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Dothackers.net .hack//LINK US Campaign


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Back between 2010-2011, our friends at dothackers.net had decided to start a campaign to petition the Sony PSP video game .hack//LINK to be localized in the West. There was no signs of a localization in process or planned from Namco Bandai at the time, and 14 years later their concerns were legitimate as we never saw the game localized outside of Japan. But let's go back on a journey, back in 2010 when this all started and what actions were taken.

It all started on November 2010 with a forum post over at dothackers.net with the lead admin d5t asking for help to organize a campaign. A petition where everyone would pitch in and make a timed posting on social media to build up buzz and make all comments directed at Bandai Namco. They also encouraged viewers to send their own messages to Bandai Namco's public email. And contacted various gaming news outlets to help build awareness of this campaign.

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From there a dedicated page to help viewers understand the situation and how to help at linkus.dothackers.net, where it would receive news and updates of their progress. Both this page and the original forum post were the main place to keep up. The plan was to build a package for the current Bandai Namco community manager Rich "@FilthieRich" Bantegui to receive from the fans. In this package would be letters from fans, a giant poster of signatures from attendee's at the dothackers.net panel from Anime Central 2011 (ACen took place May 20-22, 2011 in Rosemont Illinois), and a giant stuffed Grunty plush. This package arrived at Namco Bandai on June 6th 2011.

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Later on June 17th 2011, the community manager replied with a photo of him holding the Grunty plush and having read over the included letters.. And a few short years later for unknown reasons, Rich Bantegui had either left his job or terminated as community manager for Bandai Namco on June 2013. It was well known in November 2010 that Namco Bandai of America had begun restructuring and laid off it's staff starting with 90 people, it could have been that he was next, on May 31st 2013 he announced his last day working for Bandai Namco.

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But it would not end there, even though Bandai Namco of America declined to pickup the localization. Fans decided to take matters into their own hands and on February 2011 a team including forum users JunBansyoya (from HelloToaster) and Kuukai started working together to create a fan patch for the Sony PSP game as reported by dothackers.net on their LINK US page.

Currently however, the translation patch has been updated with new updates including more translations and game freeze bugs being fixed thanks to KazeTrigger of .hack//Translate.

Below are some of the images of the progress as mentioned in the statements above.

Letters from fans

Letters from fans

Fan art from fans

The giant card of signatures from fans at Anime Central

The package for Namco Bandai community manager

Rich Bantegui holding the grunty

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