DanMachi: Memoria Freese Smartphone Game's English Version Removes 'Touching' Feature

posted on by Karen Ressler
Feature was initially included in game's U.S. advertising

Crunchyroll, Sumitomo Corporation, and GREE's English localization of the Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? -- MEMORIA FREESE -- (Memoria Freese or Dan-Memo) smartphone game has removed the "touching" feature that is in the Japanese version of the game. In the Japanese version, characters the player sees in the "interact" area (pictured below) will move or speak in response to the player's touch. In the English version, the player may still access the "interact" area, but the characters do not respond to touch.

Several players have protested the feature's removal, and have pointed out that the feature was included in the game's early advertising. Crunchyroll previously posted a subtitled version of the game trailer below, which advertises that the player can "touch" characters. (GREE's Wright Flyer Studios originally posted the trailer last year to advertise the Japanese version of the game.) Crunchyroll has since removed the video, and the company's official Twitter apologized for any miscommunication. In a statement to ANN, Crunchyroll explained that the feature was "inadvertently" included.

The game's official Twitter account also said, in response to a question before the game's launch, that the game would not have censorship. None of the companies involved in the game's localization have issued a statement on this comment.

Regarding the removal itself, Crunchyroll said on Twitter, "This was a unique decision specifically for the game made amongst partners with audience and distribution considerations in mind." In its statement, the company also said that the feature "was never intended to be released in the U.S. version of the game."

Crunchyroll's full comment is below:

We recently launched Memoria Freese as our first Crunchyroll Game, to bring both anime and gaming enthusiasts a new experience to connect through the content they love. As this was our first official game and included several partners, we had many moving parts that led to the official launch on March 30, 2018. We apologize if there was any miscommunication around game features for the U.S. version of Memoria Freese — addressing the specific issue at hand, there was an interactive “communication mode” that was inadvertently included in some of our early promotional content. However, that feature was never intended to be released in the U.S. version of the game. It was not our intent to miscommunicate to any of our players.

Memoria Freese is a free-to-play mobile game for iOS and Android devices, and as part of the download process, users agree to a terms of service that acknowledges that we may update or make changes to both the Game or user accounts at any time without notification. Our Crunchyroll community is strong and passionate, and while we actively listen to their valuable feedback, we also must reserve the right to modify game features at any time. We plan to continue updating Memoria Freese and are working closely with partners to enhance this popular Japanese game for the U.S. market. While there are many similarities between the Japanese and U.S. releases, the markets and distribution partners are very different, so not all Japanese features are part of the U.S. release.

Crunchyroll, Sumitomo Corporation, and GREE launched the English-subtitled version on March 30. GREE is managing copyrights and planning, development, and operation for the game, while Crunchyroll and Sumitomo are localizing, distributing, and promoting the game.

Fire Emblem Fates caused similar controversy in 2016 with Nintendo's decision to remove the character "petting" mechanic from the English version of the game.

Thanks to Martin Adams for the news tip.

Update: The Crunchyroll Games Twitter account posted an apology for "responses regarding localization from the official Danmemo account" on April 23, but did not specify which comments it was specifically referring to. The apology reads:

We've heard your feedback on responses regarding localization from the official Danmemo account. We want to apologize for both the inaccuracy and the tone of these comments that stemmed from miscommunications between various stakeholders in the game's marketing.

We regret how this was handled as it does not reflect Crunchyroll's opinions. We have made steps to ensure future communications will do better in terms of accuracy and respect.

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