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Japanese Game Developers Go West

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the bring-ideas dept.

Businesses 84

donniebaseball23 writes "More and more Japanese game studios and publishers are looking toward the West. But as the industry becomes more global, is this really such a bad thing? From the article: 'Gameplay is an art that transcends borders, and it simply makes good business sense to keep your eyes open for opportunities no matter where they present themselves, as Zenimax, EA and THQ clearly have. Far from ruining the Japanese gaming industry, it may in fact save some of the best Japanese developers from considering retirement or a career change. They'll be able to make games on their own terms with their own original IP, and shouldn't it ultimately be about these creative types being able to realize their visions?""

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A dose of different reduces the boredom (1, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288628)

This is a good thing, just so long as we don't have to play another "war of the three kingdoms" game, I'm utterly sick of those.

Re:A dose of different reduces the boredom (2, Insightful)

nhat11 (1608159) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288832)

Kind of like all those WW1/2 games

Re:A dose of different reduces the boredom (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288940)

Exactly!

Re:A dose of different reduces the boredom (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289000)

Niggers stink. Exactly!

Why don't they all just go back to Africa? At least all the niggers who bitch about how much they don't like it here.

80s gameplay is wasted on AAA titles (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288644)

Japanese franchises barely evolved. Final Fantasy ran into that trap.

Re:80s gameplay is wasted on AAA titles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288664)

No, Final Fantasy 'evolved' plenty. The problem is that the more they tried to experiment, the shitter the end result was.

Re:80s gameplay is wasted on AAA titles (3, Insightful)

Iburnaga (1089755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288840)

Experimenting is right. Question: "How much can we slack before the customers realize that they're playing a movie?" Hypothesis: "A whole f*#&ing lot." Results: FFXIII Conclusion: In conclusive.

Re:80s gameplay is wasted on AAA titles (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288964)

I don't mind playing a movie. In fact, I think it's a great idea, actually. I like movies. It would be fun to take part in them.

FFXIII is neither good as a movie, nor as a game, nor is particularly fun as much else. Which is kind of sad, because I like FF.

Re:80s gameplay is wasted on AAA titles (3, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289082)

The problem is that there's only so many times you can do the whole "evil demon-zombie tries to take over the world and humble scruffy hero with funny-looking friends acquired along the way run FedEx missions to get the ultimate sword of NecroNegro to vanquish the evil Demon who becomes MegaDemon at the last minute which happens in heaven/hell/memoria/the end of time/the beginning of time. Fuck, man. How many have they made?! They should have called it quits after 8, and even that was full of trite emo-kid shit. I knew the series was going to shit the second I saw the preview of the characters for FF9. The best part of FF12 was listening to the theme in the intro screen, the rest was just fucking boring. The problem with a lot of titles on the newer consoles is that they seem to concentrate on eye candy rather than better gameplay.

Re:80s gameplay is wasted on AAA titles (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289148)

Surprisingly, you can do the same plot over, and over and over again, and still have it be good. In fact, it is rare that you find a new plot. It's all been done before. The telling is what matters, not the story itself.

Re:80s gameplay is wasted on AAA titles (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289198)

That is a good point. Strangely enough, I think that they would have more success with direct sequels of the more memorable ones like (American) FF6 and FF7. FF7: DoC was really good, though I wish that the other characters were more directly involved in the game.

FFX and X-2 don't count. Jem and the Holograms' Misfits [youtube.com] would totally whoop those bitches' asses.

Re:80s gameplay is wasted on AAA titles (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290082)

FFX and X-2 don't count. Jem and the Holograms' Misfits [youtube.com] would totally whoop those bitches' asses.

How could a straight man not like X-2? You get to watch hot chicks undress at least 10 times every battle. This game even has 0 emo. Honestly, it's the perfect FF.

"Original IP" (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288680)

Why do articles about the video game business have to refer to law by saying "original IP" when they can call it an "original setting" and be understood by more readers?

Re:"Original IP" (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288746)

Sometimes it isn't setting, or even characters. The Final Fantasy franchise has had the same monsters and a few recurring characters, but often enough there's nothing in "the setting" that's really the same.

If you consider "property" in the same way land is property--as in, something to build upon--"intellectual property" almost makes sense as a term.

