They may not be the last Japanese publisher to return their focus to the mother land.
After dabbling in foreign studios for the development of projects designed to appeal to Western audiences, Namco Bandai has announced they will shift development of new games back to Japan. They had taken on outside teams like Ninja Theory to handle the creation of more "Western-oriented" titles; Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was the most recent effort. But despite favorable reviews, it only sold 335,000 copies worldwide, well below what Namco had anticipated. Said publisher president Shukuo Ishikawa:
"We found the quality and development speed of titles made for us by the overseas studios to be lacking. Foreign studios can still propose and develop games, but our Japanese staff will control the process more closely."
It's not that Namco doesn't wish to appeal to the Western gaming crowd; it's just that they'll take a more hands-on approach in doing it…although that may not be the best option, either. There wasn't anything wrong with Enslaved , and it would've caught the eye of many a Western gamer if there had been at least a whisper of advertising out there. In our estimation, this doesn't sound like a Ninja Theory/foreign studio problem; it sounds like a Namco problem.
And yeah, where's our Tales of Vesperia ? That won't ever happen, will it? Not "Western" enough, huh?