If all of gaming came together into one organization, there could be only one president. Somebody give this guy a gold star, at the very least.

The East vs. West debate in the video game industry continues; fans of Japanese titles wonder why their favorite developers have abandoned their followers to cater to "Western tastes," while the Japanese designers in question face an industry dominated by Western studios. So where does Hideo Kojima stand on the issue? Well, as he asked during a Famitsu interview (as cited by CVG ), "Do we really need to succeed worldwide?" Damn good question, isn't it?

And he goes on to give voice to the thoughts of a great many:

"That's what I'm really wondering about. Everyone talks about overseas, overseas, but nobody's really thinking about what needs to be done if we want to succeed. We get obsessed with thinking about worldwide because we've had previous success with games and anime worldwide, but none of those successes matter nowadays.

When you're making a game, it doesn't matter what nationality the team is — I think there was a lack of understanding among Japanese developers on that issue. It all comes down to the team you have. Even if I brought in the best developer in the world, it won't result in anything if nobody around him understands what he says."

Kojima also admits to a lack of development quality between East and West, and he Japanese developers still fail to comprehend the differences in culture. That being said, isn't it interesting to hear that even Kojima assumes Western gamers want "aliens and guns," even if he admits it's an "extreme" assumption.

"To put it in an extreme fashion, Americans like games where you have a gun and you're shooting at space aliens. If you don't understand why that's fun, then you shouldn't be making games for the world market; you don't need to. I mean, Japanese people might say 'Why space aliens?', but Americans will counter with 'What's with these games featuring these feminine-looking boys fighting in Japan with these huge swords?' It's no wonder the target audience for a lot of games is getting so compartmentalized."

This controversy will continue to rage but now that Kojima has given us his input, what do you think?

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WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Well, aliens are on the out. Chimera might be aliens, Helghast are just space nazis. I guess Halo is still playing with aliens and Duke pretty much has to but for the most part people want to shoot people. His point stands though, why should japanese devs have to cater to the interests of people who aren't even remotely interested in what they have to offer in the first place.

Stick with what works, anime has tons of fans, turn based JRPGs have tons of fans. Tap that base and you'll succeed, throw your fans in the trash and go after the masses with action a la Square Enix and you probably won't live to tell the tale. It's pretty simple really. The cash-in changes to games hurt more than help.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/22/2011 9:47:13 PM

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

hell, most anime fans dont even want the english dubs and goes straight for the subbed ones. i know i do. english dubbing make it sound stupid.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Depends on the series, English dubbing is getting a lot better. But a lot of the anime I watch is for the art so I like to look at that instead of subtitles. I'll agree with Kiryu on one thing though, the Yakuza series is better in the original Japanese. It's too much part of the feel to remove.

BIGRED15
BIGRED15
9 years ago

lol space nazis…

godsman
godsman
9 years ago

It's not easy to make another great turn-based RPG. Let's say an RPG game generates $10 million of revenue. Then the budget of this game will be restricted by this upper-limit. Unless they can generate more money, as games get more expensive to develop, RPG games will become smaller. FFXIII is the perfect example. The best selling current gen RPG that fell flat on their face.

There will always be games that sell 100k-200k copies, but those will only be PS2.5 games, not AAA games. Even Valkyria Chronicles that sold almost 1 million copies aren't good enough in sales to get a sequel on PS3.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Game sells for $60, publisher get's around $20 per copy, perhaps $25.

To generate 10 million you have to sell 500,000 copies. That's not out of the realm of possibility, and even though it sounds small compared to some games you don't really need that 10 million budget – depending on the game and production values you're aiming for. If you absolutely must have in-engine rendered cut scenes that look as good as pre-rendered, they you need a 50 million budget, if you are satisfied with in-game cutscenes that look like they were generated by the in-game engine, you can probably save 80% or more of that 50 million.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@John,

Exactly! For the cost of a straight translation of all the text and subtitles in the games, they could sell their Japan only PSP and PS3 releases on PSN in the West. We don't need full localizations, just a translation please. I mean, I have nothing against full localizations, but I know they are more expensive, so if the publisher is scared of the cost, let them to a basic translation instead and release it on PSN, the additional investment is virtually negligible, and yet we'd get lots of great games that sell incredibly well in Japan, but we never see here.

