Former Sega Localization Coordinator blasts lack of translator credits in Persona 3 & 4 remasters
A former Sega employee has publicly critized Sega and Atlus for failing to credit many of the translators that worked on the new re-releases of Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden on modern platforms.
Localization specialist Katrina Leonoudakis worked on the Persona projects at Sega up until when she left the company, and took to twitter to note that the lack of proper crediting for the translation team that handled the 'FIGS' territories (that's French, Italian, German, and Spanish) went against her specific urging on her part as she prepared to depart the projects and SEGA.
"I am absolutely outraged," Leonoudakis said on her personal twitter feed. "I was the Localisation Coordinator on the project up until I left Sega, constantly in connection with the FIGS teams. I told the team who took over for me to credit the FIGS team. They worked incredibly hard to localise TWO GAMES. Unbelievable.
"In my goodbye email to the company, I urged them to credit the FIGS teams for all titles, including the one I had to abandon as I left for greener pastures. It was incredibly important to me that EVERYONE be credited," she continued.
"For shame, you guys. After an entire YEAR of localization, hundreds of questions answered for them on their part, we know how hard those translators worked. We also know they were probably paid WAY less than we were, too. The least we can do is credit them."
She goes on to describe the move as "a spit in the face of every translator who worked tirelessly on the project."
As a positive example, Leonoudakis noted that the localization manager on the Yakuza series had ensured that proper crediting took place for several titles in that series - a stark contrast to the failure to fully credit the various regional language translators in this week's releases of Persona 3 and 4.
While a new credits option was added to these remasters, the only credits given for localization in this section are to the translation Producers and Product Managers for each language. In this, Leonoudakis claims that management-tier staff got a credit, but those who did the actual translation work under them remain uncredited. We have reached out to SEGA for comment.
Video game crediting practices remain a hot topic in the industry, with many studios maintaining harsh rules such as only crediting those who are present when a game's development is completed, even if a former employee had contributed years of work to the project. In the Japanese RPG space in particular there are no hard rules around how translators for Western releases are credited, despite the fact that for large-scale JRPGs such as Persona translators have to translate tens or even hundreds of thousands of lines of text to get the final releases into people's hands.
Beyond that, translation itself is a hot topic, especially around Japanese RPGs - where fans who want hard-line faithful translations of the original Japanese text regularly clash online with those who are happier to have more culturally considerate localizations that are willing to make changes. Arguments are raging right now about the localization of Fire Emblem Engage, which just released this week.
In light of that, translators continue to fight for better visibility in game credits - increasingly through social media campaigns such as #Translators InTheCredits.