Fan Translator says his work was stolen in The World Ends With You

Posted on October 18, 2018

An Italian game developer has drawn comparisons between the official Italian text for The World Ends With You: The Final Remix and a fan made translation they made for the original release.  Francesco, also know as Mewster online, spoke to Kotaku about the experience. You can find the original report here.

Franceso worked solo on the majority of a well known Italian fan translation of the game. They referred to the work fondly, stating that part of the creative motivation was to keep living in the game’s world.  Their partner in the project, Mentz, worked largely on the cutscenes whilst Francesco did everything else.

Franceso was eager to see the Switch port of the game, which released just days ago, which had an official Italian translation. That being said, when they tuned into a stream of the game, it didn’t take long before the similarities to their own work began to emerge. While some sections were translated in different ways, almost 90%  is claimed to be identical (right down to where line breaks had been inserted into the speech bubbles).

Kotaku reached out to Square-Enix for comment, but did not receive a reply at time of writing. Franceso isn’t looking for compensation, acknowledging that fan translations exist in a legal limbo of sorts. He went on to state:

“The best I could hope for is an official acknowledgement of what happened, but I’m happy seeing my translation in the official game. This is something I will probably add to my CV, and I’m not interested in making someone pay for something I made so many years ago.”