Which games could be localized in 2018?

What titles are on the horizon for Western fans? We’re breaking it down, as usual, with looks at the localizations we’re most likely to see announced in the next few months.

First, of course, a few ground rules:

  • It needs to be released or releasing shortly in Japan, but not announced for North America. There are too many projects that aren’t yet done in Japanese, and plenty of those that will definitely make it over just haven’t been announced yet.
  • It needs to be on a platform viable in both regions. For now, that means 3DS, PS4, Switch, PC and Vita.

Okay, onto the contenders!

Yo-kai Watch 3

Platform: 3DS
Likely Western publisher: Nintendo
Why we may get it: Nintendo’s tendency with handhelds is to prop them up in their twilight years with kid-friendly fare, helping parents who don’t have the budget to upgrade. Yo-kai Watch 3 still has franchise marketing behind it, and with no more Pokemon for the system, this is probably the best it can do to salvage the summer or holiday.
Why we may not: It’s 2018. The 3DS isn’t dead, but it’s close.

A Certain Magical Virtual-On

Platform: PS4
Likely Western publisher: Sega
Why we may get it: We’re in a new world! Collaborations between obscure video game franchises and obscure anime franchises can totally show up over here! If we believe hard enough, it could happen!
Why we may not: Okay, yeah, maybe this one is a hard sell to American consumers and, as a result, Sega executives.

Earth Defense Force 5

Platform: PS4
Likely Western publishers: D3, XSEED
Why we may get it: EDF has built out its niche, delivering B-movie baddie-fighting in all sorts of forms. And we’ve gotten all of them lately, generally speaking, so why not a brand-new main entry?
Why we may not: Not sure. Maybe we’d have heard about a localization already? This seems inevitable.

City Shrouded in Shadow

Platform: PS4
Likely Western publisher: Bandai Namco
Why we may get it: Big ol’ monsters attacking the city and you just trying to survive? Seems fun, and in a way that could thrive in today’s stream-focused environment. And hey, some of the monsters are even popular outside of Japan!
Why we may not: Licensing feels like the hardest part of this one, and the game’s localization-troubled pedigree doesn’t help matters.

Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Dead Heat Breakers

Platform: 3DS
Likely Western publisher: Nintendo
Why we may get it: There’s little needed investment to bring this Nintendo IP to the West, and a low-stress digital release would work fine for a franchise that’s done that before.
Why we may not: How well did that last Dillon game sell, exactly?

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III

Platform: PS4
Likely Western publisher: XSEED
Why we may get it: We got the other ones! With PC ports for the series getting out there and a continued relationship between XSEED and Falcom for this franchise, continuing with a game actually near its own time would make sense.
Why we may not: Who knows? Falcom has made some interesting decisions in the past, and future ones could tangle Cold Steel III‘s Western release.

Itadaki Street: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary

Platform: PS4
Likely Western publisher: Square Enix
Why we may get it: Fortune Street is fun, and this one is on a platform just as viable in the West and with two popular franchises both owned by Square Enix. There’s also cool online play, and presumably there’s not a lot to localize.
Why we may not: Square Enix is actually notorious for not localizing things (hi, Rocket Slime!), and without Nintendo to prod it along, it could stay in Japan with the rest of the franchise.

Yakuza Kiwami 2

Platform: PS4
Likely Western publisher: Sega
Why we may get it: Sega has been on a roll localizing Yakuza games in the West, and it seems that they’ve found a larger audience as of late. And with all the games on the way, waiting a bit to announce this one just seems logical.
Why we may not: If Kiwami underperformed Yakuza 0, it’s possible that we’ll miss this one. Still, though, we’re fairly confident we’ll see it.

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