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Old 2010-08-18, 07:50   Link #101
MakubeX2
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Here's something to illustrate my point earlier.

A certain game is now out in Japan titled Another Century Episode R :-



It's an High Speed Action Game featuring a crossover of some really popular Robot Anime like Gundam SeeD Destiny, Code Geass, Macross F, Full Metal Panic amonst others with all the Seiyuu Cast of the anime series rephrasing their role in this game.

Problem is it's retailing for 8000 yen in Japan brand new.

So let's say if there's a surprise release now in America tomorrow with everything in English sans the voices. But they peg it to the Japanese retali price and sell it for US$80. Think it will break the 10,000 copies sold mark ? More importantly, will you buy it ? Or just junk it for the more acclaimed Mafia 2 next week ?

To tell the truth, as a mech anime fan, I want to play it. But as a gamer, the price is a turn off and I'm going to ditch it for Mafia 2 on the PC.
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Old 2010-08-18, 08:25   Link #102
Random32
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the price of 80USD really screws the people in Japan considering the current exchange rate...

I would buy it if I had a ps3, but doubt most of my friends would. breaking 10k sold? keep dreaming.
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Old 2010-08-18, 09:21   Link #103
MakubeX2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
I would buy it if I had a ps3, but doubt most of my friends would. breaking 10k sold? keep dreaming.
Getting back into the topic here. I see the reason why the western publisher making such a statement is because of financial issues.

Now, why does it always have to be a appealing to mass market in order for a turnabout in profit for the western gaming market to work since Anime had always been a niched circle anyway ?

Just how does following the Japanese example of appealing to that circle while keeping the price at a reasonably high rate a failure on the other side of the Pacific ?
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Old 2010-08-18, 13:07   Link #104
Irenicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MakubeX2 View Post
Now, why does it always have to be a appealing to mass market in order for a turnabout in profit for the western gaming market to work since Anime had always been a niched circle anyway ?

Just how does following the Japanese example of appealing to that circle while keeping the price at a reasonably high rate a failure on the other side of the Pacific ?
There isn't a Western equivalent of the loyal otaku market in Japan that would tolerate a higher premium price for such games, really. Most people who would be interested in Japanese games ported over in the first place are also general gamers. They talk of Bioshock and Dragon Age in the same general manner as they do Final Fantasy and Devil May Cry or, yes, Super Robot Wars. Likewise, the vast majority of the anime fans in North America are young, relatively cash-strapped, have diverse interests and would not be devoted enough to certain appeals as a group to follow such a model.

Are there those who would prioritize mecha crossovers and visual novels over more "mainstream" Japanese games? Yes, all five of them per city or some such. Reduce that to one or two for those willing to pay premium in the manner of Japanese otaku. Unfortunately that's not nearly enough to establish a consistent presence in the already heavily pressured "retail shelf space" of North American video game retail market.

Is it possible to establish a successful niche for a video game? Definitely. This game sold very little compared to the next Halo but it made a tidy profit for its creators and won them a devoted niche. These guys straddle the line between mainstream and niche -- their media presence and sales numbers had grown but still also little in context. But as you can see their topics of interest are different, they have established successful online distribution models and word of mouth (an international "niche" maintained through the Internet is freed from the pressure of having to rely on the shelf space), and most importantly they are selling their game and not the related popular culture appeal.

The people who are bringing more obscure Japanese titles over are both fighting a losing battle and doing it wrong. On one hand the related Japanese popular culture appeal isn't nearly as strong in the West as it would in Japan; on the other hand if they're doing it like they would in bringing another Tales game over then they would end up competing head to head with said Tales games and even bigger titles, and that's not going to cut it. You need to create a niche in the first place before you'd even think of fleecing them -- err, establish a different business model with them.

In some sense the geography itself is an enemy. All the otaku in, say, the greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area could with relative ease gather at one locale to shop, meaning that even if the percentage of the population that would follow such a model is similar, a shop in Akihabara specializing in such goods can stay afloat. Following such a thing in suburban, car-based America? Not going to happen.



P.S. This has nothing to do with the Sankaku nonsense.
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Old 2010-08-19, 09:23   Link #105
technomo12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
There isn't a Western equivalent of the loyal otaku market in Japan that would tolerate a higher premium price for such games, really. Most people who would be interested in Japanese games ported over in the first place are also general gamers. They talk of Bioshock and Dragon Age in the same general manner as they do Final Fantasy and Devil May Cry or, yes, Super Robot Wars. Likewise, the vast majority of the anime fans in North America are young, relatively cash-strapped, have diverse interests and would not be devoted enough to certain appeals as a group to follow such a model.

