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Licensing & Copyright Issues: Japanese Exports

4 posts in this topic

Hey everyone. I recently found out that the US version of Senran Kagura: Estival Versus will not contain the DLC characters from the Ikki Tousen series. This got me thinking about other times content had to be changed, removed, or even having the whole game not being released outside of Japan.

There are multiple reasons why a Japanese game may not be export, such as costs of localizing, lack of audience, or lack of interest in putting in the extra work. However, what we are going to be talking about is licensing and copyright.

For those who do not know, copyright works a bit different in Japan. I am not an expert on this stuff, but barring the aforementioned Senran Kagura, I can name two games from the top of my head whose music has been altered. Those two games are Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, and Bleach: Soul Resurrection. Another game affected would be JoJo: All Star Battle. My otakus out there who follow JoJo's Bizzare Adventure know about the massive amounts of musical references, and you should also know how that affects the names and subtitles also.

Going slightly off topic, those who watch One Piece will also know of another instance of these issues affecting the international release.

Are there any other times where this has happened? Please let me know.

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Well the Dragon's Dogma MMO was never released outside of Japan as far as I know..


Never really looked into any specific reasoning, as of why though. 


Also, if I remember right, The International release of Castlevania : Symphony of the Night had a lot of content cut..

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Im not sure if you are asking about music being removed specifically. Lots and lots of games I know had stuff removed or failed to localize altogether due to liscensing issues. Super robot wars is a series that rarely gets localized for such reasons... Some theorize pso2 isnt out for the same issues. Elsword the mmo (korean not japanese but whatever) has none of the costumes based on pop culture or anime in na. We got football costumes instead lol.

Virtually any doujin/indie japanese game with liscensed elements wont make it here since indie companies likely cant afford international legal counsel.

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I should clarify a bit. The examples I used happened to involve music. While this also applies to the JoJo franchise, it is because of the amount of characters and powers named after songs, albums, bands,and singers. But overall, I am indeed speaking about any game element in general.

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