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Japanese Survey Shows Tricky Market For Western Games

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the rising-sun-falling-hopes dept.

PlayStation (Games) 65

Thanks to GameSpot for their article discussing the results of a survey of over 1,000 Japanese gamers, conducted at this year's Tokyo Game Show. Among the more telling trends was a definite lack of interest in Western-developed games: "The percentage of respondents currently own non-Japanese software? Just over 1 percent. And only 4 percent expressed interest in buying such software in the future." The survey also revealed the true dominance of the RPG in Japan, as "...39 percent of respondents identified it as their favorite genre. This is far ahead of every other genre: strategy gaming, the second most popular choice, tallied only 7 percent of the votes." Finally, although it may be that Tokyo Game Show attendees "tend to be hardcore gamers", thus skewing the results, "ownership of [Xbox] ranked lower than five consoles that aren't even in production", including the Dreamcast and Saturn.

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65 comments

But what about US interest in Japan's games? (2, Interesting)

cybermancer (99420) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534035)

I can't say that I am familiar with many titles from Japan that are not written for the US market. Is this common or am I unique?

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534151)

Of course you're unique, my little snowflake; just like everybody else.

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534200)

Lot's of the Japanese games that I've played were just a bit unusual and not to my liking (besides the RPGs).

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (1)

Phil Wilkins (5921) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534252)

Actually your level of stupidity is remarkably common.

Unless you've been to Japan, stumbled into an import specialist, or done the tiniest amount of research, your not going to be aware of Japanese games other than the ones that have been translated into something other than Japanese.

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (1, Funny)

saden1 (581102) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534367)

I don't play any of those fluffy Japanese games and to tell you the truth I don't care for them. Give me Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, and Tekken and I am set.

p.s.
There is a differences between ignorance and stupidity. I suppose one could say that you are stupid where as the parent poster is ignorant of Japanese games.

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534375)

This post has to be the very definition of sarcasm. :D

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (1)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534360)

I can't say that I am familiar with many titles from Japan that are not written for the US market. Is this common or am I unique?

As someone who has never heard of Final Fantasy, Tekken, Soul Calibur, or the names "Sega" or "Nintendo"... yes, you're unique. Not just among gamers, but among Americans, Europeans, Asians, and possibly even your entire species.

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (1)

cybermancer (99420) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534948)

I believe I said "not written for the US market", yeah, that sounds right. Maybe I should have said "not written for or released specifically in the US" but I thought you could figure that out.

I am talking about games that originated in Japan only for Japan, not intended for the US. Final Fantasy, Tekken, Soul Calibur, or the names "Sega" or "Nintendo" are all from Japan, but they are releases for Americans.

When you say "Nintendo" you are referring to Nintendo of America from Redmond Washington. Same for "Sega". And if you actually play those games you list you will notice a lot of English in them for a game from Japan.

Next time think about your post and read what you are replying to. It may help keeping you from looking so bad.

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7535545)

You are arguing a laugable position: the position of a man who chooses his words poorly and defends these choices to the bitter end.

Besides, there [has been/is/continues to be] an overwhelmingly large number of Japanese games that will never be translated from Japanese to any other language. If you think the American market is, or has ever been, a target for even half of every Japanese game released in the distant or recent past, you are more ignorant than is excusable for someone who is posting with a UID as low as yours. Granted, Japanese developers are increasingly targeting American gamers, but this is a much newer phenomenon than of which you may be aware.

Go visit an import games website and open your eyes to the rest of the world already. Sheesh.

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7543113)

So we arent actively seeking out games that arent made for us, I think the Japanese are doing the "exact same fucking thing" to put it rudely.

Your entire fucking post is a flame that shows only that you cant read, you are retarded, and Im not the brightest guy in the world just for even responding to this stupid shit.

Im not even going to breakdown and argue with you until you realize how stupid your post sounds in relation to the parent post.

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7535474)

It shows that you're not a cosmopolitan warez dude but a american video game fan who's even frightened when his country doesn't sell games in evil Japan.

Seiken Densetsu anyone?

