This is John again with an update about the Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns DLC.
The short version is, we haven’t decided whether or not to localize it yet, and if we do, we’ll have to charge for it. Read on for more details.
If it isn’t obvious already, we love Story of Seasons fans and pay attention to your feedback. In addition to our Facebook and Twitter pages, I check other outlets to see what players are talking about. So I wanted to give you an honest update about the DLC situation and see what you have to say about it.
The long version is as follows:
To my knowledge, Trio of Towns is the first game in the long-running series to include post-launch DLC.
The DLC, released for free in four patches over six months in Japan, includes the following:
1. 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
2. A few new events such as your father coming to visit and getting together with friends of the same gender for a meal
3. The ability to have a child with the game’s secret marriage candidate
4. A new “performer” story (Which are similar to the TV channels in the previous Story of Seasons)
5. A new pet, Cheburashka, a Russian cartoon character that has a presence in Japan
6. New costumes, including ones based on Lest and Frey from Rune Factory 4
7. New reaction dialogue for different outfits and pets from bachelors and bachelorettes
One of the DLC patches unlocks Stephanie as a Westown resident and marriage candidate. Not to mention she finally has a name.
The total size of the DLC is over 200,000 Japanese characters, making it as large as some games we’ve released. The first Corpse Party, for example, has about 210,000 characters.
The last round of DLC was released in Japan in mid-December, which means that the Japanese text was completed after we’d entered the QA and submission phase of localizing the main game. With DLC of this size, including it in the game would have been impossible under our schedule. It would have forced us to release months after we’d originally planned.
The Performer is a traveling showman who will read one chapter from a story per day. The illustrations are by “guest” artists.
So, will the DLC ever be released in North America? The truth is that we’re still discussing it. Given the size of the DLC, it would cost upwards of six figures to localize it (over half of which is programming and QA costs). For the amount of money and manpower we would need, we could almost release a full other title. The price of the base game in Japan is more than in North America, and they sell about twice as many games as we do here, factors which made it easier for them to release the DLC for free. We are really grateful to fans for their continuing support of the series under its new name, but releasing DLC of this size for free is beyond our means.
This places us squarely between a rock and a hard place. We either don’t localize the DLC at all, or we release it as paid DLC. Neither of these is ideal, but we have to be realistic as a smaller publisher.
The price point we’re looking at, after comparison with other paid DLC with similar content, is $3.99 each for three patches. (Patch 1 and 2 from the Japanese version, which contain less content than 3 and 4, would be combined.) Making for an even more bitter pill is that by charging for the DLC, we would be unable to include Cheburashka (and even offering him for free wouldn’t have guaranteed the license extended out to North America indefinitely). The above details aren’t set in stone, but it is the most likely plan if we do localize the DLC.
In my last blog, I wrote that it kills us to release a game without all the content of the original version. Dealing with this situation has been even harder than removing Hamtaro from the game, as I know that some of you are looking forward to wooing Stephanie or Woofio, or having a child with the secret marriage candidate. We want to work on the DLC. (Though, I don’t know if the person tasked with editing over 500 lines of Woofio dog puns will feel the same.)
Even though there’s no best-case scenario here, we’ve chosen to lay all of this out and see what you all have to say about it. We take your comments seriously, so let us know what you think.
One DLC patch adds Woofio as a marriage candidate. All joking aside, he actually has an interesting backstory.