Super Robot Wars has been a popular tactics RPG series in Japan for almost 30 years, ever since the original game was released in 1991, with over 50 releases across multiple systems and spinoffs since then. But you’ve probably never heard of it because it was never officially localized and released in the bulk of the English-speaking globe.
That is no longer the case since the newest in the series is coming to PC in the US and Europe via Steam after three decades: Super Robot Wars 30 will be released on October 27, 2021.
According to its admirers, Super Robot Wars was never published in the West because the game is a crossover series involving huge robots from a wide range of Anime and Manga series. The next Super Robot Wars 30 will feature 22 distinct IPs. This creates a licensing nightmare, as many of those shows were licensed or adapted by various Western corporations in the decades preceding and after Super Robot Wars. Getting the approval of all those firms, negotiating the rights, and splitting the money, you can only imagine how that nightmare may play out.
Super Robot Wars has abandoned the Macross series in recent years, and some fans believe it was the only thing holding it back. Macross and its American reinterpretation Robotech have a famously litigious past in the United States, at least. Perhaps this, along with Bandai Namco’s recent success with PC releases, was enough to convince them to translate it.
Despite the absence of official releases, the Super Robot Wars series has a large number of English-speaking fans, with earlier entries in the series seeing English releases in Southeast Asia. In the past, American and European fans of the game had to import them and were occasionally compelled to play them on region-locked consoles, but those days appear to be coming to an end.
Super Robot Wars 30 can, by some miracle, be found and pre-ordered on Steam. There’s even a DLC release schedule.