Archive for Japan

Post E3 2009- Japanese devs strike back?

Posted in Gaming Rant, Japan, Microsoft, Nintendo, Nintendo DS, PS3, Wii with tags , , , , , on June 14, 2009 by reasonjp

The geographical centre of the games industry has shifted. Milking the cash cow PS2’s huge installed base created for too long has lead most Japanese developers to fall behind the times, and the pinnacles of modern game design are coming from the West, with the Japanese gaming industry in big trouble.

That was the consensus coming out of TGS 2008 and yet now, shortly after the games industry’s Great American Bash that was E3, it seems like some focus is coming back East. Or is it? Or IS it? Let’s take a look.

First and third party Japanese developers have been crucial to the success of almost every format from the mid 1980s on. There were great games which shifted systems and had tremendous cultural influence worldwide. Super Mario Bros. not only shifted Famicoms in Japan and affected Japanese lives to the extent that the term ‘B-Dash'(hurry!) is immortalised in katakana English that’s still being used today; it also shook the foundations of pop culture in the West. Suddenly Mario was a more recognisable face to children in America than Mickey Mouse. Sega’s Sonicin 1991 had similar importance, capturing a slightly older audience. In the Playstation era, Final Fantasy VIIand Metal Gear Solid joined the likes of the N64’s Ocarina of Time to be internationally hailed as some of the greatest games of their generation, if not of all time.

From Mario to MGS and Zelda OOT- Japanese games matured with their key audience over twenty years, but recent attempts to recapture the young have lost some of what was the core market

From Mario to MGS and Zelda OOT- Japanese games matured with their key audience over twenty years, but recent attempts to recapture the young have lost some of what was the core market

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Japan’s Top 100 Sellers Revealed

Posted in Gaming Rant, Japan, Microsoft, News, Nintendo, Nintendo DS, PS3, PSP, Sony, Wii, Xbox 360 with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2009 by Stephen

Konami’s long-awaited Metal Gear 4 title had amassed sales of 686,254 last year; 476,334 in its first week alone. The game is cited as the PS3’s top seller as part of a wider list of the 100 top-selling games of last year.

Sadly to fans and perhaps a sign of how the industry has changed, Metal Gear Solid 4 ranks in at eleventh. Ahead of it are nine games for Nintendo consoles, with Wii Sports (non bundled in Japan) sitting in tenth, Animal Crossing City Folk in eighth, Rhythm Tengoku Gold in six, and Mario Kart Wii in fourth.

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Square Enix Says Yes to Ubisoft Games in Japan

Posted in Japan, News, Nintendo DS, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360 with tags , , , on January 10, 2009 by Stephen

Japanese RPG powerhouse Square Enix  sent word today that the company has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with French publisher Ubisoft that will allow Square Enix to distribute Ubisoft’s games exclusively in Japan starting this April.

“In the increasingly consolidated video game industry, Square Enix has been implementing strategic initiatives to expand its product lineup and strengthen its presence as a global game publisher,” commented the publisher in a statement. “In 2008, the company began publishing third-party titles in PAL territories, and in December 2008, published its first overseas-produced game in Japan with the launch of U.K.-based Frontier Developments Ltd’s LostWinds for WiiWare. This exclusive distribution agreement for Ubisoft Group games will be another key step to achieve the aforementioned goal.”

“The global video game market is expected to maintain sustainable growth thanks to geographical expansion and diversification of customer base,” said Yoichi Wada, president and representative director of Square Enix. “By partnering with the Ubisoft Group having a number of highly acclaimed titles, we can now work to provide high-quality overseas-produced games to Japan, thus invigorating the Japanese game market while strengthening our presence as a global leader in the video game industry.”

Square Enix and Ubisoft said that details on the games to be distributed under this new partnership in Japan will be provided at “a later time.”

Square Enix Opens Final Fantasy XIII Site

Posted in Japan, News, PS3, Xbox 360 with tags , , , , on January 10, 2009 by Stephen

King of JRPG Square Enix has a busy year ahead.  While company president Yoishi Wada love to criticizes and complaint every two months with Famitsu about his production team creating games they only love and like to play, those same team members are busy working at the Square Enix’s headquarters in the Shinjuku Bunka Quint Building in Shibuya to deliver another year full of JRPG delight for those hungry fans.

To start the year in great fashion, Square Enix just opened the official website for Final Fantasy XIII, with details regarding some of the characters, pictures and music…yes, dreamy music.