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7536026)

The issue is not ownership of games that weren't aimed at the foreign market, but games that were. Extraordinarily few US market leading games are even sold in Japan, but the difference is that Japanese gamers show no interest in these American games, while American gamers tend to leap over Final Fantasy's, Resident Evils, Marios, and the like.

Re:But what about US interest in Japan's games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7543134)

Its called building brand name, and hollywoods been doing it for years. Since Japanese Gamers tend to play alot more than their american counterparts, they are much more familiar with the Japanese titles rather than the american ones.

Thats why Chinese Movie stars arent as big as Governor Arnold.

Different cultures only sell if they are percieved as being better than the equivalents.

This has to be the best... (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534196)

... "proof" of what people are saying often on Slashdot : Japanese don't like non-Japanese games. That's why the Xbox will never pick up over there. It's a shame really, cause the Xbox could need a few RPGs like Disgaea. I love KOTOR and I'm looking forward to Sudeki, but I'd really like to see a game like Disgaea or Shadowhearts on the Xbox.

Re:This has to be the best... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534214)

while kotor is a great game.. it's not exactly what japanese usually mean when they say rpg. kotor is great though... back to playing. what's great about having fucked up daily cycle is that you can look at the watch and see it's over 5am and still have time to play! .

Re:This has to be the best... (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534370)

it's not exactly what japanese usually mean when they say rpg
Yeah, I'm aware of that. Sudeki, even though it sounds like a Japanese game, is in fact developed by a western company exclusively for the Xbox and is an american RPG, just like KOTOR is. My point was that these two american RPGs are great, but the system needs japanese RPGs. But Japanese developers don't see the need to make RPGs for the Xbox because no Japanese will buy them. So were only going to get american-styled RPGs for the Xbox.

Maybe if Microsoft bought Square Enix.... ;)

Re:This has to be the best... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7535504)

Maybe if Microsoft bought Square Enix.... ;)

Now let's not get all crazy with the ideas there son... You're thinking too hard.

Re:This has to be the best... (1)

t0ny (590331) | more than 10 years ago | (#7541016)

How do sales of PC games do in Japan?

Also, MS just hired a former head of (I believe) Squaresoft to head up their Japanese XBox development branch. So we may start seeing genuine Japanese games being developed inhouse for the XBox...

Re:This has to be the best... (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7541345)

Horribly. There is a very very noticable stigma applied to PC games: they are for dorks. Perhaps its because the machine is more expensive, perhaps its because you have to know how to install software and maintain software to play, perhaps...I'm not really sure, but I can say that, unlike America, here in Japan, PC games are for dorks, consoles are for normal people. (By the way, I'm not agreeing in the least. Just stating the national view) On the upside, things are changing, and the image of PC gamers is improving, but slowly.

Strikes me as odd... (1)

hookedup (630460) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534234)

Finally, although it may be that Tokyo Game Show attendees "tend to be hardcore gamers", thus skewing the results, "ownership of [Xbox] ranked lower than five consoles that aren't even in production", including the Dreamcast and Saturn.

I always thought hardcore gamers were the ones who went out and bought every new console with as many games as they could get their hands on. Not someone who is a generation or more behind on hardware/games.

Re:Strikes me as odd... (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534490)

Good games never become obsolete.

Re:Strikes me as odd... (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534526)

Of course they do: Once you've played them and then become busy playing new games. Super Mario Brothers, for example, is quite obsolete for people who've played the game through dozens [upon dozens] of times. I know that I can't get anything significant (besides nostalgia) out of Yar's Revenge or Civilization because I've enjoyed them and moved on.

Even if people HAVEN'T played "ancient" games, most of them would probably hold little interest for young gamers. They would probably wonder what was so compelling about moving a little gun back and forth shooting aliens lined up in rows moving down faster and faster, all with butt-ugly graphics and in two dimensions.

I feel sorry for you... (1)

Man In Black (11263) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534813)

I know that I can't get anything significant (besides nostalgia) out of Yar's Revenge or Civilization because I've enjoyed them and moved on.

