It’s pretty likely that many of our readers have never heard of Fate/Grand Order, or even the Fate series in general. What started with a risque PC visual novel quickly became a huge franchise spanning anime, manga, novels, and games. Some of those products have been released outside of Japan, but the franchise on the whole retains a somewhat low profile in the West. Very dedicated TouchArcade readers, however, might have seen this game’s name in a recent story about top-earning mobile games for Q1 2017, where Fate/Grand Order was sitting in the number two position overall, just behind Monster Strike and ahead of games like Game of War, Clash Royale, and Pokemon GO. Amazingly, it’s found that level of success without even releasing outside of the Japanese App Store. Well, this summer, Fate/Grand Order is looking to expand its reach with a release in the US.
Fate/Grand Order is an online social RPG spin-off of the main Fate/stay night series of visual novels. The gameplay is a hybrid of turn-based battles and visual novel cut-scenes, and as you would expect from that set-up, the story takes a major role. I won’t go into detail here because that is a serious can o’ worms, but it involves time travel. Glorious time travel. As you would expect, the heavy narrative elements are hard to appreciate if you can’t read them, but somehow Fate/Grand Order has developed a huge following of non-Japanese players. So many, in fact, that while the game was never planned to release outside of Japan, the game’s publisher Aniplex has decided to give it a go. The game is tentatively planned for an English release this summer.
I haven’t played Fate/Grand Order yet, so I can’t personally speak to its qualities. But I’d imagine that if enough overseas people were playing it to convince the publisher to localize it, there must be something to it beyond a well-written story. We’ll have to find out just what that something is when the game releases in the United States this summer.