UPDATED: Taisho x Alice Vol. 1 Now Available

Here we are, my dear readers, at the conclusion of it all. Taisho x Alice Vol. 1 was released today. And boy, was it quite the game release!

Here’s some required reading before continuing on:

We all caught up now? Alrighty, let’s see the final chapter in this very twisted trilogy of posts.

without crowdfunding lol

E2 Gaming edited their last game announcement to let people know that the game is out rather than make an entirely new post with this info. Was this done so…it can look like a lot of people were instantly talking about the game and make it seem like it’s the hottest thing happening right now? Reading over the Facebook comments and all of the talk on Twitter, that is furthest from the truth.

excitement lol - 1excitement lol - 2

I don’t know about you, but none of these people are hype about this game release.

Game page

Taisho x Alice Vol. 1 Product Page

The game was released on their own website and definitely not on Steam. The product page also had a PDF of the translated menu options… Hm, now why would this be here? And the translation on that really does look like it was plugged into Google Translate and slapped on this PDF. Also, please note the following sentence:

“Voices are in English with the option to display subtitles in both English or Spanish.”

No Japanese voice acting available… Only a dubbed version. Which means that whoever answered any sort of game queries over at their Oni-Con booth either flat out lied or had no idea what they were talking about, but wanted to remain in good graces with whoever spoke to them. Geez, this is a tough pill to swallow. But now the question that you’re probably asking yourself is “Why didn’t they use the JLOP funds that they got to get the rights for the Japanese voice acting?” They could have used that money for the voice acting, marketing staff, graphic designers, etc. However, what we did see out of them:

These are the sort of things that begin racking up costs. Costs that they could have used for the game itself to give it better care.

Brave and daring people began to try and purchase the game, some which ran into a few problems:

A few things would happen: the payment wouldn’t go through, your anti-virus program will detect the site as “unsafe”, or you wouldn’t get a link after your purchase has gone through and would have to wait awhile for it to show up in your inbox.

Alright, so a few brave souls purchased the game, so let’s see how the quality of the game is:

Yes, that’s right, the game’s image song WAS NOT CHANGED TO THE MARDELAS SONG that E2 Gaming heavily marketed since this whole saga began! The original theme song plays instead. Having heavily marketed Mardelas and their Phantasia song to then not have the actual song in the game… That’s some false advertisement that still is on their Facebook page as of right now (12:11am PST on May 10th). Mardelas even wrote in their blog about their song appearing in the game:

mardelas blogIt looks like E2 Gaming did not hold their end of the bargain to have their song in the game. Ouch… This is not a good start.

Ahh, so THAT’S why that PDF file was listed in the game’s product page! Because they didn’t even bother to translate the menus within the game itself!

untranslated menu 1

Image credit: @gensouojou on Twitter.

untranslated menu 2

Image credit: @gensouojou on Twitter.

What we have here is an unpolished product.

Let’s hear what the voice acting is like:

WOOOOOOAAAAAHHHHHH!

The English voice acting is…not great. Also, some of the dialogue seems a bit off.

But then there’s this gem!

why

And if you want to hear it voiced, here it is:

I don’t think I have any other thought other that I can’t believe this is a line that’s in the game.

Here are a couple more screens detailing on the translation job:

darkishness

where

Image credit: @shinyasenpai on Twitter.

Let’s hear more voice acting work:

“I, WIZARD” …Go on! This is the point where it’s apparent that all of the voices are sounding the same. Is it the same person doing ALL of the voices?!

Here is the introduction of a female voice. She’s not a native English speaker; the line sounds completely unnatural. Just who did they cast to dub this game? This is basically another Chaos Wars dubbing situation, isn’t it? There are no voice acting credits listed anywhere (until, I’m assuming, the end of the game), which means this was done in-house like I thought it would be.

Yep…this is looking like it was a one-man show with the addition of one other voice actor doing the lines voiced by women in the game. But who could this one voice actor be?

Back in the first article in this series, I recently updated it with some information regarding E2 Gaming and Babel Entertainment. A few Google searches revealed that there is one person who leads both of those companies: a man by the name of Shion.

game work

Image credit: @ManaMiz3r on Twitter.

e2 boothHe was even at the Wizard World held in Chicago last year. Some of you might have talked to him if you were there.

A further look unearths this:

Ep. 3 scriptA script for Episode 3 of Taisho x Alice… E2 Gaming is intending to release all of these games after all.

