Word seems to have trickled out over the weekend that Tales of Xillia finally has a North American release date: August 6th.
Considering that Xillia’s release has been listed as “summer” for the better part of eight months now, this is a positive sign. Still, this seems to be following a familiar Tales format — and I’m not talking about the uninformed perception about its “generic anime style” or how it has “the same battle system in every game.”
Tales of Xillia will probably sell in the low six figures once it hits store shelves in the states. Maybe 200,000 or 300,000 copies. That’s not a terrible number, but it’s nowhere near on par with the Call of Dutys and the Maddens of the world. Hell, even recent clunkers like Final Fantasy XIII-2 will probably outperform it in sales.
Why is that important? Because it will prevent Namco Bandai from ever seeing how well the series can grow outside of Japan. Look at it this way: Xillia is a game that will already have been out for almost two years by the time anyone in the States can get their hands on it. Hell, Tales of Xillia 2 came out in Japan last November. Despite the utter lack of momentum — and advertising — for Xillia here, these middling sales numbers will be taken as another example of why it’s not worth localizing titles like Tales of VS. and Tales of Hearts. Heaven forbid that we get a game close to its original release (like Vesperia, which sold well) or even at the same time internationally like the new Pokemon games in October.
Now, I’m still excited to have what seems to be a concrete release date for a game I’ll probably enjoy thoroughly. It’s just frustrating as a Tales fan to see the cycle repeat itself over and over again. So…here’s to August 6th?