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Old 10-18-2017, 12:46 PM   #1
Emabulator
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NIS America President Says Microsoft Is Not Very Supportive Of Japanese Games


Game Informer has the story.

Quote:
The president of Nippon Ichi America, Takuro Yamashita, told MCV that he does not believe Microsoft is very supportive of Japanese games in a candid interview with the outlet.

The actual reasoning gets into a little bit of minutiae, as Yamashita's reasoning has more to do with Microsoft's requirements for publishing on the Xbox. He explains that Microsoft requires a minimum order for publishing on their systems. For niche games, like the kind Nippon Ichi specializes in, the minimum is way above what they expect to sell.

Nihon Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo also agreed, but explained that the Xbox's mindshare, or lack thereof, in Japan is the largest determining factor for their decision not to support the system.
Read on.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:11 PM   #2
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You can keep your archaic JRPG's japan, no one wants them.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:21 PM   #3
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A Microsoft rep replied that "Japan is not very supportive of Microsoft hardware and games."

lol...they're both sure to get right on supporting the other. When hell freezes over.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:46 PM   #4
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Different cultures. Sure, there is a niche audience in the US/UK that love JRPGs, but it's small enough that spending money to bring those games over just isn't worth it. Not to mention, Microsoft console sales are pretty weak in Japan.

The weebs already buy Sony consoles in order to play Japanese games alongside their waifu pillows anyways.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMurdock_0311 View Post
Different cultures. Sure, there is a niche audience in the US/UK that love JRPGs, but it's small enough that spending money to bring those games over just isn't worth it. Not to mention, Microsoft console sales are pretty weak in Japan.

The weebs already buy Sony consoles in order to play Japanese games alongside their waifu pillows anyways.
Microsoft console sales aren't pretty weak in Japan, they're abysmal in Japan. Usually selling 40-80 units per week. Often even the Wii U is still outselling the Xbox One in Japan. I don't think Xbox One has cracked 100,000 units over there yet, lifetime.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:14 PM   #6
LostToys
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It is not that bad, but it is pretty bad. This weeks (and last week's) numbers are:

Xbox One – 71 (186)
PlayStation 3 – 65 (72)
Wii U – 58 (45)
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:17 PM   #7
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The Japanese will eat up Xbox One X. Crazy powerful, crazy small, black, no boat anchors attached. They need to team up with another Japanese dev house like they did a decade ago and come out with another Blue Dragon/Lost Odyssey exclusive Xbox Japanese game sucker punch.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:20 PM   #8
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As for NIS.... well... they need to raise their production values and not churn out the same damn 1990s mechanics games over and over again. Innovation is not their strong suit.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElektroDragon View Post
The Japanese will eat up Xbox One X. Crazy powerful, crazy small, black, no boat anchors attached. They need to team up with another Japanese dev house like they did a decade ago and come out with another Blue Dragon/Lost Odyssey exclusive Xbox Japanese game sucker punch.

Jokes right?
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:51 PM   #10
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The next time an American is labeled Xenophobic for looking down on foreign goods, I ask someone remember the XBox-series in Japan.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rommel View Post
The next time an American is labeled Xenophobic for looking down on foreign goods, I ask someone remember the XBox-series in Japan.
Implying Xenophobia is your own country is a bad thing. Cuck harder.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:08 PM   #12
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Hey, I completed Final Fantasy VII a long time ago. I did my part.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:53 PM   #13
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In the 360 days Microsoft would make japanese versions of many of their best selling games which could be very risky revenue bets when trying to push into the Japanese market. Not only would you have to create special versions sanitized to meet CERO requirements you'd also have to do a lot of modification of the UI to manage fonts for the glyph language. Glyph language fonts also take a lot of memory (because for a lot of engines they are basically images instead of text) which required other work to make sure we didn't crash the game. This meant we didn't get all the benefit of testing performed on the the core SKU. If you wanted to go all out you'd do localization of the voice over or at least go through a subtitle pass and finally you'd do a geo-political pass to make sure any culturally offensive material was removed. And after all of this you still have to go through the full certification process.

This could take several months and could cost a lot of money.

That's one thing people sometimes don't realize about platform makers: they are willing to make investments in certain things if it makes sense for the platform even if the project they are working on isn't necessarily going to be a gang busters seller itself. Getting a foothold in Japan is a strategic move for an American company for any industry because that foothold can pay dividends over many generations of products, be it consoles or cars, or salt and pepper shakers, or fashion.

Anyway, there was a whole Games division in Japan filled with former Nintendo, Sony, Sega, and other native staffers who would give suggestions cultural insights and guidance to help guide Japanese investment, avoid cultural fopaws as well as do excellent localization/translation work.

As we now know despite all the efforts the Xbox brand never really took off despite all the efforts in outreach so eventually MGS Japan downsized to a small staff (not even sure if it exists at all any more).

