Working Designs

Moby ID: 2051

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Working Designs was founded in 1986 by Todd Mark and Sylvia Schmitt. Initially a software transportation company, it later shifted its focus on localizing and publishing Japanese console games (most notably RPGs) for the North American market. This new trend was established since the advent of Victor Ireland, who later became the company's president. Its headquarters were located in Redding, California.

Their specialties include translations, dubbing of voices in games, and often creating special packages for premium games (foil stamped manuals, full color labels, and often bonuses such as stickers and maps for RPGs). They have published on several platforms, including the TurboGrafx, Sega CD, Saturn, PlayStation and PS2. Their localizations are known for gameplay tweaking (e.g. increasing a game's difficulty level compared to the Japanese original) and often somewhat liberal handling of the original game's dialogue with the addition of humorous references to contemporary Western popular culture. Among their best-known works are the localizations of Lunar games.

On December 12, 2005, Victor Ireland announced the closure of the company. It was succeeded by Gaijinworks, aiming to continue its localization legacy.

Credited on 32 Games from 1991 to 2011

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Growlanser Generations (2004 on PlayStation 2)
Growlanser Generations (Deluxe Edition) (2004 on PlayStation 2)
Arc the Lad Collection (2002 on PlayStation)
Silpheed: The Lost Planet (2000 on PlayStation 2)
Gungriffon Blaze (2000 on PlayStation 2)
Arc the Lad III (1999 on PlayStation, PSP, PlayStation 3...)
Vanguard Bandits (1998 on PlayStation, PSP, PS Vita...)
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue - Complete (1998 on PlayStation, SEGA Saturn, PSP...)
RayCrisis: Series Termination (1998 on PlayStation, Arcade, PSP...)
Elemental Gearbolt (1997 on PlayStation)
Silhouette Mirage (1997 on PlayStation, SEGA Saturn, PSP...)
Thunder Force V: Perfect System (1997 on PlayStation, SEGA Saturn, PSP...)
Alundra (1997 on PlayStation, PSP, PlayStation 3...)
Arc the Lad II (1996 on PlayStation, PSP, PlayStation 3...)
Lunar: Silver Star Story - Complete (1996 on PlayStation, SEGA Saturn, iPhone...)
Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean (1996 on SEGA Saturn)
Dragon Force (1996 on SEGA Saturn)
RayStorm (1996 on Windows, PlayStation, SEGA Saturn...)
Iron Storm (1995 on SEGA Saturn)
Magic Knight Rayearth (1995 on SEGA Saturn)

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History +

December 12, 2005

The studio is closed down, with not being able to bring planned games to market as the primary reason.

April 1998

The company ships its first-ever strategy guide, for the game Alundra.

March 1995

Working Designs becomes a PlayStation third-party licensee, but no games are initially approved for publication, due to Sony Computer Entertainment America's lack of interest in the RPG market.

May 1994

Working Designs officially becomes a publisher for Sega's new Saturn video game system.

May 1993

Working Designs receives verbal approval to become a third-party publisher for the Sega CD platform.

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Trivia +

Rejected Localizations

Among the games Working Designs turned down the opportunity to localize include Terra Phantastica (Victor Ireland, exhausted from previous projects, didn't want to localize a game that was "just OK"), Airs Adventure (concerns over the lack of a traditional interface), and the Saturn ports of Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre (Victor Ireland, citing Riverhill Soft's other work, believed they were of too poor quality to justify translating).

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