisit any of the older games and give them their first Western releases, but yes! I would imagine we would have to consider adding a subtitle for any official rerelease of the first game, if only to distinguish it from the PS4 game.”
The Sakura Taisen games in Japanese already have a subtitle each, such as Sakura Taisen 3: Pari Wa Moeteiru Ka / Is Paris Burning?, so a possible solution would be for the western releases to use these.
I personally still hope we’ll get official localization of past games one day.
Our full interview with the development team will be out later this week. Meanwhile you can read our past coverage, most notably how more games could be coming, and how the stage play in Japan, first canceled due to the covid-19 pandemic, has been re announced.