We knew American company faced an uphill battle. Japanese tend to be pretty nationalistic so Sony and Nintendo have a built in advantage but also the big bread and butter Xbox hits didn't seem to resonate well with Japanese customers.

Either that or the Japan customers who were interested would import the game from another Asian region long before the J-version was release. The data was hard to make out.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I worked on one of those titles which was expected to make a pretty good dent during my time at MGS but unfortunately we fell into the curse of just not being the type of title Japanese gamers looked to play so ended up with disappointing sales results despite the otherwise worldwide popularity of the title. I wasn't part of the strategic marketing decisions, just part of executing on building the J-versions of the game and getting them to market but I'm sure this was part of why Microsoft started pulling back. If this title failed to gain much traction it would be hard for any of the 360 prime IPs to grab hold.

Last edited by vallor; 10-19-2017 at 12:06 AM..
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by vallor View Post
[...] avoid cultural fopaws [...]
I suspect you did that on purpose, because this was a post about respecting other cultures and languages, but if you didn't, it's symptomatic of Microsoft's attempts to bring the huge, unwieldy Xbox and its Western games into Japanese homes.

Back then, I really hoped MS would collaborate with SEGA to establish the original Xbox as a Dreamcast successor of sorts. Unfortunately, we only got a few stand-alone projects ("Jet Set Radio Future"!) and some enhanced DC ports. Consequently, Microsoft never stood a chance in Japan and most of Europe, despite Sony's best attempts to sabotage their own image with the PS3 a few years later. It needs to be said, though, that Japan seems to be dropping out of the console race entirely. Even the PS4, a best-selling and popular system anywhere else, is having a hard time there. Well, at least Sony's minimum order quantities are lower, so NIS has a point there...
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Old 10-19-2017, 01:11 PM   #15
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It needs to be said, though, that Japan seems to be dropping out of the console race entirely. Even the PS4, a best-selling and popular system anywhere else, is having a hard time there. Well, at least Sony's minimum order quantities are lower, so NIS has a point there...
Don't worry bruh, Nintendo is saving Japanese console gaming again. That said EVERYONE has a lower minimum order quantity than MS, even Nintendo. Who is saving console gaming in Japan, just in case I didn't mention that earlier.

Japan is fine, MS is the one to be worried about.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:03 AM   #16
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Japan is fine, MS is the one to be worried about.
MS will be leaving the console market soon. They just can't make any money selling video games. Rare was their one chance. And ill curse MS forever for messing up what Rare and Nintendo had going.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vallor View Post
In the 360 days Microsoft would make japanese versions of many of their best selling games which could be very risky revenue bets when trying to push into the Japanese market. Not only would you have to create special versions sanitized to meet CERO requirements you'd also have to do a lot of modification of the UI to manage fonts for the glyph language. Glyph language fonts also take a lot of memory (because for a lot of engines they are basically images instead of text) which required other work to make sure we didn't crash the game. This meant we didn't get all the benefit of testing performed on the the core SKU. If you wanted to go all out you'd do localization of the voice over or at least go through a subtitle pass and finally you'd do a geo-political pass to make sure any culturally offensive material was removed. And after all of this you still have to go through the full certification process.

This could take several months and could cost a lot of money.

That's one thing people sometimes don't realize about platform makers: they are willing to make investments in certain things if it makes sense for the platform even if the project they are working on isn't necessarily going to be a gang busters seller itself. Getting a foothold in Japan is a strategic move for an American company for any industry because that foothold can pay dividends over many generations of products, be it consoles or cars, or salt and pepper shakers, or fashion.

Anyway, there was a whole Games division in Japan filled with former Nintendo, Sony, Sega, and other native staffers who would give suggestions cultural insights and guidance to help guide Japanese investment, avoid cultural fopaws as well as do excellent localization/translation work.

As we now know despite all the efforts the Xbox brand never really took off despite all the efforts in outreach so eventually MGS Japan downsized to a small staff (not even sure if it exists at all any more).

We knew American company faced an uphill battle. Japanese tend to be pretty nationalistic so Sony and Nintendo have a built in advantage but also the big bread and butter Xbox hits didn't seem to resonate well with Japanese customers.

Either that or the Japan customers who were interested would import the game from another Asian region long before the J-version was release. The data was hard to make out.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I worked on one of those titles which was expected to make a pretty good dent during my time at MGS but unfortunately we fell into the curse of just not being the type of title Japanese gamers looked to play so ended up with disappointing sales results despite the otherwise worldwide popularity of the title. I wasn't part of the strategic marketing decisions, just part of executing on building the J-versions of the game and getting them to market but I'm sure this was part of why Microsoft started pulling back. If this title failed to gain much traction it would be hard for any of the 360 prime IPs to grab hold.
You should do a weekly blog post on EA. I bet you have all kinds of stories people would love to read.
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