The Chinese-developed alternate history tactical RPG Banner of the Maid will come to Switch, PS4, and PC later this year. This is due to the efforts of publisher CE-Asia, based out of Beijing. CE-Asia funded the development of and is handling the rights of Banner of the Maid, including publishing it on their Sonkwo store. With English, Chinese and Japanese trailers currently out now, it would be unsurprising to see Banner of the Maid localized for the three regions. While the trailer linked below only says “Coming Soon in 2018,” multiple Chinese bloggers and the video description pegs a May release.
Banner of the Maid is the story of one Pauline Bonaparte, though wildly different from her real-life journey. After graduating from the military academy, Pauline goes to Toulon to visit her brother, Napoleon. There, she is swept up by the winds of revolution and finds herself fighting alongside figures from the French Revolution like Marie Antoinette, Rose de Beauharnais, and more. From there, you command squads of soldiers and utilize various skills in order to survive the Revolution.
Banner of the Maid‘s development team appears to be based out of Shanghai, if their Weibo (Chinese Twitter) is any indication. Development of Banner of the Maid was funded through CE-Asia, though it appears as though the team received a grant for their project as well. Though there’s no specific location mentioned for the development team, I would hazard a guess that they are located within the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone, which explain the English and Japanese-language trailers.
If you’re surprised that Banner of the Maid was announced for consoles as well as PCs, you might do well to remember that China did lift the ban on gaming consoles almost three years ago now. Still, it appears as though the adoption rate of consoles is low, garnering just 1% of gaming sales in 2016. CE-Asia only published their first PS4 game earlier this year, the free-to-play shooter Loadout. It’s also worth noting that neither Chinese PS4s nor the Xbox One family is region-locked in China, signs the market in China is changing. Still, Chinese gamers looking to get their hands on the Switch version of Banner of the Maid will have to import the console, as Nintendo will not be bringing over the Switch this year.
You can delve into the murky waters of the French Revolution in Banner of the Maid for yourself when it launches later this year.
Anecdotally, it is worth mentioning that China’s ban on gaming consoles was not entirely widespread. I played through Halo 4 when I was in the country in 2012, one of many games available for rental, internet cafe-style. Still, PC and mobile games dominated the market, with any glance in an internet cafe showed most of the screens playing League of Legends.