Ever since crowdfunding has come onto the scene, many indie devs and sometimes even major ones have used the power of the crowd to fund their game development. Square Enix is now taking this approach and applying it to the localization of Japanese games. This will address the many popular Japanese titles that western fans have long wanted a local version of but have never had the chance to get it.
While there are many vocal fans that always clamour for a localization, it can be hard for the developer and publisher to determine how many potential customers there really are. Even when fans say they want the game are willing to buy it, many of them might actually not purchase the localization title. Given the costs of translating and hiring voice acting talent, the risks have generally outweighed the potential return on investment.
With crowdfunding, the community is able to prove that they want a localization done by actually paying for it. Depending on how the rewards and crowdfunding are done, the developer is able get a guaranteed return on their investment and fans can get the game they want in their own language. It will be interesting to see if other developers take on this idea and if alternatives like a guaranteed buy-in get explored.
Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information