Re:"Original IP" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288918)

People shouldn't use "IP" in place of "series." It's like using "personal belongings" in place of "furniture."

Re:"Original IP" (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288974)

Because "original IP" is technically correct, where as, if "original setting" were to be used, then to obtain the same scope of statement, one would also have to include a great deal of other concepts, such as, characters, monsters, plot devices, powers and items. You could create a long sentence just naming the things you're referring to, or you can just use a term which accurately identifies the entire logical group, i.e., "original IP". It also contrasts to the development of games identifying with first party IP, such as Final Fantasy or Sonic the Hedgehog, as opposed to development of games with 3rd party IP, such as Epic Mickey or games based on movies.

Re:"Original IP" (2, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289936)

Original Ideas... done.

IP (Intellectual Property AKA Imaginary Property) is a made up term that muddles your meanings.

Copyright & Patent laws both exist, are very different despite both being made of ideas. Lumping them together is stupid. Copyrights covers a single verbatim work and allows for "fair use", patents cover any derivative work and have no fair use. Copyrights lasts for 70 years beyond the creators lifetime, patents are limited to around 18 years from granting. Copyrights are granted automatically upon creation of an original work (in the US), patents must be applied for and creating an "original" work does not guarantee a patent will be granted.

Stop using IP. It's a confused and confusing term.

Re:"Original IP" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292416)

In time you'll see that phrase disappear, hopefully along with the overuse of the term "content". Along with "SKU", these always make me grind my teeth. Thankfully that last one seems to have declined in popularity.

And "SKU" (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293040)

In time you'll see that phrase disappear, hopefully along with the overuse of the term "content".

RMS agrees with you about "content" and "intellectual property" [gnu.org] .

Along with "SKU", these always make me grind my teeth.

Perhaps I'm biased because I work for an e-tailer, but what's wrong with "stock keeping unit" to refer to a particular, distinctly sold variant of a product?

Intellectual property or intellectual commons (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290576)

Because "original IP" is technically correct

VortexCortex made a good point that "intellectual property" conflates the distinct purposes and scopes of copyrights and patents. To that, I wanted to add another defect of the term:

"Original intellectual property" overemphasizes the fact that it is property, or something to which exclusive rights are attached, not commons, or something for all to use in moderation. Furthermore, the abbreviation of "intellectual property" as "IP" carries an implication that people should already know that the best way to treat a setting is as property, not as commons. Conflating a setting with the exclusive rights attached to that setting causes problems for cases where the exclusive rights aren't in the normal pattern of exclusive control by an established company. For example, if someone were to make a film or video game adaptation of The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, which has entered the public domain due to age, would this be an "original IP" because no license was involved, "3rd party IP" because it was created by someone else, or not an IP at all because it is commons?

if "original setting" were to be used, then to obtain the same scope of statement, one would also have to include a great deal of other concepts, such as, characters, monsters, plot devices, powers and items.

All these elements exist within a setting, and due to treating settings and elements within them as property, your "characters, monsters, plot devices, powers and items" won't appear outside the setting. I will grant however that there are a few exceptions, but these are rare enough to be billed as the top bullet point in a work's pitch. These include crossovers like Kingdom Hearts, mascot fighters like Super Smash Bros., and public-domain settings like those that were fused into the Shrek setting.

Ooooo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288782)

In the end, all "big time" game studios will look EAST to India and Pakistan, where the cheap labor is. When the bottom line is *money*, the work will go to where the work is done for the least money. And please don't let your cultural bias cloud your vision, Indians and Pakies can write code just as well as white guys in California. If they want to, and are paid to.

Now, on a different point:

Japanese boys are the best. Hot thin hairless boys with rock hard cocks that just scream "SUCK ME RAW". Oh. My. God. Japanese boys ROCK. I want a Japanese boy toy. How much? I'll pay for that young hot cock!

It's True. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288986)

I must agree with you. Japanese boys are beyond cute. I've had several Japanese boys, and I can tell you that they are very responsive to sex because of their repressed lives. They love sex. In fact, I spend a week in Japan every year just to taste the boys. OH MY GOD.

Re:Ooooo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289008)

I prefer the lolies to the shotas, because I am not a faggot.

