XSEED Possibly Afraid of Publishing Senran Kagura

Is there a possibility that games like Senran Kagura will stay Japanese exclusive in the future due to some gamers taking offense at the subject matter?
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XSEED Games, now a subsidiary of Marvelous USA after combining with Atlus Online, is famous for bringing over quite a few niche Japanese titles. Their localization and publishing works include games like Corpse Party and the Ys series. One such game series that is being considered is Senran Kagura.

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Senran Kagura is a side scrolling action game for the Nintendo 3DS where the player controls five different female ninjas. As the ninjas take damage, their clothes start tearing, revealing more of their skin.

While the premise is a bit silly, the gameplay is supposed to be solid. It is also a popular enough game to have spawned a 3DS sequel and a PSP Vita game. Outside of the realm of video games, Senran Kagura also has its own anime as well as a few different manga.

Ken Berry, boss of XSEED, has said this regarding the possibility of bringing the game stateside:

“We are definitely interested in pushing the ‘Marvelous’ brand as much as possible. It is something that we continue to look into because we know demand is there as lots of fans have asked for it. But it’s just a scary proposition due to the subject matter and differences in attitudes between Japanese culture and the more conservative culture here in the U.S.”

Berry goes further to state that there might be a chance for it to see a digital release, but the idea of releasing it physically carries with it too much potential for disaster for it to be a worthwhile effort.

Why is the company so afraid to publish Senran Kagura? It’s pretty obvious that the recent controversy with Dragon’s Crown‘s exaggeratedly busty sorceress has caused some concern for publishers that bring over Japanese games that some players might find offensive.

I personally want to see it get released stateside as I have heard great things about its gameplay. As silly as the clothing mechanics are, it’s not something that we haven’t seen in the states in games like Soul Calibur IV.

What do you think? Is it a good thing that publishers are becoming more aware of the offense some people take at games like Senran Kagura or is it a bad thing that they’re becoming limited in their ability to publish games that have an audience due to fear of controversy?

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Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.