The Ordeal of Localizing Shovel Knight for Japan

Most of us by now have heard, one way or another, how much work is involved when localizing a title from Japan for other markets. Especially the North American market. But what happens when the reverse is needed? What happens when a game that was created in the West is translated for the Land of the Rising Sun? 

Unsurprisingly, there’s a huge list of things that need to be done in order to localize a title. And in the instance of Shovel Knight, being prepped from Japan, it’s a pretty tall list of things to be hashed through.


In the most recent update from Yacht Club Games, they’ve gone into great detail on exactly what was needed and what was done in order to get Shovel Knight ready for the Japanese audience. It’s a great read and a history lesson as well, especially since they take a look at several older games from the NES era and break down the process. From art style, text/font, sound changes and so many other items that I didn’t think would be of importance.


It’s definitely a worthwhile read, as they went into great detail explaining the cultural differences and what needed to be changed to make sure the port would be a success.  Make sure to head over to official Yacht Club Game blog check it out, you’ll be happy that you did.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.