All things considered... (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288798)

Technically the physical relocation involved is via a plane flying east over the Pacific. I mean, westward is really the rest of Eurasia here.

Mandatory Randall Munroe Mention (0, Redundant)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289120)

I don't like the condecending tone (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288802)

mmmmm.... "these creative types"

Hacking code for a living is an art and is a creative endeavor... but calling me a type... sheesh.

Re:I don't like the condecending tone (2, Funny)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288942)

I gather you are a dynamic languages guy.

Re:I don't like the condecending tone (1)

Nalgas D. Lemur (105785) | more than 2 years ago | (#34324380)

Typecasting type casting, eh?

All your base are belong to us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288812)

You have no chance to survive make your time.

Awesome! (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288852)

I find it funny that I, as an American game developer, want to go work in Japan.

I wonder if I can trade apartments and jobs with one of them or something?

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289442)

You want to work in Japan. You don't want to work developing in Japan and you definitely don't want to work developing Games in Japan. Working 12 hours a day 7 days a week, using outdated tools, leaves you little time or stamina to bang Japanese women :p

My friend worked as a translator for one of the big Gaming companies for a good while. He left because of the endless long hours, I asked him about the devs. "Oh, them? I've never seen any of them entering or leaving their office".

I work as a regular embedded developer in Japan and while it's fun and challenging, you'd probably get a job with less hours and better pay back in America or even better move to Canada or Europe. Too bad I love this country.

Re:Awesome! (3, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289974)

My friend worked as a translator for one of the big Gaming companies for a good while. He left because of the endless long hours, I asked him about the devs. "Oh, them? I've never seen any of them entering or leaving their office".

Sweet, the devs never have to show up for work at all? That rocks, Sign me up!

summary cut off a little too much... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288860)

They'll be able to make games on their own terms with their own original IP, as long as it:
- contains the prescribed amount of action
-- lacking full-on action, the pescribed amount of difficulty
- has broad market appeal
- has stereotypical characters
- has toned down language
- has 4th grade level readability / understanding
- has easy to use game mechanics
- plays for no longer than 8 hours
-- 20 hours if more single player focused
- ends in a way to allow a sequel
- doesn't cost more than $1m to create
-- cut & paste is encouraged
- doesn't take longer than 2 years to develop
-- again cut & paste is encouraged
- can be picked up as an exclusive on a platform
- has some form of multiplayer aspect
-- otherwise must have numerous mini-games / timewasters
- allows for downloadable content
- contains in-game advertising
- will work for peanuts

And end up in..... (2, Funny)

PegNorthPirate (1934916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288872)

China?

Re:And end up in..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288990)

For some reason Japanese game developers are afraid of crossing the International Date Line, unless they worked on the game "Asteroids".

Re:And end up in..... (2, Funny)

bgweber (1676858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289040)

Obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com]

Re:And end up in..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34335958)

You're modded funny, but tragic is a better word:
http://www.sankakucomplex.com/search/?gquery=final+fantasy+xiv

Times like these... (1)

zcomuto (1700174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288894)

It makes me wonder if it's worth learning me Japanese these days. I've been at it for about a year, alongside doing a lot of video game related development work as part of a team of friends doing some indie development. In an ideal, wonderful fantasy world I see myself becoming fluent in Japanese and taking my game-related aspirations further with it, but I'm beginning to question that these days.

Re:Times like these... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289152)

...And I want to hitchhike to Hollywood with only my guitar and dreams of becoming a lead guitarist in a famous band.

And I did, until I ended up being turned out in the shitty bar scene, sucking dicks for coke and meth in West Hollywood. Now I'm middle aged and shooting heroin up my cock, kicking myself for chasing such retardedly naive dreams.

Lemme guess, you want to marry an Asian woman. Go ahead, do it. They'll play that sweet, submissive little game with you. Then they'll get their American citizenship through you and dominate the hell out of you, because they know you are unwilling and unable to be with anyone better. They'll take all of your money and go door-to-door at the Navy and Marine barracks to make love to fit, dominant men -- not your skinny, wimpy ass who believes that women like "sweet" guys -- who can put her in her place.

You'll be checking your bed for come stains by day, and smelling her dick-breath by night. If you've never seen a woman pluck the pubes out of her teeth, you most certainly will. HAH! Pathetic.

