So with all the recent talks of censorship in PSO2 and the forum being in a constant state of infighting with themselves, other issues have been overlooked... like the StarGem situation or Localization. About the only thing I agree with the majority is the issues regarding Star Gems but that's not what i'm here to talk about... this has been a long time coming but I never got around to detailing and I feel the damage has already been done but... here goes.
So we all remember this post yeah? https://forum.pso2.com/topic/5139/game-devs-should-fire-the-item-description-translator-for-scamming-and-cheating-for-their-paycheck?page=1
It's still a relevant thread mind you and its been a good place to document any of the translation errors and inconsistencies to hopefully get them sent over to the dev team. However some things never sat well with me, namely the title and such things like:
It can't get worse especially when translators scam and lie to the developers in translating game item descriptions and potential descriptions with partial effort of poor grammar, or just no effort at all.
but whoever is in charge of item translation in your development team - needs to GET FIRED. Right away.
I understand that given the situation and how things went... strong emotions and things like these are part of the norm when it comes to online game communities but nine times out of ten, especially with regards to this franchise, results in the wrong person ultimately being blamed... like the times Sega of America's staff took blame for things that were ultimately Sega of Japan's fault during the PSU days, or even how GMs get blamed for what is ultimately lack of communication on Sega of Japan's end or (to cut Sega some slack), Sega is blamed for Microsoft's incompetency with their storefront.
So, once again i'm going to try to sort things out as best as can be and try to make a bit clearer how things really go and I especially hope @LapisWave is reading this as well given how strongly they felt about the localization.
First off... lets look here:
This is all the translators that have worked on the English version of Phantasy Star Online 2. Anyone who pays attention to other game's credits MIGHT pick up on some of these guys... these are not 'no name translator' who've worked on horrible translations... anyone willing to actually look up their portfolios will find nearly half of these translators have had prior experience with major titles.
And oh look... we have a fan translator who's had experience with the Phantasy Star franchise hired to work on PSO2's localization:
You can find her works here: http://www.sceneryrecalled.com/trans/trans.htm
So.... I guess the localization team are a bunch of incompetend translators who don't know what they are doing right? (Sarcasm)
Yeah no, if such were the case... why don't all these other things they've worked on suffer from the same issues that PSO2 does? I know at least one of these people have worked on Nier Automata (couldn't find their portfolio for the compilation above). Why would such professionals be making such mistakes like those seen in Phantasy Star Online 2? Thankfully I won't have to answer that... cause one of PSO2's localizers explained (in an out of context manner) OTHER reasons for why localizations can end up the way they do:
Cause its not like other companies and ESPECIALLY SEGA hasn't screwed over Western companies working on their titles in the past right? Lets put things into perspective...
PSO2 is a very big game. From what is known, Sega chose to have EVERYTHING localized from EPISODE 1 to EPISODE 6 and those who've looked at the game files show that even things that were never going to be released such as old events and some removed licensed content has ALL been localized. That's already one BIG workload.
We have no idea when localization even begun... for all we know, they could have not even begun localization until several months AFTER the E3 announcement back in 2019. Add to that the fact that the game needs to be dubbed which adds an extra amount of things to take into consideration (apparently from my understanding, PSO2's voice files need to be the same LENGTH as their Japanese counterpart).
Adding onto the first bullet point... but notice, most of the portfolios speak of PSO2 in the past tense OR don't list PSO2 as an ongoing job. Given that SEGA wanted everything to be localized from the getgo... this paints a unique picture. Any fixes from here on out does not involve the localization team anymore... its all in Sega of Japan's hands now.
Credit to whoever brought it up... but Localizers are paid per the amount of content that needs to be localized. So... if SEGA were to cut corners, they could pay for literally EVERYTHING ELSE and just tell the team to skip translating the flavour text.
So I hope the true culprit behind the state of the localization is clear.... if not here's a TLDR:
Localization team have worked on titles with high quality translations, Sega did not give them enough to work with to do their job properly