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More On Japanese Game Developers In 2004

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the good-with-the-bad dept.

GameCube (Games) 35

Thanks to Game Science for their second article, following yesterday's first part, discussing Japanese game developer expectations for 2004, as relayed via a survey in Famitsu magazine. Of 100 developers surveyed, 25 thought things would improve in 2004, suggesting "new hardware will spur the market on, [and] big hits like FFXII and GT4 will be released", but 32 expected no change, saying "makers and shops will struggle to get by, [and] it will be a tough year for small companies." Hints of the Japanese games slump in 2003 came from survey results in which a clear majority considered it a 'bad year', pointing out "companies like Digicube went bankrupt... [and] the market got smaller." Finally, of those Japanese developers surveyed, 52 were planning to concentrate on PlayStation 2 in 2004, compared with 24 on PC, 15 on PSP, 11 on GameCube, and just 7 on Xbox.

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35 comments

No Change (2, Interesting)

orthancstone (665890) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929573)

I'd agree with the no real change group. FF 12 isn't going to turn everything around for the entire year.

If Japan is lucky, perhaps it will see a boost if North America sees a large boost from HL2, Doom, and GTA 4. I wouldn't go counting on it though :|.

This is shocking though...we are in the middle of the prime time for releasing ground breaking console games yet the market is seeing no real boosters...really odd :O.

24% on PC? (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929636)

Did they ask the hentai game makers or something? I thought the Japanese stayed away from PC gaming on principle.

Rob

Xbox Beats Playstation! (2, Funny)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929671)


XBox beats Playstation!!

7 developers plan on developing for XBox, while only 4 plan on developing for Playstation.

Of course, we're talking about Playstation 1, not Playstation 2, but hey, I'll take what I can get ^_^

Re:Xbox Beats Playstation! (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7930110)

Personally, I like the American games better anyway. If the Japanese don't want to develop for XBox, who cares?

Re:Xbox Beats Playstation! (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7930244)

Umm....us XBox owners living in Japan. All 20 or so of us. And people who like Japanese-style RPGs (Final Fantasy, etc.). And people who like other Japanese games.

Odd question, now that I think about it.

Re:Xbox Beats Playstation! (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 10 years ago | (#7930279)

Umm....us XBox owners living in Japan.

Well, that was a pretty dumb decision, don't you think?

Rob (I hope you at least got an American XBox)

Re:Xbox Beats Playstation! (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7930361)

Yep...eventually. The first XBox (Japanese) turned out to be a bad bad choice, as they never released any decent games for it. Then, eventually, when I decided to buy a region 1 DVD player, I realized for just a little bit more I would have access to all those Region 1 XBox games I was drooling over. Now I have a happy Region 1 DVD player / game system, and Japan's largest black plastic Region 2 DVD player.

Re:Xbox Beats Playstation! (1)

XellDx (737289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7930667)

You bought 2? Jesus, I had to scam Walmart just to get one.(My PS2 crapped out and I return swapped it for an Xbox). On the plus side, you get True Fantasy Live Online before us. If we get it at all.

Re:Xbox Beats Playstation! (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7930830)

Yeah. I didn't really plan it that way, but since I was going to be spending over $100 for a Region 1 DVD player anyway, and Japanese XBox games cost on the average $10 or $15 more than American ones, I figured as long as I bought 7 or more games over the lifespan of the system, I'd actually be saving money by getting it. With Tony Hawk Underground, Tony Hawk 4, KOTOR, SSX 3, Morrowind, GTA, and Splinter Cell, I'm most of the way there already.

2004 should be a good year (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929710)

April - May = Grand Turismo 4
May - December = Doom III
May - December = Half Life 2

seriously if I get one of these in my hands, my weekends are booked for good.

Japanese.. meh (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929714)

Bah, who cares if the Xbox gets subpar Jap support. This console generation has been the generation where western game developers really have stepped up and surpassed their Eastern counterparts. The best games this generation... KOTOR, GTA, Splinter Cell, EA Sports, etc have been Western games.

