International version

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In video games, an international version is a relocalized version of a previously released title in its native territory that has gained additional features and contents in foreign releases. While the concept of "international versions" in North American, European, and Australian games is virtually non-existent, it is quite popular in Japanese games, where games are often given additional features by the developers when they are exported to other markets.

A few, if not most, developers are content with simply adapting the foreign version... domestically (even if the only difference is relatively superficial, such as translating text and voice dialogue into a local language).


The earliest known "International Version" of a game in Japan was the arcade title Mikie: High School Graffiti (released in 1984), which was a relocalized version of a game released in the Mikie, which in turn was an Americanized version of a previously released Konami game titled Shinnyūshain Tōru-kun (新入社員とおるくん?, lit. "Freshman Employee Tōru").

Konami conducted a similar practice in 1987 with the rerelease of the arcade title Salamander in Japan under the title of Life Force.


Japanese Monster Movies[edit]

With the popularity of the first few Godzilla films in the United States, Toho Studios of Japan began the practice of having the movies dubbed in Asia for overseas export. These versions are often called "international versions" by fans. Most US distributors would commission their own English dubs, and as such, many of these international version went unused in the US. By the time Japanese monster movies were losing popularity in the 1970s, US companies would release Toho's international versions with edits, only removing harsh language and moments of violence. With the exception of Godzilla 2000, every Godzilla film released in the United States after 1985 has been an international version commissioned by Toho.

Since the late 1990s, most of the original US versions have become replaced on home video by Toho's international versions. Kaiju films that have been released on DVD as international versions include Atragon, Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster, Son of Godzilla, Destroy All Monsters, Space Amoeba, and Godzilla vs. Hedorah. All of these films were originally released in the United States with dubbed versions created by Titra Studios (later Titan Productions).

Aside from the Godzilla films, Toho also produced or distributed international versions of its other films. The original English-language version of the 1978 anime film, Lupin III: The Mystery of Mamo (originally titled Lupin III), for instance, has received recognition for being of a higher quality than many other international versions of the time (Frontier Enterprises, the dubbing company responsible for Mystery of Mamo's first English version, dubbed many of the international versions of the Godzilla films).[1]


  1. ^ The Mystery of Mamo (A History of Mamo in English). Discotek Media. 2012.