European fans of Ni No Kuni flooded Twitter with excitable hashtags today as news began to filter through of a breakthrough in the campaign for full localization. Determined followers of the Level 5 / Studio Ghibli PS3-bound RPG have discovered that a trademark application has been filed in the EU for a property known as Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – massively raising hopes the game will see a release outside of Japan and North America.
Ni No Kuni-love has exploded in recent weeks as trailers showcasing lush graphics and tantalising slices of a beautiful Ghibli world have flooded the web and, at last week’s Tokyo Game Show, there was only one title on everyone’s lips as gaming blogs the world over lined up to praise gameplay that seems successfully to fuse the modern and the classic.
Japan’s PS3 owners will get their hands on the game on November 17th and, earlier this month, Level 5 sent their western fans into rapture by announcing that there would be a North American / english-language release sometime in 2012. However, European gamers were left with the frustrating prospect of seeking an import as there was no news of full localization. The gloom was only compounded by the fact that Level 5 have established offices in Japan and, as of this year, in the USA, but no presence or distribution network in the EU. They’ve previously relied on Nintendo and Sony to release their titles – a possibility with Ni No Kuni, but not ideal.
However, today’s news gives firm evidence that Level 5 are considering a wider release. The application – for a Community Trademark – is an essential first step in protecting their IP should they seek to launch over here, and has been submitted by Reddie and Grose, IP specialists with expertise in bringing Japanese products to the EU. Only registered on September 22nd, the file is still under review by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (the EU’s office for trademarks and design) so a formal announcement may be delayed until it’s confirmed.
In the meantime, get your sweet ass over to the Campaign For Ni No Kuni Localization and make sure Level 5 know how much you want the release – because now, more than ever, it looks like we just might get it!
That glorious application in full: