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Why Tales of Graces f is nearly two years late

And why the team will never create an open-world RPG like Skyrim.

Tales boss Hideo Baba has explained why the latest entry in the series is typically late arriving in Europe - and how he wants that to change in the future.

Tales of Graces f finally arrives in Europe on 31st August, but it first launched in Japan in December 2010. It's a situation that Baba wishes to avoid in the future.

"I'd like to release future Tales games at the same time, or nearer the same time as Japan," he told Eurogamer in a recent interview.

"When Graces f began development we didn't have a plan to localise it," Baba explained. "We have to receive requests from our US or EU branches first before we can decide to bring something to the Western markets."

Scheduling work on localisations of existing games is also tricky. When work on one Tales game wraps up, Baba has already begun work on the next.

"Our Japanese team need to keep working creating new titles. While we were finishing Tales of Graces f we were already starting [next series entry] Tales of Xillia. So we're always really busy.

"And there is, as you know, the usual RPG problem that there is loads of text to localise."

"While we were finishing Tales of Graces f we were already starting Tales of Xillia. So we're always really busy."

Tales series boss Hideo Baba

Baba hopes that, in future, Namco will be able to decide whether it wants the game localised from the very beginning of the project.

"If we know we're going to localise it from the off then it saves a lot of time. It means that translation can start as soon as the Japanese story is written."

Baba thanked fans who had previously campaigned for European and North American localisations.

"The voices from fans are very important," Baba explained. "The end users of the games are the fans, and our local branches hear them through Twitter or Facebook and take it into their decisions."

But despite plans to better cater to Western fans, Baba is resolute that the series will retain its JRPG roots. He has no interest in developing a role-playing game of the like of Skyrim.

"JRPG is the best game genre for the team," Baba concluded, "so we're not going to create an open world game like Skyrim. When Skyrim or another Western RPG comes to Japan they weren't changed for Japan. So we won't change our games outside of Japan."

Tales of Graces f.
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Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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