8-4

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8-4, Ltd.
Limited company
Industry Video games
Founded October 5, 2005 (2005-10-05)
Headquarters Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Hiroko Minamoto, CEO
Mark MacDonald, executive director
John Ricciardi, COO
Services Video game localization
Number of employees
5
Website 8-4

8-4, Ltd. is an independent video game localization company based in Shibuya, Tokyo.[1] The company was founded in 2005 by Hiroko Minamoto and former EGM editor John Ricciardi. They were joined by Ricciardi's EGM colleague Mark MacDonald in 2008. It performs Japanese-to-English translation on a contract basis with credits including Monster Hunter Tri, Nier and Shadows of the Damned.[2] The company is named after the final level of Super Mario Bros.[3]

Translation[edit]

8-4 generally gets involved in the localization process midway through a game's development, gaining access to a build of the game and script.[4] Occasionally, they are invited to participate throughout the development cycle, as with the case of Shadows of the Damned.[4] As publishers increasingly push for simultaneous worldwide release, they have noted earlier and earlier involvement in projects.[5] In the first step of the process, they familiarize themselves with the game and others in its series by playing through them multiple times and taking notes.[3][4] To perform the actual translation, they use large Microsoft Excel spreadsheets containing the script in both Japanese and English.[3] In addition to word translation, they suggest changes to make the game more accessible to Western audiences. For example, in Glory of Heracles, they recommended that the battle speed be tripled in order to make fighting more exciting.[6]

The team cites Richard Honeywood, founder of Square's localization department, as an influence on their translation style.[7] Beyond merely translating the words, 8-4 attempts to convey the same experience as that of the original language version through attention to tone, user interface, and cultural references.[6][8] Because of their text-heavy nature, most of 8-4's contracts are for role-playing video games such as Eternal Sonata, Tales of Vesperia, and Star Ocean: The Last Hope, which are beyond the capabilities of in-house translation teams.[5] In translating Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, they inherited Honeywood's Dragon Quest style guide to aid them in keeping consistency between games.[7] Speaking of their favorite projects, they look to games like Baten Kaitos Origins where the developers allowed them to take over every aspect of localization including script, debugging, quality assurance, and voice production.[9]

Gameography[edit]

Year Game Client Notes
2015 Xenoblade X[10] Nintendo Japanese-to-English
2015 Mighty No. 9 Comcept Japanese-to-English, Consulting, Community Management, Public Relations
2014 Azure Striker Gunvolt Inti Creates Japanese-to-English
2014 Wind-up Knight 2 Robot Invader English-to-Japanese
2014 Threes! Sirvo English-to-FGJ
2014 Drakengard 3 Square-Enix Japanese-to-English
2014 Boom Beach Supercell English-to-Japanese
2013 République Camouflaj LLC English-to-FGS
2013 Hay Day Supercell English-to-Japanese, Consulting
2013 Tales of Xillia Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2013 Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Capcom Japanese-to-English
2013 Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Konami Japanese-to-English
2013 Fire Emblem Awakening Nintendo Japanese-to-English
2013 Skulls of the Shogun 17-BIT English Writing, English-to-FIGSPCJKR
2013 Rise of the Blobs Robot Invader English-to-Japanese
2012 Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP CAPY English-to-Japanese, Promotion, Marketing
2012 Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Capcom Japanese-to-English
2012 Gravity Rush Sony Computer Entertainment English Editing
2012 Dragon's Dogma Capcom Japanese-to-English
2012 Skullgirls Reverge Labs Inter-Office Communication
2012 Touch My Katamari Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2012 Tales of the Abyss Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2012 Soulcalibur V Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English DLC Translation
2012 Tales of Graces f Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2011 Fossil Fighters: Champions Nintendo Japanese-to-English
2011 Otomedius Excellent Konami Japanese-to-English
2011 The Black Eyed Peas Experience Ubisoft English Writing
2011 Aquaria Semi Secret Software English-to-Japanese
2011 Zoo Resort 3D Ubisoft Japanese-to-English
2011 Wind-up Knight Robot Invader English-to-Japanese
2011 Disney Epic Mickey Disney Interactive Studios English-to-Japanese
2011 Shadows of the Damned Grasshopper Manufacture Japanese-to-English, English-to-Japanese
2011 Dead or Alive: Dimensions Tecmo Koei Japanese-to-English
2011 Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation Nintendo Japanese-to-English
2010 Echochrome II Sony Computer Entertainment Japanese-to-English
2010 Adrenalin Misfits Konami Japanese-to-English
2010 Castlevania: Harmony of Despair Konami Japanese-to-English
2010 Monster Hunter Tri Capcom Japanese-to-English
2010 Nier Square Enix Japanese-to-English
2010 The Eye of Judgment: Legends Sony Computer Entertainment Japanese-to-English
2010 Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll Sega Japanese-to-English
2010 Star Ocean: The Last Hope International Square Enix Japanese-to-English
2010 White Knight Chronicles International Sony Computer Entertainment Japanese-to-English
2010 Glory of Heracles Nintendo Japanese-to-English
2009 Tekken 6 Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2009 Petz Hamsterz Bunch Ubisoft Japanese-to-English
2009 Undead Knights Tecmo Japanese-to-English
2009 Katamari Forever Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2009 Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2009 Imagine: Makeup Artist Ubisoft Japanese-to-English
2009 Tenchu: Shadow Assassins (PSP) Ubisoft Japanese-to-English
2009 Star Ocean: The Last Hope Square Enix Japanese-to-English
2009 Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Nintendo Japanese-to-English
2009 Tenchu: Shadow Assassins (Wii) Ubisoft Japanese-to-English
2008 Imagine: Ballet Star Ubisoft Japanese-to-English
2008 Castlevania Judgment Konami Japanese-to-English
2008 Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2008 Eternal Sonata (PS3) Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2008 Tales of Vesperia Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2008 Soulcalibur IV Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2008 Wild ARMs XF XSEED Games Japanese-to-English
2008 Culdcept Saga Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2008 Ape Quest Sony Computer Entertainment Japanese-to-English
2007 Eternal Sonata (Xbox 360) Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2007 Wild ARMs 5 XSEED Games Japanese-to-English
2007 Jeanne d'Arc Sony Computer Entertainment Japanese-to-English
2007 Brave Story: New Traveler XSEED Games Japanese-to-English
2007 Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2007 Lunar Knights Kojima Productions Japanese-to-English
2007 Rogue Galaxy Sony Computer Entertainment Japanese-to-English
2006 Every Extend Extra Q Entertainment Japanese-to-English
2006 Gunpey DS Q Entertainment Japanese-to-English
2006 Gunpey Q Entertainment Japanese-to-English
2006 Tales of the Abyss Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2006 Baten Kaitos Origins Nintendo Japanese-to-English
2006 Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra Namco Bandai Games Japanese-to-English
2006 Warship Gunner 2 Koei Japanese-to-English
2005 Mario Tennis: Power Tour Nintendo Japanese-to-English