If that's the case, then I really feel sorry for you. I still enjoy playing all my video games, even my old Atari ones that I've played to death. Even though I know how to beat Adventure thoroughly, it's still fun for me to play, and getting as high a score possible in Berzerk and Pitfall is still just as fun for me now as it was when I was a kid. I also still enjoy playing Super Mario World... even though I've beaten it probably a dozen times by now, it's still fun to give myself new challenges (such as beating the game in a single sitting, or beating it without any of the switch palaces, etc).

Oh well, if people like you are out there selling all your old games because you no longer have fun with them, then that means they're available for people like me for whom they never get old.

Re:I feel sorry for you... (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534870)

There's certainly no reason to feel sorry for me. Instead of doing the same thing over and over [and over and over], there are new games coming out every week and I can't possibly hope to play every good one.

Re:Strikes me as odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7535243)

The GBA Advance's library proves you wrong.

Re:Strikes me as odd... (1)

shione (666388) | more than 10 years ago | (#7535256)

I don't think the survey asks them the only console that they play. Just because they kept their older consoles and still play it doesn't make them a generation behind.

Re:Strikes me as odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7535658)

I take issue with your idea of a hardcore gamer. Why do you think a hardcore gamer is one who is easily pushed around by market trends? If everybody else likes the latest toy (an example case which definitely does not describe the Xbox in Japan), should I feel motivated in some way to throw my old toys out? Sounds childish.

Besides, what makes you think that, just because they don't own Xboxes, they are behind the system curve or are somehow not dedicated to their hobby? If people don't like a system's games, they are not going to buy that system. And that is the case with the Xbox in Japan.

Re:Strikes me as odd... (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7536042)

And this is exactly the point. It's the equivalent of hard-core gamers in the U.S. not owning N-Gages or not planning on buying Phantoms when they come out. Japanese consider X-Box to not even be in the running.

Fuck the Japs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534378)

- Douglas McAurthur 1943

Now gimme my fucking jelly beans.

Which games converted to japanese? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534389)

AFAIK the japanese mainly understand japanese and nothing much else - a few engrish words don't cut it for many western style games.

That said the Koreans seem to do ok in CnC, etc. So it's not just the language barrier.

IMHO the Japanese are really a big bunch of different people from much of the world culturally. Apparently in Japan it is not unusual for a person to wear face masks because he/she is sick. In places like Hong Kong and the rest of the world, people start wearing face masks because they think others might be sick (see SARS).

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (4, Insightful)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534478)

Just what the hell are you trying to say? You make no sense.

"IMHO the Japanese are really a big bunch of different people from much of the world culturally."

Your wording here is atrocious. I think you're trying to say that Japan is different from the rest of the world, but what exactly do you mean by the "rest of the world"? Try to realize that America is not "the rest of the world." Do you think that most Americans understand more than a few words of any language other than English?

This article isn't about translating games into Japanese. It's about how Western-style games are NOT INTERESTING to the Japanese culture. Or is that what you're trying to say?

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7536078)

I understand very well that America is not the rest of the world. I'm not from the Americas.

In my country there are 3 major cultures (all nonwestern), and a few others. The Japanese culture still seems to be significantly more different to me especially for everyday-life things.

I most certainly wouldn't say "excuse me" to my neighbour when I sneeze in my own apartment, even if my neighbour can hear me. And a non-japanese neighbour will most certainly not say "it's okay I didn't hear you".

Toilets in the "rest of the world" don't have a special button (amongst ten others?) to make a flushing noise (no water, just noise) in order to mask certain noises without having to waste water.

Where would you see a shop assistant bow to you and follow you still bowing (and thanking you) all the way out of the shop just because you bought a pencil or something.

They sure seem more different to me, than a Yank, Brit, Indian, Malay, Chinese, Korean, Aussie, Kiwi, German, French, South African.

So hey if they're not interested in the same games and other things I'm not surprised.

But seems a fair number like baseball of all things!

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (2, Interesting)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7536914)


I most certainly wouldn't say "excuse me" to my neighbour when I sneeze in my own apartment, even if my neighbour can hear me. And a non-japanese neighbour will most certainly not say "it's okay I didn't hear you".

Good thing, neither would the Japanese.