Re:Times like these... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289524)

Next > THE FIRST BOOK OF NEPHI HIS REIGN AND MINISTRY An account of Lehi and his wife Sariah and his four sons, being called, (beginning at the eldest) Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The Lord warns Lehi to depart out of the land of Jerusalem, because he prophesieth unto the people concerning their iniquity and they seek to destroy his life. He taketh three days’ journey into the wilderness with his family. Nephi taketh his brethren and returneth to the land of Jerusalem after the record of the Jews. The account of their sufferings. They take the daughters of Ishmael to wife. They take their families and depart into the wilderness. Their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness. The course of their travels. They come to the large waters. Nephi’s brethren rebel against him. He confoundeth them, and buildeth a ship. They call the name of the place Bountiful. They cross the large waters into the promised land, and so forth. This is according to the account of Nephi; or in other words, I, Nephi, wrote this record. CHAPTER 1 Nephi begins the record of his people—Lehi sees in vision a pillar of fire and reads from a book of prophecy—He praises God, foretells the coming of the Messiah, and prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem—He is persecuted by the Jews. About 600 B.C. 1 I, Nephi, having been aborn of bgoodly cparents, therefore I was dtaught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many eafflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a frecord of my proceedings in my days. 2 Yea, I make a record in the alanguage of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. 3 And I know that the record which I make is atrue; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge. 4 For it came to pass in the commencement of the afirst year of the reign of bZedekiah, king of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at cJerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many dprophets, prophesying unto the people that they must erepent, or the great city fJerusalem must be destroyed. 5 Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his aheart, in behalf of his people. 6 And it came to pass as he prayed unto the Lord, there came a apillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock before him; and he saw and heard much; and because of the things which he saw and heard he did bquake and tremble exceedingly. 7 And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being aovercome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen. 8 And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a avision, even that he saw the bheavens open, and he thought he csaw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God. 9 And it came to pass that he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his aluster was above that of the sun at noon-day. 10 And he also saw atwelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament. 11 And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and astood before my father, and gave unto him a bbook, and bade him that he should read. 12 And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the aSpirit of the Lord. 13 And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine aabominations! Yea, and many things did my father read concerning bJerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be ccarried away captive into Babylon. 14 And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy apower, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who bcome unto thee that they shall perish! 15 And after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen, yea, which the Lord had shown unto him. 16 And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the things which my father hath written, for he hath written many things which he saw in avisions and in bdreams; and he also hath written many things which he cprophesied and spake unto his children, of which I shall not make a full account. 17 But I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an aabridgment of the record of my bfather, upon cplates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my dfather then will I make an account of mine own life. 18 Therefore, I would that ye should know, that after the Lord had shown so many marvelous things unto my father, Lehi, yea, concerning the adestruction of Jerusalem, behold he went forth among the people, and began to bprophesy and to declare unto them concerning the things which he had both seen and heard. 19 And it came to pass that the aJews did bmock him because of the things which he testified of them; for he truly testified of their cwickedness and their abominations; and he testified that the things which he saw and heard, and also the things which he read in the book, manifested plainly of the coming of a dMessiah, and also the redemption of the world. 20 And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had acast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also bsought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender cmercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of ddeliverance.

Go West? (1)

qbproger (467459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288910)

Is that something like this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NZ04BG7TfA [youtube.com]

Re:Go West? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288998)

Pet Shop Boys?!? Fail!

Here's [youtube.com] the link you want.

Give thanks with a grateful heart (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34300884)

Either that or the hymn written by Henry Smith in 1978 that they both allegedly copied: Give Thanks [youtube.com] .

It's a bad thing (0)

Mishotaki (957104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288912)

Having a Japanese developer making a Western game actually is a stupid thing... it's like if we would be trying to make a porn game... wait we have done some like 7 sins and playboy mansion, witch SUCKED HARD!

The thing that they should be doing is:make your own games... if you make good games, export them, don't try to clone the games we've been doing for 10 years straight and hope to make something that will outsell everything!

Re:It's a bad thing (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289992)

Having a Japanese developer making a Western game actually is a stupid thing...

Citation needed. You obviously didn't play console games in the 70's, 80's, 90's, etc.