Are there those who would prioritize mecha crossovers and visual novels over more "mainstream" Japanese games? Yes, all five of them per city or some such. Reduce that to one or two for those willing to pay premium in the manner of Japanese otaku. Unfortunately that's not nearly enough to establish a consistent presence in the already heavily pressured "retail shelf space" of North American video game retail market.

Is it possible to establish a successful niche for a video game? Definitely. This game sold very little compared to the next Halo but it made a tidy profit for its creators and won them a devoted niche. These guys straddle the line between mainstream and niche -- their media presence and sales numbers had grown but still also little in context. But as you can see their topics of interest are different, they have established successful online distribution models and word of mouth (an international "niche" maintained through the Internet is freed from the pressure of having to rely on the shelf space), and most importantly they are selling their game and not the related popular culture appeal.

The people who are bringing more obscure Japanese titles over are both fighting a losing battle and doing it wrong. On one hand the related Japanese popular culture appeal isn't nearly as strong in the West as it would in Japan; on the other hand if they're doing it like they would in bringing another Tales game over then they would end up competing head to head with said Tales games and even bigger titles, and that's not going to cut it. You need to create a niche in the first place before you'd even think of fleecing them -- err, establish a different business model with them.

In some sense the geography itself is an enemy. All the otaku in, say, the greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area could with relative ease gather at one locale to shop, meaning that even if the percentage of the population that would follow such a model is similar, a shop in Akihabara specializing in such goods can stay afloat. Following such a thing in suburban, car-based America? Not going to happen.



P.S. This has nothing to do with the Sankaku nonsense.
what you say actually makes a lot mroe sense than any of the ramblings ing sankaku well i jsut got the news ther but man im soo annoyed that they did not made any english version of TOTW~RM2~
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Old 2010-08-20, 07:56   Link #106
justavisitor
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I think Yu gi oh's nds game is quite good lol...the AI is relatively ok and the most important thing is that you can get all the cards XD

Anime games can be quite good, especially to those who hate FPS games (me)
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Old 2010-08-20, 19:23   Link #107
Hooves
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justavisitor View Post
I think Yu gi oh's nds game is quite good lol...the AI is relatively ok and the most important thing is that you can get all the cards XD

Anime games can be quite good, especially to those who hate FPS games (me)
Those who hate FPS are defiantly on low terms at the moment

But even though I play a variety of games (FPS, RTS, MMORPG, etc) I would enjoy any anime games if I can find them in stores these days..
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Old 2010-08-21, 03:14   Link #108
Daniel E.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MakubeX2 View Post
So let's say if there's a surprise release now in America tomorrow with everything in English sans the voices. But they peg it to the Japanese retali price and sell it for US$80. Think it will break the 10,000 copies sold mark ? More importantly, will you buy it ? Or just junk it for the more acclaimed Mafia 2 next week ?
I see that Japanese prices for games are not all that different from what gamers have to pay around here; Buying games for 900 - 950 pesos is hardly rare here in my city. At current rates 900 pesos would amount to a bit more than 70 bucks.

Selection of games is also limited, where RPGs are often ignored by stores in favor of action and sports games.
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Old 2010-08-21, 07:07   Link #109
Irenicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel E. View Post
Buying games for 900 - 950 pesos is hardly rare here in my city. At current rates 900 pesos would amount to a bit more than 70 bucks.

Selection of games is also limited, where RPGs are often ignored by stores in favor of action and sports games.
Ah yes, the "third world" software market. I had the experience myself: limited selection and ridiculously high prices for legit products, even higher than in the USA despite the lower income and general cost of living, and a huge and healthy bootleg market (bar the occasional hamfisted government crackdown).

Japan is a different case though. They're paying premium not because publishers don't care about their market but because of the hardcore fan "extras/collector's edition" based business model and a host of other reasons.
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Old 2010-08-21, 21:32   Link #110
Hooves
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel E. View Post
I see that Japanese prices for games are not all that different from what gamers have to pay around here; Buying games for 900 - 950 pesos is hardly rare here in my city. At current rates 900 pesos would amount to a bit more than 70 bucks.