I can see to some extent where you're coming from, though I get the idea that you think the Japanese are a lot stranger than they really are (I know I had pretty high expectations of weirdness when I came to Tokyo, which I realized were unfounded the longer I lived here). I'm not sure where you're from, but as an American, I'd say that Indians and Chinese seem the most different from me. And, somehow, I suspect that FPS are not the game of choice in India.

So, yes, the Japanese are culturally different than Americans, and as such like different games than the Americans.

What I think is a more interesting issue is: If Japanese don't buy American games because of the cultural differences, why do Americans buy so many Japanese games?

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7537475)

Yah I know they aren't really that weird. Just pointing out some extremes. Once you peel away the culture most peoples are very much the same - similar needs, etc. But my friend really got bowed to etc etc. And the various other things... So the culture does seem quite different to me.

BTW I got kissed on the cheek by a very nice young japanese lady some years back. And we only had known each other for a few days - and for work related reasons. I didn't mind of course, but was a bit too surprised and shy to return the favour, plus wasn't sure whether I should. I had the impression they treat kisses pretty seriously (anyway, I kinda treat em seriously), so even today I'm not too sure what I should have done!

BTW I think you just got weirder ;). Or they're normal and the rest of the world is weird, so its easier to start seeing things their way ;). And I sure don't mind nice pretty ladies kissing me! *sigh*.

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7537516)

Actually, I probably just started noticing all the weird stuff Americans do, so the "weird bar" just got higher :) I don't think I'll ever find the adult industry here normal though.

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (2, Informative)

dajak (662256) | more than 10 years ago | (#7543417)

You asked: If Japanese don't buy American games because of the cultural differences, why do Americans buy so many Japanese games?

I think because the Japanese write certain games with the American and European market in mind, and the Americans don't write games with the Japanese market in mind. In other words, the Japanese are currently just better at crossing cultural borders.

Just because US companies are hugely successful in selling games, movies, music, etc. in many other cultures doesn't mean they are specifically designing products for other cultures. The US just has a huge internal market, huge budgets, and therefore good entertainment products. It also happens to have strong historical and cultural links with many other wealthy cultures. Japan has a sizable internal market, which translates to competitive budgets, and is therefore hard to be successful in. India and China will also get harder as they get wealthier. Many other cultures don't have that internal market and just adapt to a dominant culture.

(One of the reasons I like some low-budget European RTS games is that it gives me the opportunity to play the Dutch on a European map. Some US games go as far as making the Netherlands part of France on maps, for instance, and that is definitely a sales mistake in this particular market. US game makers make these Europe-centred games for the US market. Strong sales in Europe or former colonies of European countries are little more than a side effect.)

The relevant factors for success for entertainment products in foreign markets is 1) relative size of home market to foreign market (no control and anti-symmetric), 2) cultural affinity with foreign market (no control and symmetric), 3) effort in adapting to foreign market (under control). From the US point of view factor 1 is dominant in the case of Japan.

An example is movies: Dutch productions are some 10 times more profitable relative to budget than American productions inside the Netherlands. Still only 3 Dutch movies make the top 10 for the year on average, and producing a Dutch movie with a budget of a few millions is a highly risky exercise because you absolutely must reach a sizable proportion of the population to survive as a producer.

The most profitable movies made here are weird movies like Antonia that do pretty badly here, get an Oscar for best foreign movie, and lure a few million Americans and Europeans to the cinema to watch an 'art' movie.

Japan can be a very good market for westerners: The two biggest attraction parks in Japan are Disneyland Tokyo and Netherlands-history-themed park Huis ten Bosch in Nagasaki, after all. From the Netherlands point of view (again relative to home market size) Japan is a very important foreign market and no more difficult to access than the US or even France for entertainment products like music.

It is unfortunate that the Japanese are sometimes portrayed as 'xenophobic' just because they are capable of producing a lot what they like for themselves. In the Netherlands people would moan the loss of Dutch culture if an American attraction park even dared to compete successfully with the venerable Efteling. The Japanese are in fact remarkably open to exploring exotic Western culture if presented the right way. But you would probably agree to that.