Re:It's a bad thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292602)

he he ... you said playboy mansion sucked hard... he he he

The west (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288920)

I didn't know china was good enough at making video games that anyone would want to look on them for ideas o:

Re:The west (1)

Vastad (1299101) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296506)

I'm replying to AC, so I know it's very likely a waste of time, but in case anybody comes across this comment, I must say that jokes aside, China does have a pretty vibrant game dev scene.

Unfortunately it is extreme bias - lingual mostly - that means no one in the "West" sees Chinese games. Just go to any Popular Bookstore [popular.com.sg] in Singapore, head to the games section, and you'll see a dozen or so Mandarin language games that include a 3 Kingdoms clone, an MMO called Granado Espada [iahgames.com] that is exclusively Far East Asian in distribution, and a ton of Chinese RPGs.

The bias is a real shame because there is this absolutely awesome 3 Kingdoms collectible card game which was specifically designed with an arcade machine laid out like a tabletop board game. You place your cards on it according to the rules, the table somehow recognises the cards and your cards' units appear on a screen in real-time. Moving your armies consists of physically moving the card around the tabletop, pro rated for that unit's speed. Special moves are done with card gestures like describing a tight circle or repeatedly "bashing" the location of an enemy unit where you believe it appears on the tabletop. It's genius! I think Magic: The Gathering would be absolutely amazing if it had this variation.

article writer is a tard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34288950)

in reading it he references most of the stuff that got a port
misses the fact that there are any number of japan only games
yes, opening up to a 'western' audience means more money
but i'm pretty sure those guys are more focused on making a game
(kind of like the indie scene in the 'western' markets)
in the us the giant studios are there to follow formulas
which means they're there to serve their shareholders. nothing more

if you're looking for innovation or something new / different it usually comes from japan first
as introverted and conservative as they are, they do get creative
they're just not as boisterous about it as westerners

Yeah, right... (3, Interesting)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34288994)

From the article: "One, the percentage of the worldwide market composed of Japanese titles has shrunk, and if you exclude Nintendo, would be shown to have drastically shrunk worldwide." Okay, where is he getting this supposed information, or did he should pull it out of thin air? He didn't even cite any numbers either. So that's bunk.

"...major Japanese game publishers have become much more conservative and sequel driven". Uh... and this is a recent trend? Square has been milking Final Fantasy like a cow since the 1990s. Westerners didn't know because they skipped on releasing a whole bunch of games in the series. Same deal with Capcom and Rockman on the NES, except we actually received Mega Man game after Mega Man game outside of Japan. Heck, Konami released a good number of Akumajo Dracula/Castlevania games, some of which were just different versions of the first game.

As for the globalization that the whole article is about. Um... we've had that for years. Sega was founded by an American guy for goodness sake. Namco worked with Bally/Midway to release Pac-Man games (which was supposedly a tumultuous relationship). Japanese companies have founded American divisions who've screwed up countless localization jobs. Action games like some of the ones in the Mario and Sonic series have been developed with Western audiences in mind, because, well, you can make lots of money catering to the West.

Re:Yeah, right... (2, Insightful)

toutankh (1544253) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289776)

I find the "sequel driven" claim a bit strange. I mean it's not exactly like the western market is sequel-free. How many Halo sequels have we had recently? I'm not event talking about Need for Speed or all the EA sport games (I remember playing FIFA'94, we are in 2010, and I don't think they skipped a single year). Oh well I have to go play Fable 3 (while waiting for Mass Effect 3) so I can't really elaborate on such a list.

Re:Yeah, right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34296710)

I don't think anyone that is aware of the Final Fantasy can be ignorant of the fact that they have been milking it. The number's in the damn title: 14! However, from what I know of the Final Fantasy franchise, they are not exactly sequels in most cases. They did make a direct sequel to X, but the rest can hardly even be said to take place in the same world. I look at it more as Square (Enix) being lazy with naming in almost the same way that Porsche is with design.

Gameplay may transcend borders... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289024)

...but culture has a worse reception. In the words of the average 20 y/o American college student, "Those Japanese and Korean games are gayer than Frodo and Sam in a musical duet."

Re:Gameplay may transcend borders... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289066)

Eh, not too many people seem to mind. And any gamer lost due to the "gayness" is replaced by a female gamer who's more than happy about it. Not to mention, we have games like Gears of War which is gay by Western standards, but practically flaming by Japanese standards (the character design lean towards the stereotypical image of a homosexual in Japanese media).

