Former PlatinumGames Staffer Accused Of Sexual Exploitation Of 13-Year-Old Boy 1
Image: Pexels / Alena Darmel

Game localiser, writer, and former journalist Nick Des Barres stands accused of sending inappropriate messages to a local teenager, as well as mailing boxes of sex toys to the teen via Amazon, Yahoo reports.

Des Barres has been charged with felony solicitation of a child by computer and first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, as well as more than a dozen other felony charges. The teen's family has claimed he met Des Barres while playing an online video game.

Court records show Des Barres later encouraged the teen to take pictures and videos of himself and send them to him. "I was shocked," says the teenager’s father. "I quickly realized why they’re trying to push for people to produce identification to join social media for stuff like that."

The teen's father says that the online encounters with Des Barres may have been taking place over a period of months and that he has found other packages in his home sent to his son, which have Des Barres’ return address listed on them.

Former PlatinumGames Staffer Accused Of Sexual Exploitation Of 13-Year-Old Boy 2
Des Barres contributed to GameFan magazine under the name Nick Rox, and was also heavily involved with the design and layout of the magazine — Image: GameFan

Des Barres' career in video games stretches back more than 25 years. Writing under the name Nick Rox, he was part of the team at Diehard GameFan, an iconic 1990s US magazine which championed video games with a special focus on Japanese titles. He would also work on Play magazine, a spiritual successor to GameFan, between 2005 and 2008.

Des Barres has also been deeply involved in game localisation and worked on the North American version of Valkyrie Profile. He also credits himself with launching the campaign to get the visual novel The House in Fata Morgana released in the West.

Editor's Note: NOVECT, the developer behind the game, got in touch to give us the following statement:

Nick's involvement in the porting project of "The House in Fata Morgana" has been suggested, but this differs from our understanding. His contributions were limited to expressing a wish on X (formerly Twitter) for the game to be ported to other platforms and designing a logo for the US console as a fan. The claims he makes on LinkedIn, such as being involved in interpretation, UI design, or any other aspects of the project, are not accurate. In reality, communication with him was very brief, and he soon became unreachable, so we never engaged him for work.

Perhaps his most famous role was that of Lead Game Writer at PlatinumGames in 2010, where he is credited on Anarchy Reigns, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101. He left in 2012.

Des Barres' Linkedin page lists his most recent role as Limited Run Games, which he claims came to an end in March 2018. However, since this article went live, Limited Run Games has gotten in touch with us to say it has "no association with Nick" and that "he has never been an employee or contractor, nor does he have any professional involvement in The House of Fata Morgana which was translated and localized by external parties."

Also on his Linkedin profile, he recounts his achievements in the realm of gaming:

Multi-talented writer, designer, background artist and Japanese to English localization expert. 27 years of game industry experience and 24 years in professional game localization. Translated Enix/tri-Ace's acclaimed 'Valkyrie Profile' before graduating high school. Spent an 8-year stint in Japan including two years at legendary developer PlatinumGames Inc., ultimately rising to the position of Lead Game Writer.

Following a relocation back to the US, launched an explosively successful grassroots campaign to bring the universally acclaimed visual novel The House in Fata Morgana to consoles in the West. Performed key introductory functions and language interpretation for developer Novect and then-potential publisher Limited Run Games. Remade, recreated, and repainted legacy 800x600 background graphics in native 4K. Designed key motion UI graphics and game logo.

Des Barres remains in custody at the Iredell County jail with a $1 million bond.