Earlier last week, it was reported that Final Fantasy developer and publisher Square Enix had confirmed Final Fantasy Type-0, the company's latest PlayStation Portable epic, was set to be localized for an international release. While this is amazing news for all fans, there remains some lingering doubts about this announcement, largely due to how it was made and the lack of official information from the Japanese publisher.
Confusion may arise from the terms that have been used in stories from a number of publications, many of whom use the words 'international release.' As long-time fans may know, we're entering dodgy grounds when Square Enix uses the term 'international,' a label the company has used many times beforehand for Japan-only re-releases. These releases are usually put out after the initial launch of the game, specifically Final Fantasy games, with additional content and changes that Square Enix have made to in-game systems. Some examples include Final Fantasy X International Edition, Final Fantasy XII: International Zodiac Job System and Dissidia: Final Fantasy Universal Tuning. Perhaps something was lost in translation, but it isn't very reassuring when a majority of publications stick to using the international label.
More importantly, the confirmation came through Final Fantasy Type-0's Ultimania guide. Being such a huge announcement, why would Square Enix decide to release it through a Japanese strategy guide and not a press release or, at the very least, a notable gaming event such as their 1st Production Department Premier function coming up next month. It all seems a little bit too shady at the moment and after that Blummer a while back, our skepticism is a little hard to break.
Moreover, Square Enix have yet to officially announce, confirm, deny or make a "no comment" statement on the affair, making us wonder if things got lost in translation. Recently, the company has been fairly good in delivering on localized versions of their games. Unlike the delay between Final Fantasy XII's release in Japan and overseas, Final Fantasy XIII and The 3rd Birthday saw a mere three month difference while Dissidia 012[duodecim]: Final Fantasy was released within the same month. On top of that, there is only a one month difference for Final Fantasy XIII-2. When it comes to Type-0, not only have Square Enix been mum about a Western release, producer Yoshinori Kitase himself has said that there is a lot left to be desired when it comes to the state of the Western PSP market.
Speaking of which, a PSP release may not fair as well as fans might hope for, especially when the release of Sony's PlayStation Vita is nearly upon us. When one considers at least a three month difference, based on recent Final Fantasy releases anyway, between the Japanese launch and localized release, Type-0 will likely coincide with the launch of the Vita. If Square Enix were to tie it in with the Vita's launch, they'll likely have to push the PSN release considering the Vita does not support UMD games, let alone titles with two.
Hopefully, Type-0 is coming Westward, but with the lack of any official word from Square Enix, there remains some lingering doubt. Most notably is the use of the the International label, the lacking PSP market and the upcoming launch of the PlayStation Vita. It seems that no matter what Square Enix has quite a hurdle to clear if they are indeed bringing Final Fantasy Type-0 to Western shores.