English transcript of our interview with Jack Niida, recorded at Gamescom 2012!
JPGAMES.DE: Why is there such a difference in the marketing especially with Limited Editions between USA and Europe?
Jack Niida: That is actually a really tough question. With the NISA online store we like to make something special for our fans all over the world, but it is really hard to make a limited edition. Right now the online story is exclusively for the US but for the future we hope to expand to different countries. For now it is still for the small market in the US. But we actually have some hardcore NIS Fans ordering from Europe and we really appreciate that.
JPGAMES.DE: Who decides that a game gets a collector´s edition and how is it decided what special gifts it contains?
Jack Niida: The NISA marketing team decides what to put in a limited edition and which game gets one. Usually this is for retail copies. Whenever we have retail version we always try to think of something related to the story or the series/ franchise itself.
JPGAMES.DE: Why is there never a German localization of a NIS Game? Every NIS game, released in the west had English voice and text.
Jack Niida: That is actually a very difficult question for us. We would like to translate the game to many languages as possible, but the problem is firstly in our office we don’t have anyone who understands both German and Japanese and if we hired someone from outside the company there is no way for us to check the translation for sense or if it is funny. That is one of the big reasons. The other reason is RPG Games are huge and they have so much text and it costs a lot of money to translate that. But as the market is growing in Germany it is something that we consider and we want to start a German translation company to translate mostly action
games, because those games do have less text than traditional RPGs.
JPGAMES.DE: What can you tell us about the demand of JRPGs, both in America and Europe?
Jack Niida: It is definitively growing, which is a very fortunate thing for us. Any little sign of attention is important and we feel that. Especially in Europe the market is expanding quite quickly like in Germany or France or in the UK. Little by little we try to expand and reach out to the fans out there.
JPGAMES.DE: On the 20th Anniversary Picture, there were many of your successful titles. Are there plans for Remakes or HD Makeovers? Like Little Princess Saga which was localized for the DS.
Jack Niida: If the fans want HD remakes than it is something that we definitively consider. But at the same time we want to create something new and try new thing. So we have to find the balance between something new and recreate the old feeling.
JPGAMES.DE: What can you tell us about Black Rock Shooter? Can you tell us something about the release date?
Jack Niida: What I can say is that we are localizing this game and in fact as we speak right now we are working on it. So hopefully the game will be completed in several months and we will be able to say more in the future.
JPGAMES.DE: The Witch and the Hundred Knights is one of the next big NIS title. Can you tell us a specific release date? What makes this game special?
Jack Niida: For The Witch and the Hundred Knights, what makes it special is that it is our first all 3D title and it is something that we have never done before and it is a huge challenge for us. For us exploring various possibilities and also the HD aspect is a very special part. For this game we work very hard we want to step up graphic wise to compete with the other major title. For the release date…we will release it very soon.
JPGAMES.DE: One year ago you announced a collaboration between NISA and Imageepoch. It was said that many titles, developed by Imageepoch will be localized for the west by NISA. Until now Black Rock Shooter is the only game in this collaboration. Are there more to come?
Jack Niida: Imageepoch is currently working on several titles. There is for example a big one for the PS3 but we can not say too much right now, but we are in very close talks. So NISA is looking forward to localize more of their coming titles.
JPGAMES.DE: Are there more plans for further Disgaea 4 DLCs? (Cameos, Maps, etc.)?
Jack Niida: Right now the status is finished, but what we usually do is asking fans for a lot of vibe. When the fans have ideas for a certain stage or other special content than we will definitely consider it. So if you are out there please let us now.
JPGAMES.DE: The Disgaea-series is the most popular franchise of NIS. Can you tell us something about the future of Disgaea?
Jack Niida: Disgaea is obviously a very popular series for NIS and we are concentrating more on the content for Japan, like a coming mobile phone game, but for the retail game fraction we can not announce something but there is a new game we will talk about in the coming months. Please look forward to it.
JPGAMES.DE: How do the plans look for the Wii U or other future consoles? Many developer work on games for the following console-generation at the moment.
Jack Niida: We can not really answer that question, sorry.
JPGAMES.DE: You have been a part of NIS America for many years now. What exactly is your task and does your Job make you happy?
Jack Niida: Absolutely. The job is very challenging and a lot of fun. What I usually do is that I am like a middle man between various companies and our team and I make sure that everything works fine and that everyone in the team is happy with the work and feels comfortable in the office. It is a lot of, how should I say this, going around and apologizing to people. That is my job.
JPGAMES.DE: Many games from NIS have a crazy story with brilliant, but also strange characters. Especially in Mugen Souls we see this scenario. Do you like such kinds of stories? Is this maybe an NIS trademark?
Jack Niida: Absolutely. I think NIS is known for its humor and its wacky characters and all of this world style. This is definitely something we try to expand but also we try to go some new ways.
JPGAMES.DE: Would you like to have the same powers that Chou Chou in Mugen Souls possesses? What would you do with them?
Jack Niida: Actually I would not change people into little rabbits but into little Prinny’s.