Re: Apparently your grasp of English is limited... (1)

3rdParty (719962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7543720)

AQre you suggesting that Japanese culture is identical to US culture? I find this hard to believe. Japanese games for the Japanese gamer sell terribly here, for the most part, because most Americans would rather actually go out and date rather than play a dating sim. Most Americans are more comfotable with excessive violence and blood in their games. Our social structure is much less restrictive. American society is not the same as japanese society, even if you think it is. And that is only comparing Japan to the US. DO you really think hat the US is unique inthe world, and the Japanese are exactly like every non-US society? Many Americans speak Spanish, Italian, Greek, Somali, Hindi, Urdu, Chinese, Japanese, etc. You may be unaware of it, but Americans are from all over the world, and a large number are from places that don't have English as a national language.

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (1)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 10 years ago | (#7535163)

AFAIK the japanese mainly understand japanese and nothing much else - a few engrish words don't cut it for many western style games.

Uhmmm, no. English is taught in Japanese schools from a fairly young age. You're waaaay off-base on almost everything in your post.

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 10 years ago | (#7535954)

English is taught in Japanese schools from a fairly young age.

True. But French is taught in British schools from a fairly young age, and I'd still have a lot of trouble if I were dumped in rural France. Just because a language is taught doesn't mean the people who are taught it reach any great level of competence...

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7536111)

I've met a number of Japanese folk over the years. While English is taught in Japanese schools from a fairly young age, it sure appears that those I met weren't paying very much attention, or the teaching leaves much to be desired. From what I hear, the latter seems to be the case.

But I have to admit, language is probably not the reason why the games aren't popular - the Koreans seem to be happy with many western games. And they're the best in many competitions.

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (2, Insightful)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7536974)

As an expat living in Japan for 8 years, and a former English teacher, I can say: it's partly the teachers, but mostly the students. I've taught kids that rocked in English. They had the same teachers, the same textbooks, the same resources. The difference was, they really wanted it. They studied with the goal of long term memorization, not just enough to pass the midterm test. They watched English language TV. They voluntarily talked to native speaker English teachers.

99% of Japanese will tell you that they want to be able to speak English. Suggest to them that they study vocab, or watch a movie in English, or practice speaking, or go overseas, and all of a sudden they don't seem so interested.

I've heard plenty of people blame the education system, but from my experience, it's more likely that they just weren't paying attention, and figured one day the language fairy would give them fluency in their sleep.

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7537507)

Well english is a weird language. So I don't blame em.

The million ways of pronouncing "ough".
One = pronounced W-Ah-n. WTF.
etc etc.

Any tips on learning Japanese (spoken form)? Enough to get around and not offend too many people.

I don't think I can manage the written form :).

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7537553)

Well, really, most languages work out the same: get a good textbook, get some language tapes, and put your nose to the grindstone. Find some place, any place, where you can practice (a tutor, of course, is easiest). Learn some words/phrases, and then use them ASAP so that they stick (it's MUCH easier to remember a word/expression when you use it in real life). Make some flash cards, listen to the tapes, etc. It seems straightforward, but, especially at the start, it's the best way to go.

Perhaps more useful is the unadvice.
  • Don't use the Jordan textbook (a very famous one used in many universities). It's nice that it avoids written Japanese, but it makes you learn a whole new system for phonetics, which takes just as long and is totally useless later.
  • Don't bother trying to learn from listening to music. People sing very differently than they speak.
  • Don't try to learn from comedies. The whole point of comedy is the unexpected, making it incredibly hard to follow.

Oh, and as far as offending people: Just make sure you use the "desu/masu" form, and you'll be fine. You won't need to know the really polite form until your Japanese is already pretty darn good, and you won't need to learn the casual form until you make Japanese friends, and, as they're your friends, they'll help you learn it.

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (3, Insightful)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 10 years ago | (#7537651)

Any tips on learning Japanese (spoken form)? Enough to get around and not offend too many people. I don't think I can manage the written form :).

The Japanese language (spoken) hasn't been overly difficult for me to learn. Compared to english, it's much more regular, both in terms of pronounciation and the spectacular number of odd conjugations we have. I pity anyone who tries to learn english as a second language; our grammar is downright malevolent. I think a sticking point for many people may be the Subject-Object-Verb word ordering, but if you've ever programmed in Forth or used an HP calculator, it comes off as fairly intuitive. There's also a surprising (or not) number of english (and some dutch and german) loan words in Japanese.

