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The Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore fiasco: Did NOA lie to NOJ?

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore may be censored?The trailer for Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore showed the same level of censorship the game's US version of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE received in 2015. However, the Japanese Switch site shows off a piece of game art that retains the original uncensored Japanese graphics. With Nintendo saying they will no longer offer different version for different regions fans are unsure if this means both the Japanese and American versions will get censored or not. We reached out to our contacts at Nintendo for a statement and we will be sure to report back as soon as we get a response.
I wrote that quote above on September 8, 2019 as part of the weekly Sunday news round up. (You can read that whole news round up here.) On October 17, 2019 Nintendo revealed that the game would indeed be based on the censored US Wii U release of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. The next day, October 18, 2019, Nintendo released an apology to their customers on the Japanese Nintendo Switch site. In apology Nintendo also said they would be allowing refunds to anyone who pre-purchased the game via the Nintendo eShop or My Nintendo Store. A full translation of that apology done by 黒凧 BlackKite for Japanese Nintendo is below.

Apology Regarding Genei Ibun Roku #FE Encore for Nintendo Switch
We hereby apologise to customers for the mistake and for not delivering enough information regarding the contents of prior notification for Genei Ibun Roku #FE Encore, the software for Nintendo Switch scheduled for release on 17 January 2020.

This title adds new feature into Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (released in 2016), the Western version of Genei Ibun Roku #FE, the software for Wii U that was released in 2015. We are proceeding with the development with a worldwide common specification and aiming for a worldwide simultaneous release (You can enjoy Japanese language voices in the game).

However despite that, on the promotional activities for Genei Ibun Roku #FE Encore, we did not inform from the beginning that this title would be based on Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. And also in the official home page, we mistakenly posted game screenshots from the Wii U domestic version of Genei Ibun Roku #FE that wouldn’t have been included in this title, so the situation caused a misunderstanding to our customers regarding the content of this title.

So on 10 October 2019, we performed replacements of game screenshots in the home page. And on the 17th we posted that this title would be based on Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. But we acknowledge that we did not deliver enough information to our customers from the beginning.

Concerning this, for all customers who have purchased / pre-ordered Genei Ibun Roku #FE Encore through Nintendo eShop or My Nintendo Store, and want to request a cancellation caused by this matter, we will provide the procedures in this page at a later date.
 Now that we have all are on the same page, let's discuss why I feel there is more to this story then we are being told. As I said at the top of this piece and way back in September the footage shown by Nintendo at their own Nintendo Direct event on September 4, 2019 was identical to the censored US version of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE for the Wii U. To be fair, there was a tiny disclaimer at the bottom of the footage when it started saying "Game footage not final." Many outlets reported on this footage seemingly implying that the Switch version would be censored, but people held out hope due to that previously mentioned screenshot on the Japanese Switch site.

On September 6th I reached out to my PR contact at Nintendo asking about this footage and whether or not it meant the game was going to be an update of the censored version. Three days later I got a reply from my PR contact stating "I’m actually not sure, but I can check in with the team about that as well and get back to you." As I waited for a reply I checked the various press kits and press releases about Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore and found no images that would be helpful in finding out an answer to my inquiry.
Originally Kiria had a more revealing outfit on
but was changed prior to the game being released in Japan
It would be 4 days until I heard anything more about this issue. What I heard made little sense as my PR contact reported back "Thanks for checking in. Unfortunately, it looks like we don’t have this information confirmed yet, so you’ll have to wait until more information is released regarding Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore." How could this be possible? This was an updated port of a game with 2 different versions yet the team doing the work on it had no clue which version they were basing their update on. I believe they knew exactly what version, the censored one, they were using as the base for the game but gave the PR rep an non answer because I work for a small site and they figured I wouldn't be able to make much noise.

As of the time of writing this article I have received one more email regarding this issue. On October 10, the day Nintendo admits to finally removing the uncensored art from their Japanese website, I was told the following. "Thank you so much for your patience. I haven't received feedback regarding this censorship, but I'll try to go back to the team one more time and see what I can find out for you." With everything we now know, it is a fact that Nintendo was well aware of the issue and what version of the game was being used for the update when the team gave that reply to my PR contact to relay to me.

With all the screenshots on both the American and Japanese Nintendo Switch sites being identical except the 1 uncensored picture on the Japanese site it seems highly unlikely their was no coordination between the 2 divisions of Nintendo. What is more likely to have happened, and what I believe to be exactly what happened, was that Nintendo of America was put in charge of  Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore. NOA contacted Nintendo of Japan and requested the code for the Japanese version of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE leading NOJ to believe this updated port to be based on the Japanese version. NOJ in coordination with NOA put up screenshots on the Japanese Nintendo Switch website to reflect this.

NOA provided the footage for the 2019 Nintendo Direct and made some excuse as to why the censored version footage had to be used in order to appease NOJ. Over the following weeks since that Nintendo Direct even more and more outlets and people began to talk about this possible censorship of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore until NOA could no longer hide what they were doing from NOJ. I theorize that everything came to a head on October 9 or 10 2019, leading to the change in the Japanese Nintendo Switch page for the game.

In the seven days between the Japanese Nintendo Switch site making the screenshot swap and Nintendo officially announcing that Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore would be based on the censored Western version I believe Nintendo tried their best to see if they could swap in the Japanese code. When they realized they couldn't move work to updating the Japanese version of the game they conceded and made the announcement. NOA had successfully censored a game behind NOJ's back and now everyone would be forced to play that version of the game.

Now, a lot of this is speculation but it is based on facts that we know about the game as of the time of writing this piece. If anyone from NOA suddenly gets fired, quits, or is demoted then my speculation will pretty much be confirmed as close to the truth. Hopefully NOJ learned a valuable lesson about letting NOA handle Japanese titles and this kind of situation will not happen again.


  1. It's a typical example of corporate backstabbing but used in the pettiest and most pathetic way.

    1. If no one is willing to point it out then the problem will only get worse.


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