Podcast[edit]

8-4 hosts a bi-weekly podcast dedicated to "Japan, video games, and Japanese video games", known as 8-4 Play. It is hosted by the "8-4some" consisting of Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, Hiroko Minamoto, and Justin Epperson. Being located in Tokyo, 8-4 has the opportunity to attend and share news about many Japanese video game industry events such as Tokyo Game Show, Capcom's Captivate, and Grasshopper Manufacture's Hoppers. As 1UP.com and EGM alumni, they maintain many of their video game journalism connections including James Mielke (now of Q Entertainment), Shane Bettenhausen (Ignition Entertainment), and David Abrams (Cheap Ass Gamer), who make regular appearances as guests on the show.[citation needed] They also occasionally have prominent designers as guests such as Tetsuya Mizuguchi and Akira Yamaoka.[11][12] Following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, 8-4 was involved in both Grasshopper Manufacture's Grasstream 2 charity event and Play For Japan: The Album, headed by Akira Yamaoka.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About « 8-4". 8-4. 2005-10-05. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  2. ^ "8-4 | Gameography". 8-4. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  3. ^ a b c Akibatteru (2010-11-09). "Akibatteru アキバってる - Taipei Comic Fair, Game localization and Tokyo Anime Fair". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  4. ^ a b c Robson, Daniel (2011-06-29). "Local heroes take Japanese video games to the world | The Japan Times Online". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  5. ^ a b Nutt, Christian (2008-12-11). "News - Interview: 8-4 & The New Potential For Game Localization". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  6. ^ a b Ashcraft, Brian (2010-11-02). "Found In Translation". Kotaku. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  7. ^ a b "8-4 Play 4/22/2011: PROJECT CAFÉ OLÉ « 8-4". 8-4. 2011-04-23. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  8. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2010-11-03). "The Surprising Ways Japanese Games Are Changed For Americans". Kotaku. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  9. ^ Shoemaker, Brad (2008-10-17). "Giant Bomb Visits 8-4". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  10. ^ Nintendo of America. Twitter. 2015-08-28. Retrieved on 2015-08-29.
  11. ^ "8-4 Play 6/17/2011: CHILD OF MIZUGUCHI « 8-4". 8-4. 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  12. ^ "8-4 Play 7/15/2011: ¡QUE MAGNIFICO! « 8-4". 8-4. 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 

External links[edit]