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

@world

i agree about yakuza series, i cant see that game with english voices, it'll definitely kill the theme. i can just see them using "boss" all of the time when the relationship in the game is more about brotherhood/family. it just wont feel right dubbed.

@highlander

yeah, i agree with that too. i mean its not like were asking to redo the whole game. just make it so we can understand it. translation of on screen words and subtitles is just fine. its not like we go into an Eastern type game saying they needed to change some things, we just want to be in on it. i could care less if my rpgs speak japanese, most of the time i prefer it because something gets lost in translation. its like they think the fans look at games on that region saying that they need to fix this up and bring it to the west with more western appeal. we became fans of those games because we loved how they made them. Then square enix turns around and releases a game that they "know" have everything i wanted completely ignoring why i followed their games for so long. its gonna take a lot to get me back as their loyal customer.

main_event05
main_event05
9 years ago

Did he mean the Alien thing literally of metaphorically? Because it works either way. He hit the nail on the head again. I'll add that Japanese Devs should stick to what they know because thats whats gonna sell here.

p.s. I Lol'ed at the comment he made about the girlish looking men and the such.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

He meant illegal aliens, everyone seems to want to shoot the poor Mexicans =P

Dridion
Dridion
9 years ago

I know you're just being you and throwing out tongue in cheek remarks…still, that's very offensive. 😉

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

To whom though? I mean only to be offensive to those who, similarly to John McCain, say things like "I've been told that illegal immigrants from Mexico often start those wildfires to divert attention from their crossing."

To those people I say they deserve all offense I can give them.

main_event05
main_event05
9 years ago

World does have a point. Illegal aliens seem to be a hot topic.

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
9 years ago

World should of never have said anything as stupid as that. Im Mexican & I find it offensive regardless to what Mexicans you are talking to. I had to be summoned because of some stupid comment of yours?

Ben you delete trolls, people you dislike, people who disrespect you, but you let offensive racism slide by?

I carefully read what Kojima had to say & nowhere did I see illegal aliens in there nor Mexicans.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I'm Mexican and I thought it was pretty damn funny.

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

Jawknee are you really mexican? i honestly dont care either way and never thought about it til you just posted that. i think i always pictured you as your avatar lol.

i have to agree that they dont get a right to be offended. if you are somewhere illegally you dont have the rights that the people that are there legally have. thats part of the whole "illegal" thing. its go back to start and try again. this time do it legally.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

When I read World's comment, I see nothing offensive in it unless you're bent on being offended. Don't want it offensive? Then make the government strike out the phrase "illegal alien" from it's vocabulary. It's an official term.

Not sure how World showing sympathy to Mexicans saying basically, "For some reason, morons in government seem hell bent on shoo-ing out Mexicans."

At any rate, come to Canada. We love all immigrants.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Ha, yea I am. Well I am half. My mother is Irish and Scotish and my dad is Mexican but I grew up more around his family. There was no reason to be offended by his comment. It was just a joke. People choose to be entirely too sensitive about these issues. I don't even agree with Worlds point, there is proof illegals start fires while on their way into the US for either camping reasons, to signal other illegals or to throw off boarder agents. They have been doing it for years and there is evidence that the Arizona wild fires were human caused. Just thought Worlds joke was funny.

EDIT: and Underdog, we Americans love immigrants too. We are a nation of immigrants, however we are also a nation of laws and when many illegals come here they break the law when they sneak accross the boarder and also when they steal peoples identities to get jobs. Mine has been stolen before for that very purpose and it was easy to do seeing as I have a Mexican last name. I highely doubt Canada would apreciate it if people where doing the same to her citizens. Plus it's not fair to all those immigrants who did it the right way, paid their fees, got in line and waited. Like my wifes parents.


Last edited by Jawknee on 6/23/2011 12:22:41 PM

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

True that, Jawk. Don't forget, we only border with the US and Russia via the North Pole. So… yeah, not a whole lot of border jumping. lol.