So there you have it. All but the lines voiced by a lone woman seem to be the fine work of one person. This is WORSE than Chaos Wars! And that’s one sentence that I thought I would never ever say. Wow…

More talk about this emerges on Twitter:

Quite a few people I know couldn’t access the E2 Gaming Facebook page later in the day, because they had a Japanese IP. This is what they saw instead:

Blocked

And to top it all off:

This… is a hell of a release day for the localization of Taisho x Alice. I expected it to be bad, but not to THIS degree! The end result is a total mess that came from the complete mismanagement of the JLOP funds that E2 Gaming received. That grant money, if managed appropriately could have made this a solid release, but in the end, this is the end product that exists. What a shame…

Even though this is really bad, there are some humorous moments:

And that’s it! That completes a view into what happened on the very sudden release day for Taisho x Alice Vol. 1. Who knows what will happen next? Please do yourselves a favor and support actual otome game localization attempts and not this release. Period Cube just came out! Also, Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds is coming out real soon! And there’s plenty more coming out soon later this year to support.

Just…

….Don’t support this one. It’s not worth your money, even as a joke. This feels like a total mockery of how game releases happen in the West. The level of apathy shown by E2 Gaming is astounding and I’m not sure Primula knows about how their game was treated. Taisho x Alice is a beloved otome game series in the community and this is the localization we ended up with.

UPDATE:

Just when I thought I was done with this, more info was uncovered; some info is new and some info corrects some of what I listed above. Let’s get to it, shall we?

To kick things off, at some point early on May 10th, Primula removed mention of the English localization of the Taisho x Alice games on their website:

JP Website -1

JP Website - 2

Image credit: @NoelNachte on Twitter.

Because E2 Gaming was quite the conversational topic online due to their…work… Primula distanced themselves from it by completely removing the button that linked to E2 Gaming’s page. That action already speaks a lot about their feelings regarding how this localization came to be.

Here’s an update regarding the voice acting: it’s not a one-man show as we thought it was, even though the voices sound so very similar to one another. The voices to the characters were provided by people who have work for Babel Entertainment and friends of the company and the company’s owner. And of course the owner of the company provided his voice as well, as detailed earlier in this post. Several of them posted on Facebook with news of their work while advertising the game:

voice acting - 1voice acting - 2voice acting - 3voice acting - 4

These people are so excited to be a part of this project, but we never ever got to see their names in the credits (the credits weren’t even edited to be in English), which leads me to believe that they probably never got paid for their work, shoddy as it was.

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that voice actors deserve to get paid for what they do; they breathe life into the game with their work. The people who provided the English voice acting were ecstatic to add something else to their belt, but with no credit, how are people to know about their work except for a Facebook post?

If you’re wondering whether E2 Gaming got their JLOP grant or not, they sure did:

If you read earlier in this post about how people tried to process their payment to get their copy of the game, the merchant name listed is “eSQUARED株式会社“. You can view a list of companies that have received the JLOP grant here.

Speaking of eSQUARED, some information about them was talked about on Twitter:

If you were curious about one of Babel Entertaiment’s early ventures, they worked on Oni-Con Hawaii, which didn’t turn out so great:

Their Facebook page also had the sporadic posts and updates while leaving people in confusion with not many answers. Seems like they didn’t improve on their social media skills.

What’s sad about this whole ordeal is that there’s probably nothing that can really be done. As long as Taisho x Alice Vol. 1 is listed on E2 Gaming’s website, they had produced and posted a product in which a grant was received to aid in the production of it. Whether that grant was used for the game or not, as long as a product is listed and able to be acquired, JLOP probably can’t do anything about it. I suppose we’ll see if anything happens as time goes on.

UPDATE #2:

The ride doesn’t seem to want to end, my friends. That’s right, more stuff happened, so let’s get to it.

E2 Gaming completely deleted the Facebook post that talks about the game’s release due to the overwhelming negative feedback. If it’s gone, that means it never existed, right? But after being the topic of conversation this week, people won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

To replace the deleted post, they created a brand-new post with new info:

success lol - 1

Hoo boy. Taisho x Alice Vol. 2 is apparently on track to be released this summer. But the kicker of this is the following sentence:

Vol 1 sales are are coming in far ahead of expectations due to the large amount of awareness we have received.

Oh dear… I don’t want to think about this, but given everything that has gone on so far, it might be a possibility: they may be looking at the number of times the game has been downloaded as opposed to how many copies have sold. The game’s download link wasn’t even secured properly and could easily be shared without forking over the $30, which of course meant that the number of times that the game was downloaded would be very high. Given the high amount of negative feedback and posts, I highly doubt that a lot of people would support this release.

This post was met with laughter, anger and frustration. Check out the feedback they got:

success lol - 2success lol - 3success lol - 4success lol - 5

Yup, people are definitely spreading the word around about this spectacle. And it isn’t the thing they want spread around.

