Square dodges FFIV lack flak

[06.08.99] » Square EA official explains the reasons behind the omission of Final Fantasy IV from North America's Final Fantasy Anthology.

   When Final Fantasy Anthology was announced for a North American release by Square EA, many devout fans immediately decried the omission of Final Fantasy IV from the collection. Most had assumed FF IV would be included in an American release, just as it had been included in Japan's "Final Fantasy Collection." Now, the company has offered the first official word concerning the reason behind the removal, essentially explaining that localization time would be more effectively spent on translating newer PlayStation titles. Additionally, as reported by the GIA during E3, Square plans on including a soundtrack CD with selected tracks from both FF V and FF VI in the anthology. The full text follows:

    Final Fantasy Anthology, to be released in the U.S. later this year, will include Final Fantasy V (previously unreleased in the U.S.) and Final Fantasy VI (released as III in the U.S.). Although we strive to offer as many SQUARESOFT titles to our U.S. customers, we can only localize a limited quantity of selected games that are released in Japan and we believe that releasing as many newer titles in the U.S. will appeal to our fans.

    Due to the above circumstances, we decided to release a compilation of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI as Final Fantasy Anthology for two major reasons: The texts of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI were already translated into English. We once planned to release PC versions of these titles in English, although that plan was canceled after the development teams of these titles were assigned to other projects. Also, we have been receiving numerous requests from our loyal fans to release Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI for the PlayStation game console.

    After the completion of these two titles, we determined that it would be most appropriate to assign our localization teams to translate more recent titles rather than Final Fantasy IV. We apologize to our US fans that are eagerly waiting for the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy IV as seen in the Final Fantasy Collection in Japan. We hope we can win their forgiveness by attaching the soundtrack music CD of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI (exclusive to our U.S. fans) to the package of Final Fantasy Anthology.

   Of course, the question comes to mind: why is Square not including Final Fantasy IV when the game was already translated into English (FF2 for SNES)? No explanation is given, but the exclusion is likely due to other tasks involved in localization -- translation is certainly not the only task involved. Much of the localization work for FF V and FF VI was likely accomplished during the two aborted PC projects. Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, the Japanese PSX port of Final Fantasy IV is the "hard type" version -- increased difficulty and other text-based differences are found throughout, meaning more text beyond the US SNES version of FF IV would require translation. In the end, Square does not seem willing to take the time and effort needed for a FF IV localization, concentrating localization teams on other projects instead.

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