KLab America, the American publisher of the Love Live! School Idol Festival mobile game, has issued a statement about the English version of the game missing homosexual references from the original Japanese version.
NerdSpan reported earlier this week that the English version of Love Live! School Idol Festival was altering the game’s dialogue, in order to remove lesbian undertones previously seen in the Japanese version and presenting it as a heterosexual experience for the player. The full story can be read here.
In response to concerned players taking issue with the censorship, KLab America released a statement on its Facebook page regarding the matter.
Below is the full statement from KLab America.
We have received a number of comments from some of our great gamers about the English version of our popular game, Love Live! School Idol Festival. The nub of the comments is a view that some of the dialogue used in the original Japanese version of the game appear to carry a different meaning or were watered down in the English version.
We always strive to maintain the integrity of our games when we localize and translate them for gamers in other countries. We love our games and want to bring essentially the same user experience to all of our gamers, wherever and whoever they are.
That said, a good translation is more of an art than a science. A lot can be “lost in translation” if the translation itself is too literal. A language is more than just words; it also contains deep cultural references, history, and nuances. A good translation – of a game or anything else – is one which preserves the meaning and essence of the original, but which avoids the trap of excessive literalism. As anyone who works in the localization field knows, this can be a difficult balancing act.
We have reviewed the English version of Love Live! School Idol Festival in light of our gamers’ thoughtful and heartfelt comments. Overall, we think that our localization effectively conveyed both the content and tone of the original. We also think that perhaps we could have done better with the translations of some of the dialogue. We view our relationship with our gamers are very much a two-way street: we hope to provide fun and entertaining games and are always open to feedback (including constructive criticism) where we can do better.
We would also like to address one specific concern raised by some gamers, namely that we were engaging in self-censorship by removing or softening some playful same-sex banter from the English version. This absolutely was not our intention. We localized the game based on our interpretation of the original anime contents, but at the same time, we also respect our gamers’ interpretations as well. We take to heart the comments from some of our gamers who felt we were dismissing them in some way by some of our translations. We truly regret any hard feelings that we may have caused. We love our games and our gamers and don’t want any of them to change!
We’d like to thank all of our gamers for their feedback. Keep it coming!
Update: An update to the game has restored the homosexual references. Read all about it here.