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JAP v US Games/Gaming Market

Old 11-30-01, 07:57 PM
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JAP v US Games/Gaming Market

Aside from the obvious language difference, why is it that jap version of games are often quite different to the US version of a game ?

also what do u think are the main differences between the US and Japanese gaming markets ?

and dare i ask it, which gaming market is more important to the success of a console ?

I know the japanese love those cutsey games which don't go down as well in the US
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Old 12-01-01, 12:47 AM
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The cultures are very different and many times this is shown in the translations of Japanese games. The Japanese use a lot of puns and humor that if translated directly would make no sense to a US market. That is why Working Designs, Square, or whoever usually have to completely change most of the dialog in RPGs.

The Japanese also like stuff like Dating Sims and life sims that for the most part would not sell well in the US. Of course RPGs are hugely popular in Japan. The Japanese are also more into the gameplay than the graphics. Dragon Warrior VII was much more popular than Final Fantasy IX, but the situation is greatly reversed in the US. Dragon Warrior VII turned off most US gamers I have talked with due to its old school style.

Its hard to say which market is most important. The Genesis and N64 were not that successful in Japan, but did so well in the US that we really fueled their success. The reverse was true of the Saturn and 3DO. If the console is big in both the US and Japan as with the PSX and NES then its the best situation and can keep a console going for 6 years or more.

Actually cutesy Japanese games like Mario and Pokemon go down well in the US. I think the problem is with the game being good. Good cutey games can work anywhere. I think Pikmin is going to be a surprise success in the US.
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Old 12-01-01, 02:40 AM
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Yeah...what darkside said. I personally am trying to learn Japanese for a bunch of reasons, games and anime included. That, and so I can get a cute Japanese girl. IKUZE!
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Old 12-01-01, 03:22 AM
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Re: JAP v US Games/Gaming Market

Darkside made some good points. Japan is quite a different culture than the US. In the early days of the SNES and PSX we were worried about scenes being taken out of the US versions. Xenogears wasn't even going to come out hear at first due to its "religious context." In Japan people are fine with debating religons or mature stories, in the states there are activist groups that will ridicule and scorn it (just look what happened to Harry Potter). Video games already have a bad rep from the media (although it seems to be getting better lately).

One thing for sure, Japan gets a TON more games than what is released here, but I could probably live without a lot of them, like Tokimeki Memorial (I have not played it though so you never know). RPG and collection type games are the most popular(used to be pokemon, now its some game called yugioh I think). Metal Gear Solid is more popular in the US than in Japan on the other hand. Japan is also the birthplace of the numerous bemani and dance spin offs. If you've ever been there the atmosphere just feels totally different, there are arcades on just about every block. When your playing a game in the arcade, people ask if they can challenge you (they don't just plunge their money in without asking and then beat you off the machine which has happened to me in the states and is extremely irritating). And when your good at a game, a lot of people take notice, you become a local celebrity....its weird I know but oddly satisfying . For example, I was trying to win a Cloud on Motercycle keychain out of this machine and wasn't having any luck. This guy (who seemed to be well known in that arcade) came up to me and asked if I wanted him to try. I figured what the heck so I gave him 300 yen and sure enough, he got it on the first try.

I don't really know which market is important, they both would seem equally important due to the dedication game companies seem to be pushing in both markets. Many sites say that it is more important to do well in japan though. And due to the downturn japan's economy has been in for the past number of years they're probably right.

As far as cutesy characters, a lot of that is popular in japan but also here in the states. I think most people see through the cuteness and see the gameplay that makes a game great. In japan you never see one person liking something by themselves, its always a group of people who dress the same way, hang out together, etc. Especially when they dress up (I mean seriously dress in some odd fashion, you won't see one person, it'll be a group wearing a feathered shawl or 12 inch soles). Actually those are just my observations from a weeklong trip in which I could not even speak the language fluently . I'd love to go back there.........but I don't think I'd want to live there.
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Old 12-01-01, 04:42 AM
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The major difference.


What games are released and the amount of support they recieve. Since Marketing is big. You will find much more game related items out there.

I love collecting this crap. its grand. to get an SNK VS CAPCOM lighter or a MGS replica air soft. it seems japan likes to support there games in the way of free marketable game related items.
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Old 12-01-01, 06:54 AM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
The major difference.


What games are released and the amount of support they recieve. Since Marketing is big. You will find much more game related items out there.

I love collecting this crap. its grand. to get an SNK VS CAPCOM lighter or a MGS replica air soft. it seems japan likes to support there games in the way of free marketable game related items.
That is true. I would have loved to get the Eternal Arcadia limited edition set. Here the US release Skies of Arcadia, got little fanfare.

I did pick up the Chrono Cross clock, Game Boy with built in indigo light, and a few other collectible tidbits. However, I could never afford to buy all the Japanese video game collectibles I want.

Soundtracks for video games are also big sellers in Japan. Nintendo tried it briefly here, but it never really caught on.
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Old 12-01-01, 04:53 PM
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It's been eluded to in the past by developers the japanese market is more important to most game companies then the american market. When was the last time a new game sold 2 millioon copies in 3 days here. When was the last time you saw thousands of people in the streets waiting for a game not a system. I'm not saying american market is not important, and some developers only make games for america, but we are not as important as japan.
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Old 12-01-01, 09:25 PM
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great replies guys
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Old 12-02-01, 07:13 PM
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I dont know about the American market but the Japanese one is one huge one.They dont use bootlegs and the softwares are very strictly conttrolled.There used to be a case where Sony and Nintendo sued a store for selling second hand software.
If a software is going on for sale saw Metal Gear Solid 2 which is going on sale soon,then there would be thousands of people lining up to get that game before the stores even open up.I can predict some game which is not gonna be huge in USA because its specially made for Japan markets.
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