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Creator / XSEED Games

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"If we, as editors, took the script we were given, just made sure all the periods and commas were in the right places, and sent it off, I’m not sure you’d like the game you wound up with. The very act of editing itself is a statement of, “Yes, we can improve this. We can make it so that people will enjoy it more than they would in the state it’s in right now." "
Nick Calucci on localizing The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

XSEED Games (XSEED JKS, Inc.) is an American video game publisher founded by former employees of Square Enix's American branch that specializes in localizing Japanese video games from various companies for the North American market, similarly to Atlus USA and NIS America.

Known for their colorful localizations with a strict adherence to the spirit of their scripts, the company has gained a reputation for publishing games that could be considered too niche or uncertain for larger companies to localize, friendly and transparent PR open to fan feedback, excellent in-house PC ports, behind-the-scenes blog posts, and frankly insane work ethic.

The company has formed a partnership with Marvelous Entertainment USA to publish some of its games in North America (which then lead to its acquisition by Marvelous in 2013), and a publishing partnership with Falcom, essentially making XSEED the primary publisher of the Ys and Trails Series games starting with Trails in the Sky in North America. They are also responsible for localizing most of Media Vision's games, including the Wild ARMs series.


Find their website here. You can read their localization blog here.

Games published:

Tropes associated with XSEED

  • Ascended Fanboy: Most members got their start fan translating games in the early days of the internet.
  • Berserk Button: Undub patches. With the smaller budget of the company, dubbing games in-house is a costly decision. As several of the staff got their start in Fan Translation circles, they're familiar with the practice of removing English audio regardless of quality over the assumption that it wasn't Japanese enough. While they're well aware fans will continue to do it regardless, they're the first to attempt to secure a Japanese dub track whenever possible.
  • Determinator: Neither complicated Japanese wordplay nor size of script, nor years of time, nor broken code shall stop them from releasing their games.
  • Fanservice:
  • Friendly Rival: With Aksys Games.
  • I Read It for the Articles: Even in their more fanservice-heavy games, the staff are more likely to talk about their favorite characters, the writing, and what makes members of the cast good female role models rather than the copious amount of breasts and panty shots.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: They occasionally post pictures of their cats on their Twitter.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Several of their releases and re-releases include special editions that are slightly more expensive yet still reasonably priced, and include all sorts of bonus features such as artbooks, soundtracks, and collectibles, the Senran Kagura series and the Trails Series being some examples.
  • Retraux: The localization of Zwei II in particular was done with the spirit of 90s anime in mind, both in voice acting and writing, thanks to the retro feel of the game's mechanics and characterization.
  • The Smart Girl: Sara Leen, Xseed's head programmer, responsible for coding the Trails games in particular with outdated work tools, reverse-engineering source code to port their games if none is available.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The unique dialogue found in chests from The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky trilogy can be quite...strange. Sara noted she tended to write the messages when the crunch of editing the Second Chapter got to be too much.
  • Woolseyism: Unashamedly so. While the meaning of the work is kept, lines are sometimes reworked to give the original script personality that wouldn't have been apparent in a more literal translation. See the page quote.

Alternative Title(s): XSEED