Why Japanese gamers are angry about Halo 4

There’s a big gaming season coming up in the next four months, especially with the highly anticipated Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. 

As we recently reported here on TG, Halo 4 looks pretty damn good, and there’s clearly been a lot of work in terms of the storytelling aspect as well as on the technical side of things, adding even more depth and character development to the proceedings.


So why are some fans already about the game when it doesn’t even hit store shelves until November 6? 

Well, according to Kotaku, Japanese fans are not happy with how Master Chief sounds in the game. Apparently, the original voices that Japanese fans are used to for Chief and Cortana – performed by Atsuki Tani and Akiko Koike respectively – are being replaced by two new actors, Rikiya Koyama and Ayumi Fujimura.


Fans were not happy about this change, and a swarm of Twitter protests were directed at Soutaro Tojima, the audio director of Halo 4, along with an online petition demanding the original voice actors return to the game.


“He didn’t give us a satisfactory explanation,” reads the petition. “We can’t accept this change. Even if the new Japanese voice actors do [a] wonderful job, the characters they play are not [the] John S-117 and Cortana we know.”


Having written about hard rock and metal, I know how painstakingly fanatical the fans are when it comes to music, so it doesn’t surprise me that they can be this obsessive over gaming as well. 

As we’ve seen with bands, a vocal transplant can change everything, and this also shows that games are much more involved these days. Dialogue didn’t really matter with Pac Man and Donkey Kong, and you usually tuned out the music because it was pretty basic and repetitive.


But again, as we just reported on TG, the character development and storytelling of gaming has gotten much deeper, and with the Japanese version of Halo, the fans clearly love the traditions of the game and won’t accept any substitutes.