The importance of Japanese gaming to Western gamers is steadily decreasing. Take a look at how popular tactical shooters are on Xbox Live and PC gaming. Are most of those Japanese? Hell no... Western all the way.

One more reason why I am proud of my Xbox to give gamers in the US what WE want, not some cheesy flashy Japanese drivel.

Re:Japanese.. meh (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929850)

The importance of Japanese gaming to Western gamers is steadily decreasing. Take a look at how popular tactical shooters are on Xbox Live and PC gaming. Are most of those Japanese? Hell no... Western all the way.

I don't get the relevance of this. The fact that Western games are becoming more popular says nothing to the idea that Japanese games are getting less so. Yes, Prince of Persia was very popular this year, but so was Wind Waker. KOTOR was popular, but so was FFXI. I don't think the Japanese have anything to worry about yet (at least, no more worries than what the Western developers have).

Rob

Re:Japanese.. meh (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929976)

I believe the implication is that it is waning, not that it has entirely disappeared.

Still, back in the day, Japanese games were critical to Western gamers, regardless of their play type. Now there are a lot more players who wouldn't really be affected if Japanese game producers slowed up on production. I don't think Japanese game producers need to worry much though: I'd attribute it to people who weren't into games before getting into them now (witness the proliferation of sports games), and I doubt American RPGs will be kicking Japanese RPGs out of the market. Still, the times definitely are a-changin'.

Re:Japanese.. meh (0)

bugbread (599172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7930017)

Proud of your XBox? What, did you make it or something? Next you're going to be proud of your nationality or proud of your sexual orientation or some other bizarre thing people are proud of these days.

Re:Japanese.. meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7930348)

black pride?

Re:Japanese.. meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7933687)

Black pride is as foolish as white pride, pride of being gay, and pride of having two feet attached to two legs.

Re:Japanese.. meh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7935442)

I am proud of the Xbox, for it is my favorite console that I own between the PS2 and the Xbox. You get the same games multiplatform (better graphics, sound, controls, memory, hard drive, system link, online play) and the fact that as an RPG gamer... I have had much more fun this generation with a western RPG (KOTOR) than I did with FFX. Heck, FFX was just like the other games just updated graphics and still just as annoying. KOTOR did something different for me, and I really commend Bioware for being unique with this game.

I just can't stand all the hype that the PS2 gets. Sure it has these games that aren't available on the other consoles, but I prefer a game console that has some sort of AA in the graphics and I don't have to hurt my eyes with jaggies, flicker, and slowdown.

For that, I choose the Xbox.

Re:Japanese.. meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7937257)

But....pride? That's more than a little pathetic.

Re:Japanese.. meh (1)

Metroid72 (654017) | more than 10 years ago | (#7930120)

Even though your comment sounds a little bit arrongant, I think you make a good point.
Japanese companies no longer steer the industry in terms of software content.
With the increased production values of videogames lately, I believe that westen companies have what it takes to offer the best games to this side of the hemisphere.
However, there's a big caveat... hopefully we learn from the mistakes of the past (remember the games that we used to put out towards the mid 80's?); we don't need a second Hollywood.
I'm optimistic that we'll do a good job steering the industry, because if not.. I rather keep the japanese -even with their current creativity slump-

Because I like Japanese games? (1)

Webapprentice (608832) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931585)

I don't like to play any of the games you mentioned. They aren't my thing.

The Japanese-made game marketshare will likely wane in the West, but it will not disappear. It will mean the Japanese developers will compete harder for the remaining Western audiences that do enjoy Japanese-made games. So, I woud expect more fallout from the Japanese gaming industry in the years to come as Western-made games rise.

Another thing is that a lot of Western games appeal to even Western casual gamers (sports games come to mind). Many Japanese games don't have that appeal to that same audience.

In any case, I'm still buying Japanese-made games.

Re:Japanese.. meh (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933306)

I agree wholeheartedly.

Just yesterday I was talking to a co-worker about the difference between Xbox and Playstation 2.

Yes, the Playstation 2 has tons more games, but I really am not interested in most of them. So the library of games that *I* want is very near equal. If the game box has a picture of someone with very large eyes, and a choppy hair-cut [com.com], chances are I don't want to play the game. Nothing to do with xenophobia- everything to do with cultural tastes.

