TERA's westernization. First, folks compare it to Aion (and the general consensus is usually that it will be similarly grindy). Second, people bring up Brian Knox, currently an En Masse producer who formerly worked as an NCsoft producer responsible for bringing Aion to western audiences. Happily, TERAfans has brought us information rather than speculation about TERA's journey overseas, in the form of a lengthy interview translation with members of Bluehole Studio's Korean localization team.
The article, translated from the Korean original, touches on the challenges inherent in bringing a game to the North American market that values story presentation a bit more than the game's native Asian audience. "The English version really takes priority for the game's story. NA players consider a game's story a portion of the game's content. With that in mind we are currently working on how we can best convey TERA's story. For example, the story cannot just be told through simple text, but with many background stories for the NPCs and zones," says Young-Kwang Kim.
The piece also makes clear that the job of westernization is much more than simply translating quest text into the appropriate language. Whether you're talking about the German, Japanese, or American markets, Bluehole's team is especially mindful of what it terms "culturalization" as opposed to localization. "It is true that we are careful about cultural differences more than anything. TERA's localization is more than a simple translation, word for word. We want to make it easier for players around the world to understand the game without hitting cultural walls," says Hee-Soo Lee.
Head over to TERAfans for the full interview.