Meet the people bringing Japanese video games to life in English

Tokyo-based translation firm 8-4’s mission is to reduce cultural gaps between countries, and infuse games with local personality

On the second floor of an unassuming office building in Shibuya, Tokyo, a process of transformation is happening.

“We don’t want to stand out,” says Hiroko Minamoto, president and co-founder of video game translation firm 8-4. The company, named after the final level of Super Mario Bros, specialises in repackaging Japanese video games for English-speaking audiences, or vice versa. “When localisation is bad, that’s when it stands out, and that’s when people yell at us. We want it to be natural.”

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