Ubisoft CEO Claims Japan's Market Biased

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After making the shocking announcement that a new Naruto game would heading to xbox 360 in 2007, Ubisoft CEO speaks his mind about the Japan gaming market.

http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2742&Itemid=2

Now i've been teetering back and forth on whether the Japanese market is simply geared towards a different type of game or whether they genuinely look down on games that aren't Japanese produced.

Sadly, it appears that some in the development community are wondering the same thing. The one thing the article claims that I would appreciate clarification on is that games from Europe and North America are stuck in their own section in Japanese retailers. Is this true? That seems so entirely backward from how our market is, where Japanese (and Dutch, and German, and British, and Korean and right on down the line) are given equal treatment as to where they sit on the shelf. If the retailers are doing that in Japan, that needs to stop.

But are the retailers simply just responding to the Japanese consumer? Either way, it's probably not to good for the industry any way you cut it when a developer as large as Ubisoft is feeling like they can't sell games in a market due to unfair marketing tactics and a populace that refuses to buy games from other markets.


Anyway, Ubisoft's CEO's responds--
Focus on the West and Europe.
My question is this-- Something like this can't be proven, but even if it isn't true and Japan simply likes different types of games than we do, are they marginalizing themselves as a market? What do you guys think ?
 
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At the risk of sounding closed minded, I tend to despise things that come from japanese roots in the world of gaming, because they are...so far out there. Japanese people have a lot of stark contrasts to what I, as an American, find cool.

MGS2 and 3 are a good example. Raiden = cool to japanese people, he's effeminate, he has a weird haircut, and he's wearing a skin tight body suit. All the stuff in MGS3 is just plain frigging weird and pointless from what I've played of it so far.

So I tend to not be fond of things that are overly 'japanesified' in gaming. But I don't necessarily not buy japanese games. Sometimes they do a pretty good job (Devil May Cry jumps to mind) of hitting the nail on the head as far as what I as an american 23 year old find cool and interesting.

If this is true it definitely should stop but I don't see it hurting the game culture. Japan = Nintendo and Nintendo = dead to me, so I could care less if no more American games were sold there. America is a much richer country than japan, with more people who are more interested in lazier ways to pass the time. I'm sure Ubisoft could live without the japanese market (though with a significant hit to profits, no doubt).

In the end it's supply and demand. If the Japanese consumers don't want american games, **** 'em. They don't need to have them. The next Splinter Cell, the next Half Life, the next Warcraft, the next whatever else...let them have to import the games instead of us, for once. That'll probably change their minds real quick. Heh.

Either way I'm not sure a position on the shelf matters much as far as American games go. Most game stores, you already know what you want when you walk in there--you don't go browse usually. So I don't know if it really hurts them that badly--no matter how unfair it may be.
 
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Everyone and their mothers know the japs are racist biased people. Im not suprised at all to read this. o_O
 
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The Japanese are xenophobic and insular. Not specifically "racist." Overall, the Japanese are a very friendly people. They live in stark contrast to countries like the US, which was founded by immigrants and stresses diversity.

People in other countries have exactly the same "biases." However, if you take pop culture and media for instance, the United States has been far and away the most successful in breaking through cultural bias. U.S. culture, especially pop-culture and media, have exploded across the world, especially Latin America.
 
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woah, omg i didnt know different cultures had different likes and dislikes! such bastards, they should like what i like!

Japanese developers make games out of their own experience and their own likes and dislikes, so do americans, british, french, german etc. Is it so impossibly hard to understand that maybe, just maybe they'd manufacture their games to suit the culture they've spent their whole life in?

In short - good for them, god knows nearly every country in the world is bias towards what it produces themselves. Lets face it they live within that culture everyday, they're gonna know how to appeal to the market they live in the best. Ergo, the market in those countries will like it best.

Scince britain isnt that responsible for... well many games, im completely open minded towards either end, to be honnest i find all american games very samey... however i also find all japanese games samey... but in a different way. To be honnest i probably like the jap games more, just cuz i find them more original. I love seeing the crazy new things the japs try out, i dunno i just love the inovation and querkyness, i mean i love the ammount of exploration in mgs games, they think of things that'd never occur to u sometimes its so refreshing and fun to explore. American games tend to be like... i'll start playing the game and i'll know where its going right from the start, and i know what i can expect, I like this with some games, like Halo, very straightforward, but such a diverse gameplay when u really get into it.
 