Re:Gameplay may transcend borders... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289378)

Not to mention, we have games like Gears of War which is gay by Western standards, but practically flaming by Japanese standards (the character design lean towards the stereotypical image of a homosexual in Japanese media).

Wait, wait, wait, wait.

So THIS looks "gay" by their standards:
http://www.starstore.com/acatalog/Marcus-Fenix-Fig.jpg [starstore.com]

Yet THIS is supposed to be some badass villain?
http://dissidia.rhapsodos.org/images/art/portraits/kuja.png [rhapsodos.org]

I'm sorry, that ain't something that is just tossed up to cultural differences. The gayness and non-gayness of these characters is something that should transcend cultures.

Re:Gameplay may transcend borders... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289538)

Eh, anyone's a badass if they have enough ill defined magical abilities. It's not like the sorceress from FF8, the pretty boy from FF7, and the clown from FF6 was all that impressive in stature either.

But, to get back on topic, there's certainly gay erotica [wikipedia.org] with effeminate men. However these tend to be created by women, and marketed for women who enjoy such things. Media created by gay men is know as "bara" [wikipedia.org] , and goes for muscular men. Because of this, both examples you shown can be considered gay if done in excess. And of course, Gears of War is a damn sausage fest.

Re:Gameplay may transcend borders... (2, Interesting)

An Ominous Cow Erred (28892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293110)

Essentially it goes like this:

Someone who is "overly masculine" to the point of bodybuilding, etc., is obviously obsessed with masculinity. They are obsessed with masculinity because they don't value femininity at all -- because they're gay. ESPECIALLY if they are constantly around men who have a similar physique. In Japan nothing is gayer than a bodybuilder's gym.

If you really want to get the girls, you have a boyish charm, and focus on a softer form of male beauty.

Also, if you like to wear pink frilly dresses it's under the assumption that you're a perv, not gay. (Think of Ed Wood and why he crossdressed. He did it because he WAS into women, and styling himself as one made him feel closer to them.)

That said, there is also an effeminate gay stereotype in Japan, but they are treated almost as women rather than gay men. ...but what's gayer -- an obsession with dresses or an obsession with ripped beefy muscles and oiled glistening skin?

(See other reply to this post for an explanation of "Bara")

Re:Gameplay may transcend borders... (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 2 years ago | (#34320198)

Interestingly enough, this makes WAY more sense than our Western concept of what is gay or not.

Going West? (1)

Satis (769614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289078)

Like into China? Or West as in the Western world? The title, at least, is a bit confusing, and we certainly can't expect everyone to read the article. :p

I think it's great that Japanese game developers are working with Western publishers (western as in American). Anything to provide cross-pollination of ideas and styles is always a good thing. I'm not a big fan of the art style or the grinding that seems to be in vogue for a lot of the Japanese games, but there's plenty there to love, as well.

Not a big fan. (5, Insightful)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289132)

To be honest I hate it when these Japanese company purposely tweak their game to try and make it more "Western friendly." I enjoy Japanese games, I like Nintendo, I like Squaresoft, and I like Western games for what they are.

Studios need to focus on what they are good at. A lot of American gamers like Japanese games, I'd much prefer if Western games and Japanese games stayed good at their own thing instead of trying to copy each other.

What's better, one great Japanese game, and one great Western game. Or a single sub-standard Japanese/Western game?

Re:Not a big fan. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289906)

A single sub-standard Japanese/Western game.

Re:Not a big fan. (2, Interesting)

ADRA (37398) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289922)

I'm sorry, why does a melting pot of ideas ultimately mean an inferior game in any way? I think you're jumping to subjective conclusions.

You can say that many or all of the great action movies of the last 20 years were all inspired by Asian martial arts and more specifically the high amount of skill and talent that Hong Kong and other such centers fostered. The fusion of these people with western developments, writers, etc.. have made for great movies by using good aspects from all cultures involved in the process.

Re:Not a big fan. (2, Insightful)

allwheat (1235474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292504)

Two words: Teriyaki Chicken

It's the most popular Japanese food tailored to Americans, other than sushi, but it's nowhere nearly as tasty as lots of Japanese food that Japanese people actually consume themselves.