I would much rather play NBA Street than Pokeman. Halo over Final Fantasy, Crimson Skies over (insert some funky Japanese game that I wouldn't understand here).

Somehow the French seem to put out some games I like too- I think it has to do with their Canadian ties. Or the same alphabet as us, or something.

I've tried Japanese games- and maybe I just don't get some of the nuances, or something like that. But I enjoy when my player characters is large, and kills things violently [ucanr.org] (not a game, but a good idea for one). I don't want to pretend that I am Spritle [speedracer.com] from Speed Racer.

And I've tried sushi- many times..even pretended to like it for a while- but when it comes down to it, it just isn't my thing.

Re:Japanese.. meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7934630)

That's a shame, you've missed out on some really fantastic games then.

That's like saying "I don't like skinny blonde women so I'm not going to watch any TV or movies with skinny blonde women in them," you're cutting yourself out of a lot of good along with the bad.

Re:Japanese.. meh (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7935895)

Except I have *tried* a lot of these games- I just don't like them.

Some people don't like sports games, some people don't like FPS. I just don't enjoy the Japanese RPGs...

Well duh (4, Interesting)

XellDx (737289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929929)

This time last year at least 3-4 A list games had been announched. There was Zelda on the horizon, FFX2 was starting to rear its ugly head, Knights of the Old republic, I mean hell, its was a unavoidable release orgy. By March I was budgetting 3-400$ just for games as presents there were 5 months away. I don't want to know what I spent on myself.

Now we have (supposedly) FF12 and (probably) GTA5. Thats about it. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot Crystal Chronicles.

GTA5 hasn't officially been announced yet, and given some of the troubles [nytimes.com] take two [gamer.tv] is facing, GTA5 could face delays in the making. Or at least in release, so its not going to pull a night trap [armchairempire.com] or something.

Myself, I want to see Nintendo get off its ass and start making more BroadBand enabled games. Crystal Chronicles is cool and all, but finding 4 friends to play a RPG for X # of hours is going to be a hurdle I might not clear.

Re:Well duh (1)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931113)

I can tell you one thing - GTA 5 will NOT be out this year. That's because Rockstar has stated that GTA: Vice City is not GTA 4 and is not a true sequel. So the next GTA that comes out will either be GTA 4 OR Rockstar could give up the whole numbering convention entirely and just use the city name instead.

I too would like to see more broadband enabled games for the Gamecube. I've got friends from college who only own Gamecubes and no other console. I'd like to bring the hammer upon them from afar but without any games to play, that won't happen.

Re:Well duh (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7934660)

Well, if you owned an Xbox, there would be Halo 2, Sudeki and Ninja Gaiden. Those are hugely anticipated games, especially Halo 2 and Ninja Gaiden. (and all three exclusives)

Re:Well duh (1)

XellDx (737289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7935158)

Hey, Sudeki. I remeber that. I think. It was the one that looked like Rare had figured out what the word 'Gameplay' meant, but by another developer, right?

Halo 2: D'oh. Then again, I don't supposed that would be much of an incentive for the -Japanese-, which was my original train of thought. Given the past FF's year-localization** turn around, I'm kind of doubting we'll see FFXII in 2004 either. Remember, FFX was supposed to be an early Janurary 2002 release until Square relized they where comitting profit homocide.


** = and being released as an interenational version with actual BONUS content a year later in Japan 2 weeks later

I like Sony's laptops (-1, Offtopic)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 10 years ago | (#7930325)


My VAIO FX210 works perfectly with Slackware. I have to use the 'linmodem' style drivers but everything else works great. Battery life sucks, though.

All new gaming experiences... no wait (0, Troll)

IntergalacticWalrus (720648) | more than 10 years ago | (#7932235)

FFXII and GT4? w00p, innovation ahead !!

Re:All new gaming experiences... no wait (1)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 10 years ago | (#7933250)

Actually, Final Fantasy 12 is promised to be something different in the series. Whether that pans out or not is a different matter, but with all the game's ties to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, it seems very possible.
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