About an hour after that Facebook post was made, our good friend, Shion, posted on his Instagram that he was stocking up on vaping supplies:

Guess he’s gonna be celebrating tonight. However, the celebration is going to be short-lived. Fans had e-mailed Primula about the localization and how poorly it was handled. Matsuri_Kuu on Twitter reported that they got a quick response to their e-mail from Primula. Here’s the gist of it:

  1. They’re currently checking with E2 Gaming regarding this whole ordeal and apologized for having their users waiting for a response.
  2. The localization banner was temporarily removed because they needed banner space to promote the Taisho x Alice fandisc,「HEADS & TAILS」, since it was close to the game’s release. It was not due to the whole E2 Gaming saga as we previously thought, though it would be easily to assume that because it happened around the same time of the release of the English ver.
  3. E2 Gaming NEVER told them about a projected release date for the game. They also didn’t have any sort of communication that would let them know that the game was actually out, so they were unable to promote the localization.
  4. They will come up with a course of action after looking into this issue.

Here’s the e-mail for reference (Disclaimer: I asked for permission to share the details. As per their wishes, do not repost as your own image):

Primula had NO IDEA the game was even going to be released on the day it did. Seems like we weren’t the only ones that E2 Gaming had poor communication with.

And then comes the grandest moment of them all:

srry

E2 Gaming Facebook page currently leads to this.

E2 Gaming either deleted their Facebook page or they have hidden so that no one but them can see and access it. This is pretty much THE LAST THING they’d want to do! It makes it seem like they’re going to bail out of this whole thing. This caused an uproar online with fans. Some were laughing hysterically, some were upset and some were very disappointed that they would do something like this.

While some people may be celebrating that their page seems to be no more, here’s a harsh reminder: E2 Gaming got the rights to the PC version of Taisho x Alice, which will probably prevent other publishers from picking up the game to give it the proper care. Ultimately, there was a loss, and that’s the ability to play this game in English. Will it stay that way forever? Probably not, but don’t expect a solution to arise tomorrow morning.

To close off this post (unless more stuff happens, which by GOD, let this ride END already), I’d like to point out how to get the Taisho x Alice games and how to properly support Primula:

You can also find the Vita version in other shops if you know where to get imported games online. Also, the Vita one has all of the four parts, which, if you have a Vita, it’s the way to go. Please, PLEASE, do not download any patch that restores the original voice acting. If you want to play and support the developer, buy the official release of the games. Besides, Taisho x Alice is a BRILLIANT game that Primula has made and they deserve the support.

UPDATE #3:

You’d think this would be the end of it, but here are some minor updates as E2 Gaming croaks its last breath.

On May 14th, the Babel Entertainment Facebook page made the following post detailing that they’re not involved with the localization of Taisho x Alice:

babel ent FB post

Along with that, the same notification was posted on E2 Gaming’s website:

babel ent update

Image credit: @Sara_Rogue on Twitter.

A bit late on the draw there, E2 Gaming… This information was known for months! Simply saying “it’s not us” this late in the game makes it more apparent that what was claimed was right on the target. After all that was said and done, there’s no way that anyone would believe whatever claim they would have to present at this point.

Then, around late May, they added a bit more info on their disclaimer in their website:

no involvement

Pay attention to the bolded text:

E2 Gaming licensed the rights from Primula and is solely responsible for the English and Spanish localization. Primula had no involvement in the localization process.

This has several implications that are confirmed with Primula’s e-mail that Matsuri_Kuu previously posted. One, they didn’t contact Primula at all while they were working on the game and two, Primula contacted them a short while ago to get some insight as to what the hell is going on with their game and the lack of care it has gotten. E2 Gaming saying that Primula had no involvement must have been a thing that Primula had asked them to post front and center for all to see.

The only additional line in the website disclaimer is the very interesting line of:

Please direct any questions regarding the localization to info@e2gaming.com.

This is hilarious, because if you recall from the very first post I’ve made of this madness, THEY NEVER ANSWER THEIR E-MAILS. Has that changed now? I’m too tired to even bother trying anymore.

Will they bother making any further updates on their website now that their Facebook page is no more? Who knows! Tune in next time, folks.

Until then, goodbye and goodnight!

Omake:

Never forget this gem of a drawing:

The game has a weird text glitch that pops up sometimes:

46 comments

  1. Lehst · May 10

    Wow.

    So is the E2 Shion guy running a scam?
    And he legally just had to release “something” to not get sued?

    I really hope nobody buys this. Do not turn things around and let the guy make any money for making a joke.