Wait (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289278)

So Japanese games will now have revolutionary western game ideas like hit points, potions, oozes/slimes, experience points, levels and the idea of using a single unit on foot instead of an army to complete a series of quests? Oh wait. Japan has been using that forever. Now if your talking about setting like the article seems to imply...no wait, most Japanese games don't actually take place in Japan (if you ignore the indie dating sim developers, since most of their games never get official ports). From Final Fantasy to Zelda, most Japanese games have always been very "western" in almost every way...

Re:Wait (1)

phanboy_iv (1006659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289492)

Indeed, JRPGs as a genre wouldn't even exist if not for western games like Wizardry & Ultima that caught on in Japan the late eighties.

Re:Wait (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290642)

From Final Fantasy to Zelda, most Japanese games have always been very "western" in almost every way...

It's the Japanism that makes the games interesting to me. I can't think of any particular cultural examples at the moment but the difference comes right through and makes it seem more alien, which is fantastic for Alien-oriented Sci-Fi :) I mean, I can't think of any differences because everything is different, facial expressions even to some degree, hand signals completely, everything. Mind you, everything is more similar than it's different in absolute terms, we're all bipedal humanoids after all. I strongly expect that if we find intelligent DNA-based life out there someplace it will look much like us whether we have a common ancestor or not. No Trek-style galaxy seeding necessary.

Go West (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289326)

Life is peaceful there.

By "west" you mean east, right? (0, Offtopic)

lanner (107308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289510)

While I understand the history, I've always found the terms "East", "West", "Middle East" and similar non-geographic geographic/cultural nomenclature to be arrogant at best. West of Japan is China, and they may end up being the new west if the arrogant USA doesn't get it's intellectual act together.

The world is not some flat map that some idiot in the 1800s drew on paper. I agree that using the pacific was probably a pretty good idea for a separator there on paper, but the general terms of "East" and "West" as used by most talking heads is just shallow-thinking.

Sort of like the words/terms "perfect storm", "actually", and "blog" really annoy me.

Now get off my lawn.

Re:By "west" you mean east, right? (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289886)

Especially since Perfect Storm was an awful film.

Re:By "west" you mean east, right? (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289964)

I love using actually. Actually, I think that's the greatest word in the English language; Though I agree with perfect storm. Perfect storm is to Intelligent Design as Destiny is to Creationism.

Re:By "west" you mean east, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290158)

We say 'east' and 'west' because the older terms, 'orient' and 'occident' make you sound like a racist, dumbass.

Re:By "west" you mean east, right? (2, Informative)

vigour (846429) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290432)

While I understand the history, I've always found the terms "East", "West", "Middle East" and similar non-geographic geographic/cultural nomenclature to be arrogant at best. West of Japan is China, and they may end up being the new west if the arrogant USA doesn't get it's intellectual act together.

The world is not some flat map that some idiot in the 1800s drew on paper. I agree that using the pacific was probably a pretty good idea for a separator there on paper, but the general terms of "East" and "West" as used by most talking heads is just shallow-thinking.

Sort of like the words/terms "perfect storm", "actually", and "blog" really annoy me.

Now get off my lawn.

If you are using the English language then the terms East West etc. are valid. These terms have their origins in Graeco-Roman culture, i.e. the occident [wikipedia.org] and the orient [wikipedia.org] which identify regions that had cultural similarites and connections. Of course with such generalisations there will inevitably be some blurred lines and inaccuracies. With the advent of colonialisation and globalisation the geographic/directional connotations of West and East have lost some of their importance.

In Japanese you may use whatever terms you like, as you might know all foreigners could be referred to as gaikokujin or the more impolite gaijin, but the economic and cultural power of the "Western" nations in the 19th and 20th centuries has led to the term Western becoming adopted in some senses. In fact

historically, the Portuguese, the first Europeans to visit Japan, were known as nanbanjin (literally "southern barbarians").

from wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

Before you make any silly western colonial superiority statements against me, I am from a nation that suffered from colonialsm, so I am not biased in that regard.