We have illegal immigrants too, but not very many. I think the fact that there is no border to "sneak" across helps. Plus, if illegal immigrants are already in the US, why would they risk going to Canada? Both have similar opportunities and freedoms.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 6/23/2011 12:40:43 PM

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

yeah he admitted to the feminine looking male characters :p which was great. Not to say that I don't love such characters 🙂

Kojima always around to say it how it is.

gungrave
gungrave
9 years ago

I found it offensive…and I'm not even Mexican.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Oh yeah? To whom and why exactly. Tell me exactly which part is offensive and why. Use specific quotes to make your point.

It's unfortunate you found it offensive. Because it wasn't.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I find your avatar offensive underdog! I prefer Pepsi to Coke.

😛

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
9 years ago

"feminine-looking boys fighting in Japan with these huge swords"

LOL.

Seriously though, this guy gets it.

I think it is odd that eastern devs are very concerned with sales out west, but western devs dont seem to care about anything but the west as well. If a dev made a really japanese game it would sell well in japan and get a handful of sales over here due to old-school gamers like most people at PSXE.

Could you imagine how many copies of a good, turn-based RPG would sell in the market right now? It has been so long since anyone has put a ton of effort and production value into one, so there is a longing for it. I can't blame devs for not taking the risk, but i think it would be tougher to get into the fast-paced shooter market than it would be to make something original.

main_event05
main_event05
9 years ago

I'm guessing they don't get the point of all the petitions and requests to bring those Japan only games stateside.

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

hell, if they dont get the message when fans crashed their own website because they asked if we wanted a ff7 remake then i dont think they'll even look at those petitions

godsman
godsman
9 years ago

It's all about the culture. The school-boy capture's people's imagination. It makes the teenagers think that they can become the main character if they look younger. I remember when pokemon first came out, I walk home from school thinking a rare pokemon will jump out of the bushes. You can't get that kind of imagination in Western developed movies/games.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

My bottom line opinion:

Changing Japanese games to cater to western tastes accomplishes two things: You sh*t on your old fans and lose them so there's nobody to buy the japanese style games they like, and you fail at grabbing new fans because they don't like your genre anyway!

Then you wind up with nothing but a game that doesn't seem to belong anywhere and very few people who want to play it. Does that sound like success? Then all the game has left to run on is its name, and that won't last forever.

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

they have a great example in square enix right there. they left their fans SEVERELY disappointed to cater to the xbox type gamers and those gamers dont really give a crap about the game and will gladly play their older halo/gears/COD game without a second thought.


Last edited by johnld on 6/22/2011 10:41:27 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Dude, we've been saying that for years, and it's taken years for anyone to get it, at least our efforts have been answers in some way. Kojima finally shows some evidence of understanding.

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

Unfortunately Kojima doesn't do rpgs..

SoulController
SoulController
9 years ago

Japanese devs, especially management, Listen to the master speak!!

Japanese devs need to be themselves again. Plain and simple. If they wise up soon, maybe we can get back to the amount of genre diversity we had in the PS2 days..

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Let Japanese developers do what they are best at and Western developers do what they are best at. Diversity doesn't mean blending everything together, it means recognizing and celebrating the diversity. Instead of trying to westernize Japanese games or developers, or trying to make Western games appeal more to other audiences, we should simply concentrate on making the best games we can and letting the gamers decide which to buy. Otherwise the distinctiveness and style is lost and all that remains is a featureless mass of bland games that look like they could have been something but never were.

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

western developers makes great western games because they know who their audience is. it may miss like dragon age 2 a few time, but they completely understand their audience. most likely because they're making games that they know interests themselves.

the way i see it, eastern devs forgot about this concept. they're not making games that they love anymore, at least a select few still does, they're looking at what the current "fad" is. which is a mistake because they have no idea why the west likes games like halo or gears or call of duty. They've been making great games for so long but its like they didnt know that the fanbases for their games were growing. did they really think that the number of fans stayed the same with every final fantasy iteration they released? by today, that final fantasy fanbase has grown alot. it made every final fantasy game a big deal and made the franchise one of the most anticipated games whenever it is announced. then they loose alot of their loyal fans for someone who havent even heard of the franchise and unsure if they'll stick with it like we did.

