We all know there are significant differences between the U.S. and Japanese gaming cultures, and according to one designer, there's another difference we might not have been aware of: the Japanese market simply isn't "as bothered about online."
MotorStorm shipped early to Japan, but without the benefit of online play. U.S. and European gamers had to wait until March – a good four months – but they got an online multiplayer mode. Obviously, one of the big questions at the time of the Japanese launch was, "how come the team just didn't wait to release it there, too, so the Japanese version could also have online play?"
Well, according to a recent interview with The Wire , the game's lead designer, Nigel Kershaw, believes the Japanese market just isn't "as bothered about online." Therefore, the idea that online play was dumped to allow Japan to get the game sooner is false. The team just didn't think it was necessary for that market.
"Well, the European and American versions have online. The Japanese version does not, they weren't as bothered about online. We also tweaked a lot of things under the hood. Nothing you'd probably notice – we played around with some of the numbers and some of the graphics – but the main thing we did was add online play."
And right now, they have no plans to include online play in the Japanese version. Whether or not they're correct in this remains to be seen, but there is evidence of online play being more popular in the U.S. and Europe than in Japan…but how long will it stay that way?
Related Game(s): MotorStorm