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Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town’s new English release will now fully support same-sex marriage

Bullet Club

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Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town’s new English release will now fully support same-sex marriage



Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town has been out on Switch in Japan since October. It’s taken a bit of time for the western release, but we’re finally getting the game in North America and Europe this summer. XSEED has gone back to the drawing board by coming up with a new English localization and implementing some changes from the Japanese edition.

XSEED revealed in a blog post that changes have been made to the “Best Friends” system in which players are able to form a lifelong partnership with a character of the same sex. For the upcoming English version, it’ll simply be called “marriage”. Additionally, “the relationship between same-sex couples will be given identical treatment to opposite-sex couples.” We also now know that the “heart” icon”, which indicates a marriage candidate’s romantic affinity for the player, “will display for all marriage candidates from the start of the game, where in the Japanese release it will only display for same-sex candidates after you confess and start dating.”

Here are a few notable excerpts from XSEED’s blog, which addresses character name changes as well:

When we learned that the next title in the Story of Seasons series would be a remake, we immediately started considering our approach to the localization. While we were concerned about messing with fans’ nostalgia for the world and characters of Mineral Town, we realized that we needed to approach the translation as a completely new project, without referencing the original English localization at all.

This will lead to some inevitable changes for veteran farmers – the most immediately noticeable to returning players is that some character names will be different. This was a point that we agonized over because we know just how important character names are to ardent fans of the series – I wrote a localization blog about Trio of Towns detailing the decision to return the name of the character “Lisette,” which had been changed to “Carolina” early in the translation process. But, ultimately, we decided that we had to be faithful to the Japanese names.

My role in Friends of Mineral Town is a project manager overseeing an excellent team of two translators, two editors, and one amazing proofreader. I never played the original release in English, but as the localized text rolled in, I read through it and thought a lot about how much language has changed in 16 years. The core of the characters and the world will be familiar to players, yet the way characters speak will no doubt be different and more contemporary in subtle ways. Quite frankly speaking, I am nervous about how a completely new translation of a beloved work will be received – it’s a project unlike anything we’ve been involved in before – yet I believe strongly that the work of our excellent localization team will stand on its own.

One major change between both the original version and the remake, as well as between our version and the Japanese version, concerns what has been called the “Best Friends” system in the Japanese release, where the player character can form a lifelong partnership with a character of the same sex. In our version, this will just be called “marriage,” and the relationship between same-sex couples will be given identical treatment to opposite-sex couples. This has been a very long time coming in the Story of Seasons series, and the producer has been supportive of our decision from very early in development. One minor but important change for the North American and European releases of Friends of Mineral Town is that the “heart icon” indicating a marriage candidate’s romantic affinity for the player will display for all marriage candidates from the start of the game, where in the Japanese release it will only display for same-sex candidates after you confess and start dating.

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town has a confirmed release date of July 10 in Europe. As for North America, XSEED is only committing to sometime this summer.

Source: Nintendo Everything
 
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May 25, 2014
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Whoa whoa whoa did you read the OP? In japan it's a best friend system but the localization team is deciding to change it to same sex marriage! Ffs
 
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Woopah

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First it wasn't an option.

Then it was optional.

Next it'll be compulsory.

Play a different game, innit.

Is this a "slippery slope" arguement against the inclusion of same sex relationships? It going from not being an option to being one is a good thing.

It's similar to be able to play as a female character in Pokémon. First it wasn't an option and now it is an option. But it never became compulsory.
 

The Scrivener

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Is this a "slippery slope" arguement against the inclusion of same sex relationships? It going from not being an option to being one is a good thing.

It's similar to be able to play as a female character in Pokémon. First it wasn't an option and now it is an option. But it never became compulsory.

"This has been a very long time coming" = compulsory. To continue otherwise = optional.

Ugh, it's not worth my energy, it's a fight that cannot be won. Just make all games gay and get it over and done with. I just hope they don't add it into AAA games like Assassin's Creed.
 
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Woopah

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"This has been a very long time coming" = compulsory. To continue otherwise = optional.

Ugh, it's not worth my energy, it's a fight that cannot be won. Just make all games gay and get it over and done with. I just hope they don't add it into AAA games like Assassin's Creed.

Why? AAA games have had sexuality for decades so what's wrong with gay characters being in a video game?
 
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moniker

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Whoa whoa whoa did you read the OP? In japan it's a best friend system but the localization team is deciding to change it to same sex marriage! Ffs

It already was same sex marriage in all but name before localization. I'm guessing since same sex marriages aren't recognized in Japan, it made sense to call it something else.
 

The Scrivener

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Why? AAA games have had sexuality for decades so what's wrong with gay characters being in a video game?

Nothing, honestly. I'll shut up, I'm digging a hole... :messenger_sad_relieved:

Whatever floats your boat, that's how I was raised.

But I would say, I recently let my kid play My Time at Portia so I could get a feel for it (don't like any old crap on my Gamertag) and I was shocked at the political correctness of it. Put me right off. I need something a bit more intellectual or gamey (The Witness, Rocket League) instead of fake relationships and trendy fads.

gg though, I'm sorry for being a judgemental prick.
 
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The original version of (gay) relationships sounds more interesting to me. Sounds a bit more realistic to me. I know this game's not exactly a realistic romantic simulator, but still. It's also a bit strange to me to introduce changes like this in a remake. It would be a better fit to start thinking about these mechanics for an entirely new game, so things can be improved from scratch.
 

JunkerWoland

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What I find more concerning is mention of how "characters [speech] will no doubt be different and more contemporary in subtle ways." The original game is from 2003 and likely isn't full of ancient neologism. Hopefully the localization lead's comment wasn't a nice way of saying the title is loaded with overly casual speech and modern-day jargon.

As for the gay-marriage thing, I'm conflicted. I'm sure the change is being done largely to squelch any outrage from gay audiences. That said, in Japan, gay marriage is only recognized at a federal level for same-sex couples that married in overseas countries, where such unions are legal; and casual observation suggests same-sex unions are still not widely accepted by the general public (although that certainly does seem to be changing). I can understand why there would be no push to alter the game's content domestically.

On the other hand, the game is being released into markets, where same-sex marriage has been legal for some time. I'm always a supporter of localized products remaining legitimately faithful to their original versions, but I can see why a company would question the appropriateness of continuing to treat the subject in such a wink-wink, nudge-nudge manner for Western markets. While I'd rather the game's original approach had been maintained, this is a change that doesn't especially bother me.
 
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Stilton Disco

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Good. These Ferm-em-Up games are always meant to be the ultimate dream of eacaping to a new life in the countryside, and the more peoples ideas of an idealic life it can cater too, the better.

Anyone getting irate over such a minor concession to the uncommon but entirely benign reality of some people's lives needs to reevaluate their priorities.
 

Danny Dudekisser

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It's a little weird that they're changing "life-long friends" to "getting piped by your homie, and you didn't say no 'homo'."
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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Nothing against it, but the thread title’s wording and the thread being top of the page made me wonder if I’d clicked on the wrong forum for a second, haha.

Not my kind of game and not an option I’m likely to use, so... I’m okay with that, I guess.