Yesterday (March 16, 2011), SystemSoft Alpha of Japan announced their latest in their long-running turn-based military stategy series, Daisenryaku. The new title is Daisenryaku Perfect HD: The Strategic & Tactical Modern Warfare Simulation, and for strategy lovers it is MEGATON news, especially if you have any prior experience with games in the series. Simply put, this series is without question the deepest and best turn-based series of its type anywhere on console and even arguably PC. I'll discuss the new game and the history of the series below for those unfamiliar with it as well as post a link to Daisenryaku Perfect HD's website so all of you can take a look for yourselves (as it is a Japanese site, it greatly helps to have Google Translate or some other translation tool turned on to be able to read the feature descriptions).
This is the opening cinematic for the PSP version, Daisenryaku Perfect. The theme music is identical to that on the DSP HD website, so the console cinematic may actually be identical to this one.
This is the Gameplay and Features trailer for the PSP Daisenryaku Perfect. Notice any similarities (like, EVERYTHING described here)?
WHY THIS SERIES YOU'VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF IS TRULY GREAT AND DESERVES YOUR SUPPORT
First, please let me tell you why I am personally so stoked for this game. My first experience with a Daisenryaku (which is Japanese for "Grand Strategy") title was with Iron Storm for the Sega Saturn. Sega had actually published it in Japan for SystemSoft, but Working Designs saw how special it was and ported it for English-speaking audiences. Those few who were lucky enough to take a chance on a copy, including myself, were floored by its depth and presentation. Set during World War II, the game featured three separate campaigns (US, Japan, Germany) with over 500 real weapons, and toward the ends of each campaign, a couple of "What If", Secrets of the Luftwaffe-style enemy prototype units among the opposing force to face. The battles were presented in first-generation 3D realtime cinemas, so you could actually watch the F-4U Corsairs engage the Japanese Zeroes or the Sherman tanks (usually get slaughtered by) the German Tigers. My personal favorite was the submarine attacks, which would fire a torpedo toward the player, then the camera would turn to follow its path into the enemy vessel, often with lethal results. The graphics look dated now, but were cutting-edge then, and the gameplay still holds up every bit as well. Overall I probably spent over 100 hours playing Iron Storm, and loved every minute of it.
Last summer I introduced three friends to a little-known, critically poorly-received game for the PlayStation 2, Daisenryaku VII: Modern Military Tactics Exceed, which was ported by Valcon Games about a year after Koei ported an earlier version for the XBox. Up to then I'd played a little against the AI and in the Campaign Mode, but the game and its aethetics hadn't really captured me the way Iron Storm did. All of that changed when my friends and I started playing a 4-player match using a custom map I'd made in the Map Editor. The sight of seeing 200 units on the map (which maxed out at 64X64 hexes), the realization that various terrain such as forests or snow had an at-times drastic effect on unit movement, along with the sheer depth and the forethought required to make a significant advance against each other's lines, quickly drew remarks like "This blows Axis & Allies out of the water, and FORGET Risk!" That first day we played for over 10 hours straight, and the match was not even close to being decided, so we saved it in-progress. Since then we've gathered about once per week for over a year now, our sittings averaging between 6-10 hours at a time and sometimes till after 4:00 am (keep in mind this is with current-gen games from all three current consoles lying around, totally ignored). Eventually we took on a fifth player to our rotation, and more recently two more; another co-worker was so entranced by our description of DS VII that he went and bought it for himself as well. Everybody who has tried it has fallen in love with it despite its board-game aesthetics (which do grow on you) and minimal animations; after all SystemSoft was smart enough to realize that this series is not about graphical presentation as much as it is about gameplay, SPECIFICALLY THE MULTI-PLAYER; that was what all the western reviews sadly missed. It is, simply put, the ultimate party game if you have any love at all for more cerebral fare than first-person shooters or sports games. The good-natured trash talk between me and my friends and the intensity that builds when you're 10 hours in and someone's about to lose their capital is something you must experience for yourself to appreciate.
With that in mind, I began requesting that SystemSoft, Valcon Games, and anybody else I could think of, make and localize a PlayStation 3 version of Daisenryaku, along with a laundry list of features (primarily online capability, as some of my friends will soon be moving away after finishing school). I found other fans of the series online and began corresponding with them, but up until yesterday there was a cloud of doubt as to whether such a project would ever happen. But yesterday, finally, it did, and I've since wasted no time trying to spread the word to see if I can raise enough interest to get a localization done for Daisenryaku Perfect HD.