In terms of the written language, the kana (katakana and hiragana, both syllabaries) are quite simple, and can be mastered within a week. The Kanji (the chinese characters) are obviously much more difficult, as you have to memorize around 2,000 of them to be basically literate, but it bears remembering that some linguists believe that learning it is no more difficult than learning english spelling, which boils down to memorizing arbitrary letter sequences with, in many cases, no relation to their pronounciation or meaning. The Nakama textbook [amazon.com] and it's workbook [amazon.com]are the best intro to the language that I've come across.

Re:Which games converted to japanese? (1)

Riff10111 (30276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7539825)

Also, check out LRNJ [lrnj.com], a shareware RPG designed to teach Japanese while you play it. Entertaining *and* educational!

YOU'RE RETARDED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7548838)

Wow insightful the Japanese are quite different culturally. You americans are complete idiots. Stay home PLEASE!!!

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534393)

This is absolutley nothing new, it is widely known that japanese gamers dig japan-style RPGs (because they rule, duh :)).

But still now and then an article shows up, in which some overpaid suit at MS claims to exactly know what the japanese market needs. I don't know whatever these idiots think, but there is no way I'm going to buy this western shit. And I'm not even japanese.

KOTOR (1)

t0ny (590331) | more than 10 years ago | (#7541028)

Ill be interested to see how something like KoTOR is received in Japan, but one thing I can see is that they may not 'get' the whole Star Wars thing. Anybody know if SW is big or even known there?

Re:KOTOR (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7541361)

It's known, but among gamer aged folks, it's primarily famous for episodes I & II (very few people under age 25 or so knew of Star Wars until Episode I came out), so there's no emotional bond to the movie. For example, I can't really imagine many people getting excited about KOTOR because it's Star Wars. It wouldn't turn them off, either. It would probably be received as just a neutral movie tie-in game, like Harry Potter or Charlie's Angels.

The gaming barrier (3, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534404)

Americans tend to prefer FPS/action based games. (See : Half-Life/CounterStrike, Doom, and Max Payne 1/2)
Japanese players tend to like heavy storyline based games. (See : Entire FF series 4 and up, Dragon Quest/Warrior series, and Zenosaga)

Americans generally "go it alone" when it comes to games with or without teamplay. (See : A random public server of CounterStrike and Metroid Prime)
Japanese/Asian players tend to like heavy teamplay when applicable. (See : Lineage 1/2 and FFXI)

Until both sides are able to create a game that can successfully balance the differences in gaming preferance, both Japanese and American games/systems will always find a lack of preferance in the other's country. I think Square (not Square-Enix) tried to do this with Final Fantasy The Spirits Within but screwed up in the process. Why? Love based main characters (American favorite) , an "evil" leader (that military guy, both Japanese and American) , and the overly wrapped storyline and explanation (Japanese style). Either way you look at it, there has been almost no game that satisfies both cultures' style of gameplay. I think Square got lucky with FF7 and thats why people have been bitching about the series doing badly since then.

Japan doesn't like anything foreign (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534623)

How convinient for them we have spineless politicians who agree to soak up their exports like a sponge with little reciprocation on their part. They don't like foreign Gaijin polluting their homogenous society, either. Fortunately this is going to bite them in the ass when their demographic time bomb explodes and they run out of young workers to pay the old folks pensions.

Its called "schadenfreude".

Re:Japan doesn't like anything foreign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534785)

How convinient for them we have spineless politicians who agree to soak up their exports like a sponge with little reciprocation on their part. They don't like foreign Gaijin polluting their homogenous society, either. Fortunately this is going to bite them in the ass when their demographic time bomb explodes and they run out of young workers to pay the old folks pensions.

Its called "schadenfreude".


You don't know what words mean, do you?

-1 Hateful (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534851)

He does have a point about the aging population, though.

And FYI, the Japanese gobble up quite a bit of foreign stuff -- clothing, food, movies, music, Harley Davidsons, etc.

Re:Japan doesn't like anything foreign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7535703)

give them some time, it's way better than it was 20 years ago.. and don't exaggerate like a complete idiot.