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
9 years ago

MGS is the only series to keep up quality despite the decline in Japanese game development. It didn't try to cater to Western audiences by dumbing things down. It added on and gave the player the option to play hide n seek or run in with guns blazing. (Stealth has always been my option of choice, its why I loved CoD 4 the most and the rest since have sucked donkey balls)

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

its practically common sense. if you dont understand it, dont try to make it. apparently most of the eastern developers dont get it. just stick to what you do best and make it as amazing that you can. revive the squaresoft quality we loved and pass it around.

gumbi
gumbi
9 years ago

Yes! Japanese devs listen to this man! Stick to what you know, what you enjoy, and what you excel at, there is a huge market for it in your hometown (and you've forgotten the following you had/have overseas).

Please oh please don't look at games like CoD as a success marker. This is not what you should be trying to achieve, especially if you don't understand its appeal.

It's also important to realize that neither market wants hybrid games. You just can't appeal to everyone. Pick a target audience, give them what they want and you will reap the rewards.

It's not too late.

Bloodedge
Bloodedge
9 years ago

Yes.


Last edited by Bloodedge on 6/22/2011 11:30:16 PM

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

Sing it sister!

We don't need Japanese developers making games on what they think we like. What I like is variety, not all westerners like to play shooters 24/7. Gimme TB(turn based) RPGs.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I submit to you a kind of truce. It's just an idea: The WJRPG

http://www.titanreviews.com/#/wjrpg/4552669367


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/22/2011 11:31:30 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

ROTFLMAO!
"Americans like games where you have a gun and you're shooting at space aliens. If you don't understand why that's fun, then you shouldn't be making games for the world market; you don't need to. I mean, Japanese people might say 'Why space aliens?', but Americans will counter with 'What's with these games featuring these feminine-looking boys fighting in Japan with these huge swords?' "

Does Kojima read PSXExtreme?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

He must have, I've seen that comment 100 times here. I'd rather play a young fellow with a big sword and some style than a gorilla man who swears every other word.

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

You'd rather play with a guy with a large sword than with a guy with a big gun?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Swords are cool and make swishing noises when you wave them around. Guns smell of oil and go bang when you wave them around. Swords look fabulous, guns look…well…like guns. Swords have style, guns have…er…stopping power?

Dare I say swords rule, guns drool?


Last edited by TheHighlander on 6/23/2011 12:41:02 AM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

It would probably be best if we didn't bring the gay jokes into the mix, hah

ryu
ryu
9 years ago

i think it's the other way around, if u'r gonna take the market share of the western gamers, take a hold of those weaboo and anime fan nuts first. Those are the people who can appreciate japanese games from the western seaboard, but they are not getting any.

if you cant even do that, don't bother going after the big fish like FPS trying to sweep the whole crowd

enjoi
enjoi
9 years ago

The biggest problem with Japanese games is the terrible characters, cliche everything, and awful writing. Adding Guns doesnt solve anything as we've seen with front mission evolved, mind jack, quantum theory, dark void ect.


Last edited by enjoi on 6/23/2011 12:36:33 AM

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

… and neither do replacing the guns with swords, or aliens with dragons. Cause I agree with you. The typical "japanese" games I've played so far (all this gen) are unfortunately summed up like that; "Terrible characters, clieché everything and awful writing".


Last edited by Beamboom on 6/23/2011 2:41:03 AM

FM23
FM23
9 years ago

YES, YES, YES. Bayonetta had a good story too me, but all in all this along with FFXIII had some weird ish going on. Don't care for anime, so my interest in this atmosphere isn't strong at all. Cliches everywhere indeed. That's all I was saying to my roommate while I played both these games. Then we played RE5, and I was like…WOW, such terrible terrible writing.

FM23
FM23
9 years ago

And even tid bits of Metal Gear Solid annoyed me w/ the common over dramatics and weird moans from female characters. What's with the moaning thing in Japanese culture. Not talking ish, just saying. I love MGS too death.