Justin: So which event is next in the ongoing discussion? Any plans to reach out to the fans more because a lot have been constantly probing the internet for what’s next!
Albert: I can’t really say when the updates are coming, but the updates are coming! The daily updates are coming. I can’t tell you when, but they’re definitely on their way. Some of these things are tied to the state of the server at this time. As we progress more through the story and release more content, we’re going to put those quality-of-life improvements in there, since the ultimate goal is to have the same experience as the Japanese players. And with Servants, there’s no real priority list, it’s just the state of the game and the server at the time. As more content releases, more updates will follow.
Justin: It’s funny you mention the servers, since in the beginning of the Japanese launch, it had lots of hiccups, especially during limited time events. Whenever this happened, everyone received what our English-speaking community has dubbed apologems, the quartz for the unexpected maintenance and any server downtime. A decent amount of the community is wondering if we’ll be missing out on any of those free quartz.
Albert: Obviously, since our servers are more stable, we won’t have a lot of apologems to give out.
Albert: … and we can’t just purposely bring down the servers to give them out!
Justin: We won’t mind! *laughs*
Albert: But! Just remember, we did have an event for the launch of Fate/Extella on Nintendo Switch. We’re also in talks with Japan, for example, and I’m not saying it’ll definitely happen, but Thanksgiving is a very specific US holiday. What could we do with that? We also have many other big holidays that only happen specifically with the US/NA audience. Like Easter! Or even on July Fourth and Anime Expo, we gave away some stones in celebration of that. So while we won’t have as many apologems in Japan due to our better server stability, we’ll try to do what we can with these unique and specific events.
Justin: Ah yes, you did something for the Moon Goddess event on social media rewarding quartz and it was really well received too, right?
Albert: We hit our goal in what, fifteen minutes? We were like, “Okay, two thousand likes should be okay” I went back to work and fifteen minutes later we hit two thousand. Last time I checked it was at fourteen thousand. It’s incredible!
And now we see this feedback and we see how fans are enthusiastic about the events. It’s definitely another form of feedback we’ll be taking into consideration. Not just feedback from translations, server issues, but also positive feedback that we can take into account. Can we incorporate more of this into something else? We’ll continue to try and do unique stuff to kind of balance out and make sure that everyone here in NA doesn’t feel left out.
Justin: One of the things that’s really popular with the fans is the “Learning with Fate/GO” comic. Our site has been doing our own fan translations of it and it’s been very popular so far. It’s even tied to one of the newest servants that was released in JP! Do you think there’s any chance we’ll see an English translation of it?
Albert: I personally really, really want to do it. It’s part of the grand F/GO experience. Part of that atmosphere. And there’s the April Fools concept and special content all based from Learning with F/GO. Obviously, if it doesn’t come to NA, people would be very confused. It’s something that’s really interesting and I really, really want to bring it over! So I’ll try. Obviously, there’s no guarantee just yet, but it’ll be a part of the ongoing conversations we have with DELiGHTWORKS and TYPE-MOON. How we could bring it over here, that is.
Justin: It’s great that you’re trying to bring more of the F/GO culture over. Especially with what Japan has recently seen for its second Anniversary event!
Albert: With the F/GO manga, a lot of it is very culturally oriented. Some of it is even making fun of what’s happening at the time. So how do we bring that over? Would we need to change the dialogue? And if we don’t, how would we release it? It’s going as the game progresses, so it’s something we have to look into. That’s part of the challenge of bringing that manga over, but it’s definitely a conversation that’s ongoing.
Justin: So back to the game! There’s a lot of quality of life changes already implemented, like how you mentioned daily quest changes into consideration. What would you say is the team’s current priority?
Albert: Just like before, it’s more of a technical question for DELiGHTWORKS. Translations are more on our side. We’ll even ensure that existing translations continue to get polished and that new things coming out are in the best state they can be in. When it comes to the other quality of life fixes like battle animations and some bugs, those technical things are for DELiGHTWORKS to resolve. And we’re taking feedback from the NA players and including it in our dialogue with them.
