We have been recently contacted by our friends Jorge and Matthias from Disney Central regarding a petition to bring German, Spanish, and French dubbing in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III. While this petition has existed for quite some time, Disney Central aim to close this by the end of 2017 (prior to the release of the game in 2018), and send the fans' signatures and comments to Square Enix Europe for consideration.
You can read the petition letter below:
Ladies and gentlemen from Square Enix,
ladies and gentlemen from the Walt Disney Company,
As loyal fans of your video game series “KINGDOM HEARTS”, we would like to point out that, according to our opinion, the series could potentially lose much of its quality in matters of localization and the dubbing of each title respectively.
You know as well as we do that the games are well known for their fun factor and story and that these criteria are being referenced when it comes to comparison with other RPG games. After all, they are what many RPG games from Square Enix are all about. There is, however, a difference between a FINAL FANTASY and a KINGDOM HEARTS game: the many Disney characters that starred in KINGDOM HEARTS I and II along with their well-known and much beloved voices made for an outstanding localized game on the videogame market. Not only were the speakers very fitting (which is not always given in other companies’ games), the majority of them were also the original speakers or at least equally good replacements. Thus, the feeling of experiencing a Walt Disney masterpiece has been passed on to these two games. Fans from Germany, France and Spain were able to experience this exact phenomenon.
But that’s not all. If you ask the fans, it is clear to see that a localized dubbing is always the better choice. Even most of the fans who would usually prefer the original Japanese dubbing in games such as FINAL FANTASY said the same thing. The KINGDOM HEARTS series really is a class of its own. Due to the familiar appearance and voice of these many starring characters, the gamers and fans have become emotionally attached to them. Take one of these elements away and the character is no longer the same that we know and love.
The same applies to the English version. Any other dubbing than the one in the own language takes away this magical feeling. When we learned that KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 ReMIX was to be launched exclusively with English dubbing, storms of protest and complaints came up from which arose the idea of this petition and this letter.
We, the petitioners, hereby officially ask of you to publish any upcoming game from the KINGDOM HEARTS series with an adapted localization and dubbing. This also includes the already announced KINGDOM HEARTS III as well any future title including spin-offs.
Furthermore, we request that if you publish games that already have a localized dubbing, to release them with their respectively dubbed version. The fact that games which contribute much to the story, “Birth by Sleep” for instance, do not have a localized dubbing at all is most regrettable. In the case of HD 1.5 ReMIX, we would like you to at least provide us with the existing localized dubbing via DLC. That also applies to the upcoming KINGDOM HEARTS II and the HD 2.5 ReMIX respectively.
With this petition, we would also like to remind you of 2013’s first half-year. Back then, over 3200 fans signed a petition to have Disney re-release one of its animated movies “Arielle die Meerjungfrau” (The Little Mermaid) with the German original dubbing from 1989 (there is a second version from 1998). Disney agreed to this for their fans’ sake. We appeal to you to let us hear these familiar and beloved voices in KINGDOM HEARTS again – be it newly released or older re-released games.
A shining example for this is Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed: Liberation” which was published with English dubbing for the PS Vita in Germany in October 2012. In January 2014, this game was re-released as a HD-remake for the PC and this reason alone led the publisher to add a German dubbing to the game. We would like this procedure to be transferred to KINGDOM HEARTS as well as a subsequent adaptation of the HD 1.5 ReMIX and HD 2.5 ReMIX.
P.S.: please pay attention to the countless comments of the petitioners attached to this letter.
We at KH13.com believe this is a fantastic cause, especially for bringing together fans of different backgrounds in the Kingdom Hearts community! We are committed to promote this petition, and urge all our fans to sign it!
You can sign the petition here. It only takes 30 seconds!
Disney Central have already been receiving statements from the Square Enix team in Germany, indicating interest in the petition.
The following is the initial response from Square Enix:
Unfortunately, we can’t make this decision alone and are bound to coordinate with other territories and economic parameters. […] We will also try to realize all our customers’ wishes and requests for Kingdom Hearts III, including a German dubbing. Of course, I can’t make any promises right now as it is still too early. But I think that things aren’t looking too bad.
Another response followed after a year of campaigning for the cause:
As for the petition, we hesitate to forward information of this type to our team in Japan, of course. KINGDOM HEARTS 2.5 appears, as you know, without German language edition. But that does not mean that it is managed for future titles. We are eager to pass on the feedback from the community directly, so it is not unheard of.
As you may already know, Square Enix have been conducting online surveys and questionnaires asking for fan feedback, including regarding Kingdom Hearts. Disney Central and the European fan community have been voicing the need for dubbing in their respective languages through these surveys as well.
We believe it's high time the English-speaking Kingdom Hearts community joins as well!