The indie Chinese RPG that suddenly became one of Steam's most popular games may get an English translation

Tale of Immortal
(Image credit: 鬼谷工作室)

Tale of Immortal is one of Steam's most popular games right now. After launching just last week, the Chinese indie RPG rocketed to the top of Steam's global top sellers list and most popular games by concurrent viewers. Around 176,000 players are playing during peak gaming hours in China—making Tale of Immortal more popular than familiar mainstays like Grand Theft Auto 5, Team Fortress 2, and even Apex Legends.

As I wrote just a few days ago, it's another fascinating case of Chinese indie games exploding onto Steam and often beating out big-budget releases from major North American or European developers. It's cool to see, but Tale of Immortal is currently only available in Simplified Chinese, which makes it tough to play if you don't know the language. It's on the vanguard of a new subgenre of RPG popular in China called "cultivation sims," which are open-world sandbox RPGs set in the incredibly popular "xianxia" genre of Chinese fiction. The gist is simple: Through training, meditation, and adventuring, you ascend from being a mere mortal to divine godhood.

Judging by the 20,000 positive user reviews on Steam, players like it a lot, and those of us who don't read Chinese may eventually get a chance to see why: An English translation is in the plans according to a forum response from one of the developers back in December.

Steam user MidnightCerealKiller, who is one of the developers on Tale of Immortal, responded to a question about whether the game would eventually be localized in English or other languages. In that response, MidnightCerealKiller outlined what a massive challenge it is for a small team to take a text-heavy RPG like this and translate it to different languages. "The amount of words in the game and their difficulties could be very time-consuming," the developer wrote, "but we will work hard to have at least English localization in the future!"

It's not exactly an announcement that an English localization is actively in the works,  but it's clear that the development team wants to launch an English version at some point. That's very good news.

Tale of Immortal is currently in Early Access and the developers expect it to take a year before launching the full version, so that might be a likely window for an actual English translation.

I've reached out to Tale of Immortal's publisher, Lightning Games, for more information.

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.