    I feel bad for the original creators in Japan.

    Like

    • Elly · May 10

      It seems like it, yeah… We won’t ever really know the entire story of this, but most of this was either on my own Twitter tl or was easily found on a simple Google search.

      We can’t control what people do with their money, but the least we can do is talk about it. I also feel bad for Primula. 😦 This is the worst game release I’ve ever SEEN!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lehst · May 10

        Too true.

        I also fear that Japanese publishers will be even more wary of releasing games in the West. (Issues of piracy are bad enough. ) It is true they shoud be aware and research into who is taking on a project, but it could just cause them to close their doors and avoid the problem, at the cost of not spreading their games outside of Japan.

        This whole debacle is just bad news. Thank goodness for real localization companies that continue to work hard.

        Like

    • xcamyz · May 11

      He can be sued by false advertising actually.

      Like

      • Lehst · May 11

        Perhaps so! I haven’t delved in deep enough to be sure of what is legally relevant, and of course I have no idea of the terms E2 agreed to when they obtained the IP and etc.

        Like

  2. Roiya · May 10

    Yea I’m just sad I wasted so much time being excited and hopeful that E2 might pull through but that wasn’t meant to be. If only there was some way to hold him accountable for this dumpster fire of a localization.

    Like

    • Elly · May 10

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game release quite like THIS. 😐

      Like

  3. Namiko · May 10

    “A few things would happen: the payment wouldn’t go through, your anti-virus program will detect the site as “unsafe””
    This is not a anti virus saying it’s unsafe. It’s a feature in Firefox and Chrome that will tell you if the site is secure with https with a trusted certificate 😉

    Like

    • Elly · May 10

      Oh? I use one that indeed popped up when I went to E2 Gaming’s site. ;o After I turned it off for the site, then the Google Chrome notif popped up. I know it’s not the same for all folks, but it’s what happened in my case *shrug*

      Like

  4. i never though the otome fans would have their own No Man Sky type of drama lol
    it’s truly a disappointment but it’s important to be called out and spread the word to make sure it don’t happen again

    Like

    • Elly · May 10

      It’s UNREAL. I don’t get how this sort of thing can happen in 2017.

      Like

      • well the otome market is a growing market, many companies are starting to see there is a lot dedication of the public so sooner or later someone would try to take advantage of a tiny fanbase that tries it’s best to get anything localized
        it is an absurd what E2 and it’s important to make sure anything like this don’t happen again
        just because it’s a tiny fanbase it doesn’t mean we will buy anything specially something so bad like this
        i personally hope this incident can get into something more mainstream just to make sure but that’s just wishful thinking

        Liked by 2 people

  5. WOOOOO, this was a wild ass shit storm. I’m glas we got all those live tweets and got the word out this was insane

    Like

    • Elly · May 11

      This is like something out of a telenovela or a MOVIE

      Like

  6. Krystallina · May 11

    Wellllllllllllll… I was planning making my TheOASG article next week about the Persona 5 recording, had it all done and everything, but I don’t think I can ignore this. Persona 5 waited this long, what’s another week?
    I must say though, the Internet makes for amazing detectives!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. ochaforrest · May 11

    Reblogged this on TRASH Forest ▶.

    Like

  8. Juju · May 12

    https://www.facebook.com/shion.babelradio

    So this is Shion’s FB account and like 5 hours ago he bought a bunch of vapes, most likely using the money he scammed from the poor folks who bought his shit >__>

    Like

    • Lehst · May 14

      (._.) so sad.

      how did this guy get the rights to Taisho Alice? Did he scam his way into not having to pay for the IP? (not sure how it all works.)

      Like

      • Lehst · May 14

        oh… wait a sec. this is assuming he actually had any real permissions.

        Like

    • Lehst · May 14

      bah. ignore my stupid comments. I read the newest update and it explained things.

      Like

  9. sofutoppai · May 12

    Would you be updating the post again or maybe making a new one? Seems like more stuff has happened… Apparently, the e2gaming/babel office address was fake, primula was completely unaware of the release, and now the e2 fb page is completely gone, among other things.

    Like

  10. Jason S. Yadao · May 12

    Amazing work. My only regret is that I only learned of this train wreck when you linked to my posts about Oni-Con Hawaii, and thus couldn’t black-flag Babel Entertainment and Shion Francois earlier!