Of course they don't like Western titles (1)

thirty2bit (685528) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534684)

Most US titles are RTS, FPS or military/war-themed. Most US titles are PC based, ported to consoles later.

I see a majority of PS2 games being based around kung-fu/hand-to-hand style fighting, 500 different controller combo moves, with characters having the ubiquitous anime faces (sorry but the huge puppy-dog eyes, feathered 80's hair and tiny button noses look absolutely silly to me). You see mostly console-based titles as their export product, not PC games.

Maybe I'm way off, but there are two different cultures on two different platforms involved. Each have different marketing positions with consoles being the easiest and most profitable. Now, with Sony and Nintendo developing their games overseas, and able to throw financial resources towards marketing/distribution, it doesn't leave much room for PC/Western games to establish a presence in Japan.

Factor in the difference in cultures, the Xbox's lack of titles overall, and one can see the odds are stacked against it's acceptance.

Re:Of course they don't like Western titles (1)

AltaMannen (568693) | more than 10 years ago | (#7537654)

Do you actually have any numbers to back those genre and porting statistics up? I'd take a stab at guessing most US titles are NOT RTS or FPS, and that a very small quantity of US PC games are ported to consoles.

eh (1)

shoptroll (544006) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534829)

Eh...

We have things we like, they have things they like... People forget that RPGs weren't THE BIG thing 10 years ago.

You want an example, take a look at Squaresoft and their recent rash of re-makes/re-releases. We finally got an official Final Fantasy II in Origins, coming here at least 12 years after it was initially release in Japan. At least Square is starting to bring some of the stuff we missed over here, with the recently announced Front Mission History collection in Japan, maybe we'll get a chance to see Front Mission 1 (in its new form of Front Mission 1st) and Front Mission 2.

Re:eh (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#7541273)

People forget that RPGs weren't THE BIG thing 10 years ago.

Adventure Games were the big thing 10 years ago. Sam & Max, King's Quest, Monkey Island.

God I miss that genre.

They don't like our games? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7535477)

How many A-Bombs do we have to drop on these bastards until Japan recognizes that red, white and blue got game?

Re:They don't like our games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7535678)

Holy shit, ladies and gentlemen. It's Shaq in a white tux!

Sir, can I shake your hand? You're sounding particularly classy tonight.

Bling bling, everyone!

grain of salt (1)

newsdee (629448) | more than 10 years ago | (#7535821)

Some things are not crystal clear:

- By "non-Japanese game" do they mean "game from overseas", or "game which language is not Japanese"? The term applies for both but it makes a difference. Some European countries are very heavy on localization and consumers won't buy English titles, but would happily buy the same game translated.
- There's another question in the survey: "which console would you like to buy next" and the X-Box ranks second, after the Gamecube. Maybe they think the X-Box has potential but haven't seen good software for it yet.

You can also consider the differences in games. Most American titles are FPS, RTS, Sports or "Life Sim" games... every other genre seems to come mainly from overseas. And why does American companies mostly release those genres? Well, safety... they know the genre will work. But in doing so they risk alienating every other market.

The japanese make the best RPGs (0, Flamebait)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 10 years ago | (#7538264)

Recently I got a game that I had heard much about, a game that got some really good reviews: Baldur's Gate 2. Then I started playing it...

*click*click*click*click* Goddamn that's BORING! This game is even more pretentious and uninteresting than Diablo or Ultima. Unintuitive interface, ridiculous combat, awful control, poor graphics, dull sound... everything in this game is awful.

After less than an hour I turned off my computer, turned on my Dreamcast, and resumed playing Grandia 2. Good-looking, good-sounding, fun, well-written, with characters about whom one actually cares.

Then I looked at my other RPGs - Skies of Arcadia, Shenmue, Phantasy Star Online. And I remembered other RPGs I had played - Final Fantasy VI, Phantasy Star IV, Chrono Trigger. All japanese. All far better.

Is this just an exception? I don't think so. I can't recall any good american RPG (there's Pathways into Darkness, but that stretches the definition of RPG a bit. Oh well, so does Shenmue). Therefore, I must assume the japanese know how to make the best RPGs.
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