Selection of games is also limited, where RPGs are often ignored by stores in favor of action and sports games.
70 bucks sounds way more then the average games I usually buy at this store I just found to buy more anime games. The prices for Japanese games in this new store I found are around 40-50 bucks. While the U.S games are 50-60 bucks.
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Old 2010-08-22, 00:30   Link #111
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“Why are Characters in Japanese RPGs Always Children?”

Western gamers asking why it is the characters in Japanese RPGs seem always to consist of a party of children have sparked an interesting set of responses from Japanese gamers.

2ch’s response to the question after it was translated and posted in a thread is instructive:

Quote:
I’d like to pose a question in return – why is it western games are packed with muscle bound beefcakes?

Isn’t it just because games are for children?

It’s probably a difference in the premium market segments – how many Japanese would buy them with an old guy as the protagonist? Without children and adult NEETs buying them, their sales in Japan would likely not be good.

The west = as close to realistic as possible
Japan = as far away from realistic as possible

Visually speaking, aren’t young boys and girls better? I don’t want to play an RPG with nothing but middle-aged old guys in my party.

In Japan, adults don’t play them. They’re just a product, made for children by adults. For exploiting children, we could say. In Japan recently we are seeing more adult children, and there are adults playing them, but unlike Europe adults don’t normally play them. So it’s really the foreigners who are childish.

What the hell are “adult children”?

It’s probably just that over there fighting is not seen as something children should be doing. Also, if the hero isn’t 14-15 he can’t really be dating a girl of that age… perhaps that has something to do with it.

Because it’s easier to empathise with kids.

So why are all the western game characters totally ripped?

“Overseas gamers” < Aren’t there people from a variety of different countries overseas?

It’s just a difference in demographics. These games are for people in school. It’s no wonder they have protagonists the same age. When you’re an adult you don’t have the time or energy for games.

So why has Metal Gear, with all its old guys, sold well in Japan?

I don’t know about America, but in Japan you get the most freedom in your life from middle school to university.

Perhaps it’s because children and adults are much more clearly delineated overseas?

This isn’t really limited to RPGs – it’s the same with anime.

When I was a kid I always wondered why Japanese robot anime ace pilots were all kids…

This is not something I want to be told by a bunch of guys whose games are packed with bikini warrioresses.

Japanese games are aimed at children, but overseas a lot of people keep playing them even into adulthood.

Games are something children play, so the protagonists are children. Portraying their growth is a common story theme.

In Japan and overseas, if you put games or anime out for children you’ll get adults buying them too. There seem to be a lot of them overseas actually…

In the west they seem to think children entering into danger is a problematic subject, and not all are comfortable with it. On the other hand, in Japan having adults engaged in martial adventures is something people are uncomfortable about. Japanese tend to be distrustful of ideals of “righteousness” – often it is the villains who are pursuing ideals in RPGs. Basically Japanese prefer green protagonists in tales of empathy.

JRPGs are aimed at children, that’s all.

Anime style characters all end up looking like loli anyway.

Somebody in the original post said a Japanese person told him “highschool is the best time of your life for a Japanese.” I think this may be it. Japanese seem to think something important is lost when you grow up, like they worship a sort of childhood innocence. As a result JRPG protagonists are mostly youths.
On the other hand, overseas becoming older is more like “levelling up” and getting access to more experience and status. We could even say the western view has a “dream” – life still progresses and improves after childhood.

I don’t want to hear this from people whose games consist of a procession of muscle-bound gorillas.
Apparently a significant proportion of Japanese still view games as an entertainment medium for children.

With the average salaryman forced work long hours and to turn much of his leisure time over to his company, it is interesting to speculate whether this is having an effect on the inability of Japanese publishers to make much headway into the mainstream of adult gamers overseas.

Censorship decisions made in Japan seem to indicate console publishers are very uncomfortable with marketing games covering more mature themes in Japan, and whilst the “mature gamer” is a cherished demographic overseas, in Japan it seems to be considered an inconvenient niche market (given the dismal sales of western blockbusters in Japan, this may well be a realistic asssessment however).

Japanese RPG developers (and for that matter, anime studios) might well find dumping their endless succession of adolescent casts and school settings has a positive effect on their increasingly tarnished reputation for originality overseas, although with most of the major Japanese RPG franchises having become the Japanese equivalent of EA Sports titles any significant change now seems unlikely.

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