With Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns launching on February 28 in Japan, fans may be curious if the game’s post-launch downloadable content, which was released for free in four patches over the course of six months in Japan, will also be coming west. In a developer blog, publisher XSEED Games outlines why it either won’t happen, or it will and it won’t be free.
First, here is everything that the four free patches released in Japan added to the game:
- A new bachelor and bachelorette: Stephanie the contest MC and Woofio. Yes, Woofio the contest judge in the dog suit. This includes new resident and romance events for these characters.
- A few new events such as your father coming to visit and getting together with friends of the same gender for a meal.
- The ability to have a child with the game’s secret marriage candidate.
- A new “performer” story (Which are similar to the TV channels in the previous Story of Seasons).
- A new pet, Cheburashka, a Russian cartoon character that has a presence in Japan.
- New costumes, including ones based on Lest and Frey from Rune Factory 4.
- New reaction dialogue for different outfits and pets from bachelors and bachelorettes.
As XSEED notes, one of the patches includes over 200,000 characters of Japanese text. For comparison’s sake, the first Corpse Party, also released by XSEED, has about 210,000 Japanese characters. That’s where the problem lies.
The last round of downloadable content launched in Japan in mid-December, when the English version of Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns has entered QA and the submission phase of localizing the main game. With downloadable content of that size, XSEED says, it would be impossible to include in the main game without delaying it by months.
XSEED says the downloadable content would cost “upwards of six figures” to localize, “over half of which is programming and QA costs,” and the same amount of money and manpower could “almost release a full other title.”
The publisher’s dilemma now is whether or not to localize the content. If it does, XSEED says it’s most likely looking at a $3.99 per patch price point, with the first and second patches combined into a single patch, given that they contain less content than the third and fourth patches, for a total release of three patches instead of four.
XSEED added that even if it were to localize the downloadable content, charging for it would mean they can’t include Cheburashka, and that even offering him for free wouldn’t have guaranteed the license.