Re:By "west" you mean east, right? (2, Interesting)

allwheat (1235474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292664)

It's also common in Japan to say "the west" (seiyou (characters won't render on slashdot--why?)), to refer to what we also mean by 'the west,' meaning specifically europe instead of asia, but also referring to the U.S., and culturally, yes, it's fairly ambiguous. For example, in Murakami Haruki's 'All God's Children Can Dance', in the first vignette Omura is brought to a love hotel that looked like a "seiyou no shiro" (a western castle).

The Japanese word for west itself, nishi is commonly used for referring to Spain, as in nissei (a conjunction of nichi (nippon) and sei/nishi (west) meaning Japan-Spain (eg. Japan-Spain relations).

Of course, in spherical polar coordinates, north and south have non-circular definitions, but east/west is 2Pi-periodic. On the other hand, we do get a sort of branch cut with the International Date Line, so that to Japan, all the rest of the world is to the west. I'm guessing Japan is okay with this idea since it fits in with 'the Land of the Rising Sun', which it's too bad has nothing to do with Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises."

On the topic of the article, I don't think this means the actual demise of game development in Japan, just the expansion beyond its own borders, which I think will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Wait, what? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289632)

More and more Japanese game studios and publishers are looking toward the West. But as the industry becomes more global, is this really such a bad thing?

Are we supposed to assume that's a bad thing? What's the connection between the first sentence here and the second? I'm so confused...

Boundaries. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34289668)

Gameplay is an art that transcends borders, and it simply makes good business sense to keep your eyes open for opportunities no matter where they present themselves, as Zenimax, EA and THQ clearly have.

The thing about borders are that not all are lines on a map. Cultural for example.

Change in slashdot or broken or defective by desig (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34289696)

Is slashdot broken? There's supposedly 49 replies, why can't I see any of them?

Re:Change in slashdot or broken or defective by de (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34290118)

Score Threshold, posts less than 1 are hidden by default.

Click "Get XX More Comments" at the bottom of the page or "XX More" in the auto-scroll bar at the top.

The Japanese don't really need the west (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34290384)

The Japanese have done fine without using western developers for decades and in fact most of the bigger successes still come from Japan. Nintendo alone proves that.

The only area where Japan may be weak is catering to the Xbox crowd which is also the ex-PC crowded and insecure teenager crowd. I don't want to see Japan knocking boring shit like Halo year after year. If they feel they're not doing as well it will because they're getting less imaginative and lowering standards just like western developers.

Re:The Japanese don't really need the west (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291804)

The Japanese have done fine without using western developers for decades and in fact most of the bigger successes still come from Japan. Nintendo alone proves that.

The only area where Japan may be weak is catering to the Xbox crowd which is also the ex-PC crowded and insecure teenager crowd. I don't want to see Japan knocking boring shit like Halo year after year. If they feel they're not doing as well it will because they're getting less imaginative and lowering standards just like western developers.


You sound like an insecure teenager yourself actually. If Japan knocked out more games like Halo many people - including myself - would be rather happy because they like the games.

Re:The Japanese don't really need the west (2, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292282)

Yeah why have any variety at all when we can just have Halo and GoW clones.

Re:The Japanese don't really need the west (0, Redundant)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293960)

False dichotomy. Are you an insecure teenager by any chance...?

Huh? (2, Insightful)

Dreth (1885712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291130)

I don't get it, aren't video games in Japan a lot more open-minded? It's always in the U.S. that we're stuck with the same type of titles, most of the interesting, oddball, creative games come from Japan (Okami, Katamari, etc.)

Uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34291820)

They must have had shitty travel agents...
Going east would have been sooo much quicker.

Demon's Soul a western RPG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34306428)

I can certainly see Japanese gaming industry readjusting to what gamers want nowadays. Square needs to rethink FF series because the last installment was garbage (IMO); in fact, I think FF gameplay needs to evolve a bit, become more open-ended, providing more possibilities with the story and characters (would've been nice if the last FF had those at all though).

I've been a gamer for a long time and have even dabbed in game development when I was younger. And the absolute best game I've played in recent years was Demon's Souls from "From Software" which happens to be a Japanese title from a Japanese developer. Some may claim it is a western action/rpg, but it was so unique (in so many ways) that I think it deserves its own style definition. Furthermore, is it fair to restrict Japanese gaming to JRPGs? I personally feel linear games are passe.

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