AX2019 Interview with Masaki Sato, Magia Record producer from f4samurai

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During Anime Expo 2019, GamePress got the opportunity to chat with Masaki Sato, Magia Record producer from f4samurai.

We talked about why Aniplex and f4samurai decided to launch the English server, MagiReco's place within the Madoka franchise, and their future plans for the mobile game.

Do you mind introducing yourself to the American audience?

Do you mind introducing yourself to the American audience?
I started working on the Magia Record Project 4 years ago, when the project first got started, and about a year ago I started working on the English version. I'm very, very glad and happy that I could work on it and be here.
Oh, we're very glad for you to come over here as well! You've seen how excited everybody was yesterday. It's a very beloved franchise by the American audience.
The English server released two weeks ago, roughly. Did the Launch meet your expectations? Is there anything that international fanbase can do more to help the games succeed?
When the game first launched, the first couple of days we had some technical issues with people not being able to search for friends and stuff like that. We fixed those issues and managed to come to AX without experiencing any other major problems.

Kyoko came out a little earlier than she's supposed to...

People were very very kind and patient with us while we worked on that. From here on we'll would really like to make sure that the English version of the game is playable in a really smooth and even better than even the Japanese version.

How is the localization handled for Magia Record?

How is the localization handled for Magia Record? How is the localization workload distributed between f4samurai, Aniplex, and Aniplex of America?
We have translation team, and the translation team translates the contents of the game and I make sure it's all accurate to the game. Then we send it to us at Aniplex of America.

I check it to make sure the expressions being used are accurate and appropriate for the target market, as well as fun to read.

(Devin Recchio, Aniplex of America Translator)

Oh, You're the one who checks it?
Yeah, haha.
We discuss ways to bring out the characteristics of the magical girls and all the stories. We're working so that you don't have to be too big of Madoka fan, where you're like you know everything about the series, and you get to learn You know all the Japanese cultural elements. So it can be played by you know normal people who don't know that much too.
For example, there's are suffixes in Japanese, -san and -chan, and we decided that we weren't going to use, so that it could be accessible to players that don't know too much about Japanese culture.
And stuff like the first name/last name order as well.
We also worked to make sure that people could understand the relationships between the characters regardless of how the characters...

What is the plan for the English server?

ready set go

We noticed that the update schedule is a bit faster and a JP, about twice as fast. We already had Kyoko, we're going to have Ren on the 9th. What is the plan for the English server? Is the goal to catch up to JP?

It's going to be a little bit faster.
A little bit faster?

We wanted to be sure to bring out the main magical girls from the Madoka Magica series - Kyoko, Mami, and Madoka - at this time.

For Anime Expo? Mmm, that's why! So after where you slow down a little bit? Is that the goal?
The schedule from here is a bit faster, but there won't be changes on duration of the event.
Right, because the fan base a bit concerned.
I read that, I read that.
That's very very good to hear. I think our audience, your fan base, will be glad to hear that we'll start pacing ourselves a little bit.

Can you talk a little bit about the role of Magica Quartet?

Can you talk a little bit about the role of the original Magica Quartet: Ume-sensei, Director Shinbo, President Iwakami, and Urobutcher Gen?
Aokiume, the Character Designer, and Inu Curry have been deeply involved. The f4Samurai scenario script team has been working on the story. That's kind of the new shape that Magia Record is taking.
I see. It's very impressive in game with all the enemies, all the Doppel, and even the Rumors, um, Uwasa?
That was a very interesting translation choice. The fan base debated a lot about it.
I made the call on that one.
We now know.

What's the plan going forward?

Mega Megane Moemura
Source: @kiratachibana

Magia Record has a huge presence here at Anime Expo. You are in the hallway, down here in the exhibit hall, you have that giant presentation yesterday. You brought us Chiwa Saito, her first time in America 15 years, and Emiri Kato's first time visiting Anime Expo. What's the plan going forward? Are you going to do a lot more exhibitions like this, to keep the flame alive.

Yes. Yeah, we'd like to keep things going. Moving as we go.
Is the plan for the English server to stay in the US and Canada? Or is there a plan to expand?
First we want to see how satisfied and how much the North American audience likes the game, then we want to think about how we want to move forward.
You already announced that you're seriously considering making an NA-only magical girl.
I said the same in Sakura-con, but no one notices.
Yeah, I told them!
Are you also planning more American-focused like events like Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc?
Maybe Black Friday? No?
Yes, please! I believe I have the first 4-slot Madoka in North America. So I need the load up on my gems.

Magia Record's role in the larger Madoka franchise?

1/1 Madoka
What do you think is the role of Magia Record in the larger Madoka franchise?
I can't really say too much, but the 10 year anniversary is about two years from now. We'll like to bring game... I don't know quite know to say it, not full circle, but connecting the worlds. I’m aiming for Magia Record to grow even bigger than it is now by then.
Like the Law of Cycles...
Do you see like Magia Record becoming that central piece of the franchise?
I think it is already.
Okay. So we have five more minutes, so I'm gonna do my best.
What happened to my Magia Report? Like it's a really big part of the game. You know, this is not officially on EN.
Yeah, we have to discuss that after.
Yeah. Cuz, you know... April, right?
Yeah, you bet. Yeah.

What's the best way to provide feedback?

If the English fans want to provide feedback for the game, both gameplay problems or translation, what's the best way to let you guys know there's some concerns we have?
Maybe go to FAQ.
What's the best way to provide feedback? Is there an option? Is there is there in-game?
In the FAQ you can give your opinion. I read those.

Wait, you read those?


In the FAQ, there's a place where you could send us questions.

What would you wish for?

I guess I'll end by asking you this silly question. If Kyubey approached you and asked you to make your wish to become a magical girl what will you wish for?

That's a tough one.

Will you say yes?

Nothing. I don't think I need Kyubey though.

You already have the best job?

I do what I want to do.

Okay. That's one less soul for it to harvest.

One less person falls victim.

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About the Author(s)

GamePress Lead Emeritus for PoGO, FGO, DBL and DLost.

Current MagiReco Lead and moonlights as GamePress convention hound, sometimes.