ABOVE: The 3D battle cinemas when your units attack are underwhelming by PS3 or XBox 360 standards (perhaps a localization developer could undertake the task of adding further detail and graphical enhancements), but can be turned off to speed up things (and think about it; when you're having to move dozens or even hundreds of units around the map in a turn-based game, you almost certainly will turn them off anyway, so I can see from a certain standpoint why SystemSoft used a minimalist approach with them). Besides, this game's strength is all about the gameplay and statistical depth; making high-end models of all 600 weapons likely would tax the limits of disc space, though it WOULD be awesome both for the game and as a military reference of sorts (not to mention a selling point to those gamers who consider "bad graphics" a dealbreaker in deciding whether to take a chance on a title).
GAMEPLAY IN DAISENRYAKU PERFECT HD
In a nutshell, this series historically features campaigns and units from two different eras, World War II and the modern era. Daisenryaku Perfect HD is set in the modern era, and features a whopping 600 unit types across 22 different countries, each with its real-life strengths and weaknesses. Only infantry can capture a city or facility (which provides war funds and the ability to produce different types of units; a player is eliminated if he or she loses their capital), but on foot they're slow and especially vulnerable to armor and air strikes, so ground, naval, and aerial transports are essential. The M1A2 Abrams easily outclasses the technologically outdated tanks of the former Soviet Union, but finds itself with a real challenge against the British Challenger and the German Leopard. Russia's tanks, however, can counter with their Refleks missiles, which can reach one extra hex beyond their NATO counterparts' main guns. Surface-to-air missile systems such as the Patriot and Israel's Arrow can intercept not only planes and helicopters, but also certain cruise missiles, so placing some around your facilities is crucial. The Raptor, with its great stealth rating and long-range air-to air firepower, is the pinnacle of fighter design currently, but on the other side of the coin the A-10 Thunderbolt is simply put a flying tank that can devastate enemy ground targets and can take a huge beating before going down. AEGIS-equipped ships such as the Ticonderoga can intercept incoming enemy aircraft with surface-to-air missiles, while submarines like the Seawolf and the Virginia class can not only sink ships but also destroy cities and facilities inland with cruise missiles. Getting line of sight on the map for your mobile artillery is key, so reconnaisance units like the Bradley or the Hummer are essential to any force. I know I've mentioned primarily US units here, but with over 600 units let me assure you you're going to find an encyclopedic selection of real-life units that interact in a very similar way as they would in real life; no rock-paper-scissors stuff going on here!
The gameplay is very deep and rewards players who take the time to research their units' stats; for instance, the B2 bomber is devastating against enemy forces and fortifications when equipped with its standard pack of 2,000-lb bombs, but equip it with Pack 2 and you have AGMs (anti-ground cruise missiles) that can reach targets up to 18 hexes away, far enough not to expose the bomber to direct enemy counter-fire. Knowing your units' various weapons packs and how best to use them will give you a huge advantage. The ATACMS can strike for multi-hex devastation (especially when leveled up) from up to 12 hexes away with its ground-to-ground cruise missiles, and the Russian Smerch, which also attacks for multi-hex damage, can be lethal in sufficient numbers. Helicopters such as the Russian Hind or the Apache can be equipped with any of several packs tailored for specific purposes, from air-to-air missiles to anti-tank missiles and rockets. Smaller units, from infantry to tanks and planes, come in groups of 10 per unit, while larger ones such as ships only have one unit (but with an appropriately high hit point total). Each unit group gains experience as it engages enemy units in battle, much like in an RPG, and as it gains levels it receives greater accuracy, defense, and other bonuses. That's why it is important to pull a damaged or out-of-ammo unit back and repair it at a base when necessary; it also gives the player reason not to waste the "lives" of his units, because leveling up can be time-consuming and the bonuses really can make a huge difference. During each round of gameplay each player takes their turn; first a player moves their units that are already on the map, attacks where necessary, and then goes through the building phase where they make new units (up to a specified maximum number limit) or replace destroyed ones. Maintaining a steady flow of funds is critical, which is why cities and factories will be the site of many heavy battles. On a given map, depending on the maximum player slots available, you can have all human players or a mix of human and AI opponents. There can be teams or a free for all where it's every faction for themselves (and let me tell you, these get CRAZY sometimes; you always find yourself thinking "If I had JUST ONE MORE thing here or there..."). Aircraft must return to base to refuel or else they WILL crash, so players must keep a careful eye on their status each turn; an alternative is using mid-air refuelers if you can. Supply trucks are essential to keep in your convoys to refuel and re-arm your ground units, and either they or certain facilities can do so if a unit is on or adjacent to them (the computer does this automatically for you at the beginning of each turn, and you can set whether resupplying affects funds or not).
ABOVE: The Tutorial (Simple Mode) is useful for newcomers to the series to learn its nuances quickly. And yes, there is a HEAVY Japanese-game feel to it, as the screenshot attests (I mean that in a good way).
ABOVE: A zoomed-in view of a coastal map area with standard hexes. BELOW: The same area with the Topographical appearance turned on.
CUSTOMIZATION: The screens below show the immense depth of the customization tools available to the player. This is a game built to last a VERY long time before it stops offering something new.
ABOVE: Here are the Rules Customization screens. As you can see, a match can be tailored to suit a player's or group's exact preferences. The "ZOC" in the upper-right screen stands for "Zone Of Control", which can be turned on or off. When on, it allows a unit to block or slow the progress of any enemy units trying to get by it on an adjacent hex (especially on the ground, but helicopters with AGMs can use ZOC against tanks and other ground forces; be creative!).
ABOVE: A screen from the Map Editor, where the player is using the Space Fantasy Theme to "paint" their map hexes from the selections on the palette. Making a map is easy and an experienced user can generate some truly awesome, balanced maps for any number of players.
ABOVE: Here is a screen from the Weapon Editor, showing the stats for the F2 fighter. The individual strengths and weaknesses of the unit can be tweaked to produce a huge number of customizations. Want to create a flying tank to devastate your foes? You can. Want to ratchet back the stats of an "overpowered" unit? You can do that as well; not many game developers will ever let you do that with their baby, and this is the first time I think it's EVER happened on consoles.
ABOVE: The Production Type (Nation) Editor. 22 different countries not enough, or is there a particular country you'd like to see added (real or fictional)? Now you can do it, again for the first time in the series' console history. The first column appears to indicate the overall number of units available in the factions listed, while the other columns indicate how many of each unit type (planes, tanks, helicopters, ships, etc). I'm not 100 percent certain about this version but if it's the same as in Daisenryaku Perfect 3.0 for the Japanese PC, the columns stand for, from left to right: Very High Air (where ICBMs and certain spy planes only can go), High Air (the realm of fighter aircraft and other planes), Low Air (helicopters), Ground (everything from infantry to tanks and recon vehicles, etc.), Surf (meaning the wavetops where ships travel), and lastly Deep Sea (where only submarines can go). The 11 production types visible on this part of the menu, in case you're curious, are, in order: Japan, USA, Russia, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, France. China, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. I believe the final column on the right signifies the combined total costs for one of every unit available to that faction; as you can easily see, the US and Russia have by far the most expensive toys as well as a lot more of them than many other factions (but the US is truly in a league of its own where having to manage unit costs is concerned).
ABOVE: The Terrain Editor. Here you can change the unit movement effects of the various terrain types to fit your play style. Want your tanks to go through forests easily? Done!
WHAT SOME OF THE DIFFERENT FACTIONS BRING TO THE TABLE
The factions each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and players will swiftly find their own favorites for each. Here are some highlights of eight nations featured in the game:
America: Easily the most powerful production type, hands down. Their technology allows for a combination of range, stealth, firepower, and accuracy that can be awesome to behold. But they are by no means a guarantee of victory for a player, because they have also by far the most expensive units in the game, and when those expensive units go down and the funds are too low to replace them, the US can be very vulnerable. Among their best units not previously listed are the Spooky, which is a modified C-130 that rains death upon any ground forces (if you've seen the first Transformers movie you know exactly what I'm talking about), the Paladin mobile artillery, the F-14 Tomcat carrier-based fighter, and the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.
Great Britain: Not a powerhouse, and it has far fewer units than America, but it does have some nice ones, such as the Challenger Main Battle Tank (MBT), the Braveheart mobile artillery, and the cruise missile-equipped Trafalgar submarine.
Japan: A defensive powerhouse, Japan can take on anyone over air, sea, or land and potentially win, especially when their back is against the wall. Their Kongo-class ships are AEGIS-equipped and can go head-to-head with any other cruisers in the game, the F2 Viper Zeros are great against air or land targets, and their MBTs fare well against even the NATO "Big Three" (Abrams, Challenger, and Leopard). The lack of a carrier limits their ability to project power navally.