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If they dislike us, I'm sure it's not without reason. The West did vaporize a couple hundred thousand of them 60 years ago. That's probably not the kind of thing you forgive quickly.

My reason for disliking their stuff is because I find that the culture that is marketted over here is just plain annoying. Take your anime and your J-Pop and shove them up your asses, we have enough crappy culture of our own to deal with without yours too.

Nice people, though. And it'd be neat to go there...
 
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I dont think not buying games means they dont like america... its like, i dont buy indian music or watch bolywood, does that mean i dont like idians? no, ive got quite a few idian friends, i just dont happen to like their music or films >_>. The atomic bombs may be a terrible memory, but you have to remember without the funding America gave Japan after the war (kinda their way of saying sorry >_>) japan wouldnt be the super power it is today.
 

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It's no different then how we do things (as far as I know), most games made in Japan or Europe do not make it to the selves in United States game retails. Besides, what makes anyone think each culture has the same way of going about doing things?

It's not about being racist at all, it has nothing to do with anything negative, it just has to do with what they are used to. If people in Japan don't buy games from the United States, then who cares? Games made in the United States are targeted at United States markets, games made in Japan are targeted at Japan's markets, etcetera. Why would they spend countless amount of money to target a foreign market when it would be cheaper just to target their own market?

What does World War 2 have to do with how they feel towards us today? It was over 60 years ago, if everyone forgave Germany (wasn't their fault anyway) then why shouldn't everyone make amends for something that happened over 60 years ago?
 
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Just take Pride's post and call him Japanese, this is what Ubisoft appears to be complaining about. People who just don't like the stuff that's coming from the otherside of the planet. Some of it's okay, most of it's just too weird. Is Pride wrong? Of course not! Is his Japanese counter-part, Pride-san, wrong? No!

They're people with an almost entirely different culture and these guys are confused as to why they aren't snapping up every Madden NFL remake under the sun? It's a miracle that any Western games sell in the East and vice versa.

What are they implying? That the West doesn't treat Eastern games as 'foreign'? Of course they do! The only difference is that, up until the last decade really, most games have been Eastern games. The market for Japanese games - like those coming from Nintendo and Sony - is so entrenched in the West that people are apparently forgetting where they're coming from.

There's no reason for any kind of 'Racist Conspiracy Theory', it all comes down to this:

The Retailers know which games will sell. They know. Each manager of each shop knows, not because of surveys or focus groups but because he or she has worked their job long enough to know. So maybe, just maybe, there's a reason they're dropping these games in the Foreign section.

Maybe it's so those people who are actually interested in Western games, by no means the majority, will know where to look.

But, no, were the development community to face up to that fact, they'd also have to swallow another unpleasant little 'factoid'. That just can't, at the moment, make a game that the Japanese public would love.

And who is really to blame for that? :p
 
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I'm glad you saw my point, even though I made it poorly. To them, gruff tough guys with beards and big guns must look just as stupid and pointless as little, effeminite grade-school age boys with physics-defyingly huge swords and messed up haircuts look to us.
 
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But, no, were the development community to face up to that fact, they'd also have to swallow another unpleasant little 'factoid'. That just can't, at the moment, make a game that the Japanese public would love.
And I'm glad they don't try. Between the effeminate school-age boys and Sam Fisher, I'll take Sam Fisher any day of the week. No beard, but man are those goggles cool.
 
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I'm right there with you, man. That is why I stopped playing the Final Fantasy games, honestly. I just couldn't identify with the characters that much anymore.
 
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Raiden (MGS2) was one of the stupidest game characters ever, IMO, because he was too feminine.

And when I'm going out, killing people, I do not want to look at said character in a ****ing skin-tight sneaking suit for God's sake.

Everyone in the West loved MGS games because of SNAKE, because he's relatively normal. And he kicks ass. <3

In Japan, there's even male pop artists who dress up as women, so I guess it isn't that weird in their point of view. I'm getting kind of tired of it, really.

If you think about it, Advent Children looks pretty ****ty too, character-wise.
 

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