Idea Factory International
Highlights – Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds/Edo Blossoms, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 1/2/3, Mary Skelter: Nightmares, Monster Monpiece; Trillion: God of Destruction.
One of the newcomer companies to be established during Vita’s life, Idea Factory International came about after Compile Heart & Idea Factory set up an overseas subsidiary to handle western localizations. The firm's first release was controversial – Monster Monpiece was digital-only and censored because of its questionable content, but luckily the backlash wasn’t enough to put the company off working on the console and a full physical release of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 1 soon followed later that same year.
Over the coming years Idea Factory International localized pretty much every Neptunia title possible (Hyperdevotion Noire, Megatagmension, Re;birth 2 & 3, Superdimension) but it also experimented with plenty of Compile Heart’s other output, including some real hidden gems like Mary Skelter and especially Trillion: God of Destruction. Idea Factory International also tried its hand at some otome, with two Hakuoki games as well as Amnesia: Memories. Of course, not everything was a hit – the dungeon crawler MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death was seen as a fairly bland entry in the genre - but in general its support was appreciated.
Missed opportunities – Date-A-Live: Rio Reincarnation, Gun Gun Pixies, Hakuoki: Sweet School Life, Moero Chronicle/Crystal/Pirates, Tokyo Clanpool.
Likely due to its experience with having to censor Monster Monpiece in localization, Idea Factory International chose to skip future games in the Genkai Tokki series – namely Moero Chronicle, Moero Crystal, and Moero Pirates. While Chronicle managed to get an Asian-English release (along with a Switch port, which is coming west this year), Crystal and Pirates did not, and it was a shame not to see them made available in English. It’s also disappointing that Idea Factory skipped the surprisingly enjoyable third-person shooter Gun Gun Pixies, which is being localized in 2019 by PQube… but not for Vita.
Elsewhere, the company chose not to bring across a dungeon crawler (made by the same dev team as Mary Skelter) called Tokyo Clanpoolm and skipped over the anime tie-in game Date-A-Live: Rio Reincarnation, despite both having potential sales potential in the west (the latter is finally getting an English release this year, but only on PS4 & PC). I could also go on about how it didn’t bring across more otome titles like Hakuoki: Sweet School Life, but I count us fairly lucky that we got the three we did. Still, there was definitely scope for IFI to have done more.