Russia: Probably the most versatile production type outside of America. Their Hind, Alligator, and Black Shark helicopters are heavily armored and can be lethal to ground and, when appropriately equipped, naval targets. Their Frogfoot fighter-bombers are devastating to tanks but they are very limited range-wise. Their Super Flankers and Naval Flankers are the backbone of their air superiority forces, and can be deadly. In sufficient numbers, their MSTA mobile artillery and Smerch missile launchers can wreak havoc on approaching enemy ground forces. The SPU-3000 has a greater air intercept range than even the NATO Patriot. Their Kilo diesel-powered subs are sheer death when they get in range of enemy ships, though they have a short range before they must be refueled.
China: The cheapest units in the game, hands down. The problem is, you usually get what you pay for in regards to quality. But with extremely cheap and easily replaceable units, a player using China can potentially overwhelm an opponent utilizing sheer numbers. Their Gazelle copter is very effective for the price against ground targets.
Germany: A surprisingly powerful NATO nation, especially on the ground (their navy, not so much). Their Leopard tanks are probably the most lethal in the game, and along with the Challenger are probably the best-defended tanks as well. Their mobile artillery are no slouches, either, and their Eurofighter Typhoons are easily the class of Europe's current fighter planes.
Israel: A little country that can kick some big-time butt, pure and simple. The F-15 Baz (Israel's version of the F-15 Eagle) is a versatile fighter that can successfully engage enemy planes as well as ground and sea targets (when properly equipped); Israel's reputation for having some of the best planes and most battle-experienced pilots in the world is well-represented here. Their Merkava tanks are just a notch below the likes of the Abrams and Leopard; they're very well-protected and are devastating against other ground forces. Their Lahatut helicopters are death against tanks. On the naval side they're weak aside from some surprisingly powerful small submarines, the Dolphin and the Gal; they have no carriers or assault ships to put ground units ashore at a beach, which limits them to naval and aerial transports and hurts them a lot in mounting an attack from the sea.
France: A well-rounded if generally unremarkable production type. Their LeClerc tanks are certainly decent in sufficient numbers, they have decent mobile artillery, and they do have a small carrier, which is more than some others here can boast.
ABOVE: At least four different factions (Blue, Red, Green, and Yellow) can be seen in this screenshot. Please note that this is very likely only a percentage of the entire map, and the numbers of units participating can indeed become massive.
ABOVE: Knowing your Map basics is crucial to quickly navigating the rest of the game. The Sun symbol shown in the middle of the screen under Blue Army's turn apparently describes the current weather/time of day for the round. You'll also notice that there is snowy terrain toward the southern end of the map. The little cylindrical buildings appear to be bunkers, and on the small island in the southeast is either an airport or an Air Base (the former can only refuel planes and repair damaged subunits, while the latter can field new squadrons). The two facilities in the north-center of the map which have chimneys are factories, and produce funds and/or material toward your war effort. The top-left facility is a city of some sort (Daisenryaku Perfect 3.0 for the Japanese PC features three types of cities which yield various levels of funds: Metropolis, City, and Town).
ABOVE: Various unit type and statistical screens.
KEY FIRST-TIME FEATURES IN DAISENRYAKU PERFECT HD
Along with a presumed campaign mode, Daisenryaku Perfect HD will also offer a fully featured multiplayer mode for up to EIGHT players, both locally AND CHAT-BASED ONLINE (YESSSS!!!). It also comes with an Editor mode where you can literally change everything you wish to your liking; Rules (over 50 different Rules settings), Maps (the highest figure hasn't been posted yet but the map size limit should be higher than it was in DS VII; Daisenryaku Perfect 3.0 for the Japanese PC maxes out at 256X256 hexes, which is simply epic in scale), Production Types (you can make new nations and add them to the existing 22 countries), Weapons (everything from the armor and attack ratings to the appearance and animations), and more. The map editor features, for the first time on console, fantasy themes like space or medieval, and there are fantasy units (obviously outside the main production types) to go with them, from space dreadnoughts to ironclads to dragons. You can change the appearance of the map from a hex-based format to a very nice topographical look. Also for the first time on console you can play in either Simple Mode (think Advance Wars-level strategy) or ratchet things up beyond the standard Normal Mode to Strategic Mode, where you must micro-manage things like supply lines (if an enemy cuts off the line coming from a city you lose that money it was producing until you can rectify the problem) and where your units come under support fire as they approach enemy lines to attack (in other words, your tanks will be hit from artillery that may be positioned behind the infantry you're rolling up to attack BEFORE they get the chance to fire at close range). Day, night, and weather effects are also present. Perhaps the least impressive feature is the 3D battle animations, which are presented in a way very similar to Iron Storm's but are clearly well below the quality of most other game models on the PS3; but again, this series has always put a premium on gameplay over graphics, I can't stress this enough (plus on every version I've played you can turn the animations off to speed up gameplay if you wish). Yes, the game definitely earns its "Perfect" monicker, folks.
