As we've pointed out with numbers, few Japanese publishers are as tardy with their European releases as Square Enix. So how's the Final Fantasy XIII localisation coming along, then?
In a statement that's not exactly encouraging for European fans, Square Enix's Yoshinori Kitase has told Videogamer:
Obviously we would like to release [in Europe] as soon as possible. Traditionally the Final Fantasy numbered series, it takes about half a year between the release in Japan and the release in North America, and another half a year before it's released in Europe. But we would like to minimise this, this time.
For example we have already started recording English voices, and also the text localisation has been in progress, too. Normally we complete the Japanese version first, then move on to the US and EU versions, but this time there are some tasks that are happening simultaneously. So this time we're hoping to release sooner than a year later than the Japanese release.
It's amazing that we're nine years into the 21st century, and 13 games into the Final Fantasy series, and Square Enix still don't have their shit together. How is it Metal Gear Solid 4 can ship worldwide simultaneously, while Square can only offer "we're hoping to release sooner than a year later than the Japanese release"?
Hope is no guarantee (less than a year can still be 11 months!), and hope won't cut it with angry Europeans, Square Enix. Especially the ones that can't speak English, and thus can't import the US version.