Gamesarefun writer Josh Freund informs us that Tri-Crescendo is making a fantastic new rpg which features the music of Polish pianist Fryderyk Chopin. The game appears to feature other themes from Chopin's time and life as well. In fact, the Japanese version is titled Trusty Bell: Chopin's Dream. Now, that's pretty exciting for me, being Polish and all.
So imagine my disappointment when I found that the US version is not going to have Chopin in the title. Slated for sometime in 2007, the US version will be called Eternal Sonata. Not only that, but there is a possibility that Chopin's character in the game will be renamed to something fictional.
So, what are those marketing dudes for Namco Bandai doing? Is the home country of Polish jokes just not suitable to have a famous Polish musician in a mainstream game title? These are the questions that make we wonder if this decision is racially motivated. It's no secret that Polish people are not entirely viewed as intelligent in this country, so maybe they think this would hurt their sales.
Or maybe--just maybe--they think America isn't smart enough for them to understand the complexity and class of a famous pianist. Well, whatever ridiculous reason they've got for it, Chopin deserves to stay in the game no matter where in the world it gets released. I think everybody knows in this day and age that Chopin created some of the most incredible music this world has heard. If only that knowledge could be retained in this high quality mainstream video game. Tri-Crescendo has previously given us incredible games to enjoy, and I am sure that it will be no different in this case. American gamers can be proud of these titles as much as the Japanese, just as they can honor Chopin's achievements. So come on Namco Bandai, where's the love?
Update: Reader Comment -- Nick Q writes "For once, this is not an issue of Namco(Bandai) being retarded, but an issue of abusive copyright. Here in the States, it is very likely that whoever owns Chopin's estate would sue for unlicenced use of his name, likeness, or whatever. Copyright laws are much, much more relaxed in Japan though, so none of this is an issue."
However, since Chopin lived during 1810 - 1849, this puts his name and work in the public domain. The game will feature his music prominently after all, even if his name isn't present. Chopin's estate should be located in France (or possibly Poland). However, Google did not find any results for his estate. So it would seem that with his estate being in another country, and the game being released un the US, there should not be any problems with using a name and music in the public domain.