THE FANTASY THEMES AND UNITS: For the first time in the Daisenryaku series, there are new fantasy themes such as space and medieval included. Time will tell if there will be an extensive array of units to go with each, but here's hoping!
ABOVE: The Space Fantasy Theme (obviously the standard military units shown here don't go with it exactly, but I thought I'd show it to give you an idea what it brings as far as potential to Daisenryaku Perfect HD).
ABOVE: Various units from the Fantasy Themes
Here is the link to Daisenryaku Perfect HD's webpage:
I received a response to my plea for Sony to localize the game this morning, and the rep who replied told me to post information here on the forums. He said that it would certainly help its chances of being localized for English-speaking audiences if enough people respond to the post saying they want it. Well, this is your chance to let them know! Anyone who's reading this particular forum will likely be quick to agree with me that the current-gen western games market has had an unhealthy glut of first-person shooters, sports and casual titles (not that I have a problem with any of those; I enjoy them myself) at the expense of other deserving genres such as strategy. If we can get Daisenryaku Perfect HD published here in the States it could go a long way toward encouraging developers to bring other oft-ignored gametypes out, and for strategy gamers especially it will be the biggest event in the history of consoles for the genre (yes, I'm calling this; it's a no-brainer, even against great games like R.U.S.E.).
So come on, let's make 'em hear us at Sony! Begin posting below and let's bring Daisenryaku Perfect HD to the US and European PS3!!!!!!!!
UPDATE (March 17, 2011):
I received a reply from a rep at Atlus (who is known for taking chances on games from off-the-beaten-path genres); he told me they would add Daisenryaku Perfect HD to their list of titles they would be considering for localization. It most likely wouldn't hurt if others join in writing them about the game as well. When I took Marketing (briefly ) in college, I learned that typically a company interprets a single consumer writing or calling to express interest in a product or service as 500 people who would also purchase said product or service. If that formula holds any truth whatsoever, then it goes without saying that your support DOES COUNT, and heavily! If we work hard enough to spread awareness we may just hear a localization announcement on or before E3!!! Let's bring Daisenryaku Perfect HD home, everyone!
UPDATE (CLARIFICATION) (March 17, 2011):
In researching the DSP HD website a short while ago, I uncovered a feature difference between the PS3 and XBox 360 versions which will definitely come as a blow unless a localization developer wishes to implement the feature for US PlayStation 3 owners when/if the game comes Stateside. The ability to chat in realtime while online is ONLY FOR THE XBOX 360 VERSION. Sorry, I only picked this up just now because Google Translate still tends to leave sentences a mess when changing Japanese over to English (there are many words in each language which don't have an exact counterpart in the other language, so you have to read very carefully to understand what's being said sometimes).
Yeah, that really stinks. That was one feature I REALLY wanted so I could enjoy talking with my buddies as we played. Those Bluetooth headsets bite PS3 owners yet again!
Guess I COULD buy BOTH versions if they come out here, though....
UPDATE (March 21, 2011): I just added several new screenshots and further explanations to the main thread. Hopefully they'll be of help to any of you who might be having trouble understanding what's going on for all of the kanji. Also, I did confirm through reading some more on the game's website that DSP HD will include a game-changing feature from DSP 3.0 for the Japanese PC: ballistic missiles! Depending on how far a ballistic missile is from its target (they can be either launched from certain bases, ground vehicles, or submarines), it is moved automatically by the computer each turn in what is called "phases". Ballistic missiles can immediately destroy a facility (as well as any units on it), and not all anti-air equipment can intercept them (among those that can are the Patriot, the Arrow, and the SPCH-3000). Certain fighters and planes are also now equipped with missiles capable of downing one.
Sounds like matches will become a LOT more intense right out of the gate (and based on personal experience in DSP 3.0 I recommend that players have a gentleman's agreement not to use ballistics until AT LEAST the third round, so that everyone has a fair chance to get defenses in place (otherwise the first player has a huge and unfair advantage).
RTS games are for PC/MAC. Just like MMO's. I'm not saying that you won't find a Good or great MMO or RTS on home consoles like PS2/Xbox or PS3, they are built for PC's and Mac's.