Justin: The most asked question by the fans have been how you plan to expand the TYPE-MOON franchise, both in and out of Grand Order. It wasn’t long ago when the Fate franchise wasn’t that well known in North America. I think it was the introduction of Fate/Zero that was huge for NA, and now we even have Fate/Apocrypha coming out on Netflix for NA later in the year. Are there plans to expand more to North America, both in and outside F/GO and other TYPE-MOON series in general?
Albert: When I was localizing and I took on this project, my idea for Fate/GO was that I wanted it to be the central hub for TYPE-MOON projects. Obviously, from the Japanese release, you can tell that they want to centralize all their work within the F/GO universe. They’re pulling characters and references not just from existing Fate franchises, but also from other TYPE-MOON work like Tsukihime and the Garden of sinners. It’s all being incorporated into F/GO. And while some fans and myself know a lot of these materials, not many of the NA players do. That’s a huge challenge - how do we localize a concept, a story, that a lot of our players may have never heard of yet? It’s very different from the Asian market here.
From the beginning chapters in F/GO, we won’t see that happen much, but as you get into the later chapters that have released or are running in Japan, you do. They introduce Tsukihime, the Garden of sinners, and others. How do we bring that concept over? Even for those who may know it’s from Tsukihime, the original anime was from a very long time ago. And even for Fate/stay night, the Fate route itself was never properly animated. The 2006 Studio Deen release was a mashup of all three routes, not just the Fate route! Unlimited Blade Works and the Heaven’s Feel movies were properly animated and localized. Besides those, we also had a lot of peripheral materials that may or may not be localized. Well, officially that is. So with F/GO in mind, it’s something I want to do. Expand that universe and bring the TYPE-MOON materials here. It’s not a guarantee that Aniplex of America will be the one doing it, but I really want to do it. I’d love to do it. As a fan, as someone who’s working on these projects, I really want to bring that material over. I know a lot of the fans are asking me, especially with all the F/GO events coming in the future.
Justin: Yeah, a lot of our community is worried about the Garden of sinners event.
Albert: Well, we licensed the Garden of sinners, so I sure hope it’s happening! So that question, whenever any event comes out in Japan, we want to bring it overseas to NA. Unless there’s something specifically blocking us from doing that, we’re planning on it. Every single one to NA. When it comes to something like Fate/Extra or CCC, it might be a little more tricky, especially since CCC was never localized here. Extra was localized, but CCC introduced more story and it’s another different route from Extra. Let’s just say that we do get the CCC event. Any of our purely NA players won’t get the reference. They’ll wonder what we’re talking about and ask why it’s important. So we have to assess how we’ll bring these parts of the franchise to our NA community too!
But back to the original question about the expansion of the TYPE-MOON franchises. It’s something I really, really want to do to enhance and create the full experience. The complete experience where even F/GO is only part of the whole! We’ll see!! We’re all working hard to make this the best we can!
Editor’s comment: I wanted to take another moment to thank Aniplex of America, Aiko, Albert and the entire localization team for being such an awesome player in all of this - they’re doing all they can to make sure F/GO is a great experience for everyone here in NA while also reaching out to the community in more ways than most (if not all!) of the other game development and localization teams in the mobile game market! We’re looking forward to future collaborations with them and will continue to do our best in including the community! The team here at GP are all huge fans and part of the F/GO community too, with many of us around since the JP release of the game - so we want to see it grow and succeed just as much! We may also have feedback for questions from the Japanese side of things to publish in the future - from the developer of F/GO, DELiGHTWORKS, even Aniplex (JP) and TYPE-MOON themselves! We’re all super excited for the future of F/GO NA!
Both Albert and Aiko also wanted to personally extend a huge thanks to the F/GO community as well - they're extremely grateful to be a part of F/GO and along with the other F/GO NA staff, are huge fans who must brave the gatcha the same as we do!
As another way of saying thanks, we've randomly selected a couple winners from the pool of community members who contributed good questions to our site or the sub-thread I posted in regards to this interview! Congratulations to Rantau (u/rantaudavid on Reddit) and to HunterThorn! We'll be getting in touch with you over the following week to send out a Fate/Grand Order goody bag your way, graciously donated by Aniplex of America!