    But yeah, in hindsight this whole E2 Gaming thing seems to fit Francois’ modus operandi from his time here perfectly: hype something up, deliver just enough, pack up and disappear when people start asking hard questions. He also provided talent for another convention that ultimately failed here, HEXXP, which ran for the two years prior to the only OCH. (Heck, one of the reasons OCH happened was because of a falling-out among the principals running HEXXP.) The shows went off OK. The behind-the-scenes stuff and the whole ghosting thing after OCH’s only year, though … that’s been one of the greatest mysteries of our con scene in recent years. And NOW we learn, oh, hey, maybe he’s just cheatin’ scum after all. I’m not sure if anyone got any refunds from pre-registering for the show that never came.

    ‘Course, now this raises the question to me of why E2/Babel and Oni-Con are still linked to each other even after the PR blot of OCH. I feel like there’s something there. Just wish I had more time/energy to dig deeper into that, heh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly · May 13

      Thanks! It’s unreal that this guy has been doing this sort of things for YEARS as he hops from project to project while leaving behind a trail of turds.

      I still want to look into the connection with Oni-con. Wonder if they’ll show up again at the con next year with something else.

      Liked by 1 person

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  12. v · May 13

    looks like the guy did rom hacking, just google translate the extracted text and insert it back.

    Like

  13. Lehst · May 14

    I’m sure Shion will be investigated then, but if he does this a lot, he probably knows how to play the game. I wonder how good he is at disappearing. Did they receive any real information about him? Did he use a fake identity when applying for the game’s rights and the funding? Although, if pursued with enough force, pirates can be found. I wonder how far they’ll go, but considering the government funds being involved, I would think he would be caught.

    Like

    • Elly · May 15

      I don’t know… Given all that people discovered, there are several conclusions to be reached here. I’m wondering what Primula is going to do here. All we can do right now is wait and see.

      Like

      • Lehst · May 15

        yeah, true. and it is hard to really know the full details. at least the otome community doesn’t tolerate something so obviously wrong. thanks for the compiled info!

        Like

  14. ? · May 15

    Not sure if it’s worth mentioning or if it has been addressed already, but it seems E2 Gaming’s website had a slight change. The very first thing that greets you when you visit their site now is their purchase site. Pretty sure before that, we had a summary and pictures of the characters that’d lead to the character profiles.
    They’ve also added this line on top, “We have received questions as to whether Babel Entertainment is the owner and localizer of “Taisho Alice” and owner of publishing company E2 Gaming. Babel Entertainment is a subcontractor of E2 Gaming that was hired to run event promotions at anime and pop culture conventions in 2016. Babel Entertainment has no ownership in E2 Gaming and is not the localizer of Taisho Alice.” I thought it was confirmed that Shion owns both, E2 Gaming AND Babel Entertainment.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. maddmouse · May 15

    There’s no way they would have tried to get their stuff on steam. You can refund a game with less than an hour’s play I believe, within 1 -2 days of owning it. :’) I’m glad I missed all the hype for this game, I am suffering enough loss now as is.

    Like

  16. moonalice13 · May 16

    I had many reactions to this whole fiasco, but I have to admit that I shot myself in the foot (while laughing) from the voice acting.
    “Where’s my sexy Japanese seiyuus?” – quoting someone from Twitter xD

    Even one (however major) incident like this brings down the general perception of otome game localizations…

    I have one question to ask you because I haven’t bought the Japanese version of Taisho x Alice, but what did you mean when you said, “Please, PLEASE, do not download any patch that restores the original voice acting”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • ss092 · May 16

      since the game was released with only english dubbed audio, someone created an undub to restore the original japanese voices. so it will have original japanese voices with (shoddy) english translation in tact

      Like

      • moonalice13 · May 16

        Ughhhhh, it’s too bad I hate English dubs…lol.

        Like

    • Elly · June 5

      Hey there! Sorry this is a bit late; been busy with work and then I got super sick. =3=

      What I meant by that was that there has been a download patch in circulation on Twitter that when installed, restores the shoddy English voice acting with the original Japanese voice acting. By downloading that patch, you’re essentially taking profit away from those voice actors and Primula themselves, and really, Taisho x Alice is an amazing game that deserves support. So if you must play the Japanese version, buy a Japanese copy of the game. That’s what I meant by that! Let me know if you have further questions! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. MochiMatcha · May 18

    Reblogged this on Mochi Matcha Writes.

    Like

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  19. gigi · May 23

    I am so disappointed. This makes me sad it just makes Japnese companies more hesitant to expand which means no sexy bishi man for me. Also, does anyone know if these poor people will get their money back?

    Like

  20. MD Luffy · May 31

    Elly, please email me.

    Like

    • Elly · June 5

      Kinda hard to do when there’s no point of contact. ;o Did you have any questions? Let me know either here or on Twitter!

      Like

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