Turn Based Strategy games, Real Time Strategy games, Turn Based Tactics games they're different branches on the same tree. When you look at the success of most of the games in those genres or ones like it in North America, most of the time they do well on PC's. And as far as MMO's go similar thing MMORPG fall in the different branch same tree scenario. Or different Galaxy same universe. I never said that Daisenryaku Perfect was a MMO or RTS.
I can honestly say that I've enjoyed all of my multiplayer experiences with Daisenryaku. The non rock-paper-scissors set up really is refreshing after years of being treated to simple minded strategy games. While personally I am a RTS fan, the depth of this turn based franchise specifically DSP3.0 really makes it the premiere strategy game.
Hopefully SONY or ATLUS will see that there is a niche market for strategy game. Hopefully the investment in translation and localization will still leave them plenty of room for profit. I personally know 6 people ages 21 to 37 who play DSP3.0 currently who would love to play an English version of this game!
I'm not saying that i won't buy the game, i always like something new. If this games comes out on PS3/Xbox 360 it better sell a lot of copies for the company to make profit. Selling 200,000 units or less won't do it. Those numbers are good for a PSP title.
As I stated to you earlier I can not freakin' wait..... I've followed the series entirely since 'Iron Storm' on the Sega Saturn. I kept my Saturn and kept this game and its still better than most things out today (Advance Wars DS is a good pocket multiplay strategy game but nooooooooowhere near as deep).
I played through Exceed on the PS2, and would still pick the Saturn Version over it but only because I like the "historically accurate world." Exceed has, Red team - Yellow team - Blue team - Green team and the units are from varying countries....I get that, but its just morally wrong when you got post cold war Soviet subs along side you're American Carriers fighting Israeli Coastal forces.
DP HD seems to be going back to its roots, and I'm all in feet first, lets bring it home!!!!
btw I don't pre-order games because its rare that I find something worth $60+ bucks..... however if this shows up in the US line then expect me to be up at game stop ASAP with cash in hand lumbering over the counter like an angry T-virus victim demanding my pre-order.
Considering the effort to bring it to the US is basically just a translation, a low number of sales is probably still a win.
I agree with you, you're right if you're talking about a game developed from scratch. But in this case it's just changing words and probably some images...
As far as the profitability of the game goes you have to take into consideration the costs. The first costs is securing the rights to publish in the NA and possilble EU regions. This is two part. First of all is the payment to the developer. This can either be lump sum or a % or $ amount of each unit sold. Secondly there is the legal registration for the IP in each region.
The second cost is the variable costs of production. These are often production and distribution costs that are a expressed on a per unit basis.
Then there are variable sales costs. Which are the retailers cut per unit sold and the fees to console manufacturer.
Finally there are the fixed costs. These would include translation costs as well advertising costs. And possibly server support could fall under this category.
So what you have is $60 per game revenue minus variable costs of $10 developer fee, $2 production and distribution fee, $10 retailer fee, $10 sony's fee. Which leaves about $28 profit per unit at this point. Now lets assume 200,000 units are sold. That puts revenue at $5,600,000 for a non sony publisher sony's revenue would include an additional $2,000,000 from there console fee. So simply put as long as the fixed costs are lower than that amount the company would make a profit. However the company would also have to compare the implied rate of return of this investment to those with similar risks to decide whether this venture provides them with a proper rate of return.
I am definetly looking forward to this game. The reason I posted the financial stuff above is that most people discount niche games like this as not being financially fessabile. But when your talking about just a localization everything chages. Obviously SONY is my first choice for localization, they have experience and the have the most room for porfit out of this venture. However ATLUS is another company whose relatively small size and exerience with localization (DEMONS'S SOUL'S) makes them more than capable and willing to invest in these projects.
This is not an RTS or an MMO; it is a turn-based strategy game intended for local or online multiplayer. This is the first time the series has gone online on console, and to be frank your assumption that it's an RTS comes as no surprise; the current-generation of consoles has really given anything turn-based the shaft if they bring out a strategy title at all. The assumption among many developers in the West, unfortunately, is that American gamers prefer instant gratification and fast-paced, short campaigns and multiplayer experiences, so everything from traditional JRPGs and SRPGs to turn-based (and even real-time) strategy have suffered being under-represented as a result. I'm not saying that a game this deep and time-consuming will be for everyone, but if you have any love for games that make you think and strategize then PLEASE give this one a chance; you won't regret it!