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POOPERSCOOPER
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I saw this article over on the SA forums and it's interesting but if you were in the know you would have already realized japanese games don't have the same impact they used to.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/20/technology/20game.html?_r=2


For years I've drifted away from japanese games because they just start getting all anime on you but at the same time I feel a bit bad for them because they are just silly japs. What are your thoughts?
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Wolfman Walt
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Actually, the bigger problem I have now adays is Japan going "We want all our games to be Western." If I wanted to play Western games, I'd play Western games. Give me something like Godhand, Japan, not another Fallout 3. I'll take it any day.
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Mismatch
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

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Wolfman Walt
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Precisely.
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Retlaw83
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

They're too busy bombing harbors to make compelling entertainment.
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Blargh
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

But the bombing of harbours is compelling entertainment ? icon_drunk
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Retlaw83
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

If the movie Pearl Harbor starring Ben Afleck is any indication, it's not.
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Stalagmite
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

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Yonmanc
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Retlaw83 wrote:
If the movie Pearl Harbor starring Ben Afleck is any indication, it's not.


qfe
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jetbaby
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Wolfman Walt wrote:
Actually, the bigger problem I have now adays is Japan going "We want all our games to be Western." If I wanted to play Western games, I'd play Western games. Give me something like Godhand, Japan, not another Fallout 3. I'll take it any day.


This, basically.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Er, would it be wrong to say that the novelty effect with things japanese (games, anime and movies) wore out about at the turn of the millenium?
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Wolfman Walt
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'd say so. If anything, more Japanese things are popular now than it was back then.
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jetbaby
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't know if the novelty wore off or it gained enough of a fanbase that it exploded so instead of a few good things among a few bad things coming across it's the same few good things, but now amongst a sea of festering rot.

Basically a good example of the way everything goes. As I just said in some other thread on here "I prefer gaming when it was a bit more underground," same thing applies here. It got big. It got bloated. It didn't get better.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Wolfman Walt wrote:
I'd say so. If anything, more Japanese things are popular now than it was back then.


So how do you figure this happened? Look at this:

Final Fantasy 7 sold 9.8 million copies
Fantasy 10 sold 6.6 million
Fantasy 12 sold 5.2

There IS the sense, from the number of sites, the number of animes you have fansubbed, the number of titles making their way here from over the land of the rising sun, that indeed, interest has only gone up over the years, but in fact, what's happened is simple.

The internet is today a lot more far-reaching than it was in '98. That gives you the sense that there's a lot more people interested in them, when in fact, there might not be.

Let's face it, I, as I suppose anyone, bought Japanese games when they were novel, when they felt fresh. If I write up a list of my 10 favorite games, 6 or 7 of them are going to be Japanese, but then, the last Japanese game I bought was Pro Evolution Soccer 4 (which might as well have been made in Brazil).

Way I see it, the lack of novelty value (or a "cool factor" or "underground appeal", if you will) coupled with the fact that Japanese distributors can't really cope with the Hollywood style of bizness the western companies use, was always going to lead to this. The fact that both industries have gone stale (I mean do the CoDs outnumber the Marios already?) is a bonus distasteful side-dish.
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Stalagmite
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:32 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The indoctrination of swell guy.

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Wolfman Walt
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The sales of Final Fantasy have been going down in Japan as well. I don't think that means Japan is less interested in Japanese products as I'm pretty sure Japan mostly buys....Japanese ideas, so the point is unrelated. Lets put it this way, back in late 90's and early 00's, most entertainment shops I went to had a very small anime section. My FYE now has an entire corner of the store dedicated to it. Anecdotal? Yes, but if you look at most shops, it's true around the board. Every Barnes and Noble I've been in has a sizeable manga section. You can even find the stuff in Walmart nowadays which was unheard of 10 years ago. To further counter your argument - look at Con sales. Otakon has been getting larger every year. If anime/manga was a fading idea, those sales would be dropping instead of increasing.

Your theory is also flawed for comparing Final Fantasy, by the way, as FF10 and 9 sold more than FF8. If what you were saying was absolutely true, than it would be a continual decline rather than an increase. I think it's more of a comment on the quality of the Final Fantasy games than a comment on Japanese products as a whole.

But back on point - I think the problem that the Japanese game industry is seeing nowadays is that video games have lost the previousily mentioned niche. While I think Anime, Manga, and other Japanese ideas are more or atleast just as popular as it was a decade ago, they've still yet to gain very large amounts of mainstream acceptance. Video games, however, have become so universally accepted that they're in almost every facet of media and almost everyone I know plays video games. In addition, video games are now very very expensive to make if you want a triple A title. As such, video games have to be tailored to the largest market which just happens to be...morons. Morons don't like anime. They also don't really like roleplaying. They like rape, but America hates sex (atleast publically), so that eliminates Japan's 3 biggest exports. This is why every video game is about super homo space marines as explained by a 1st person view or alternatively 3rd person with cover based gameplay that sometimes is also primarily 1st person. It's not that interest in Japanese products has declined - it's that interest in cliche Western ideas has dramatically increased in the west due to the influx of idiots and Japan now believes that in order to stay exceptionally competative, they must make Western games, but fail to realize that they're not nearly as good at it as most Western developers. That leaves the other guys who stick to traditional Japanese sorts of games, but because they're generally smaller studios, they generally can't afford to make AAA titles, produce a massive hype train, and or refuse to innovate. That creates an artificial appearance that a decline of interest has occured in Japanese video games, when really it's just an increase in stupid people liking video games, and the industry, just as any other industry, appeals to the largest amount of consumers.
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Tofu Man
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Jesus Christ, Walt, punch in a paragraph every now and then, you're making my eyes bleed.

I think it's fair to say there's somewhat of a misunderstanding between us both, since we're practically saying the same thing. Most of what you wrote I can agree with, safe for some parts. Let's try to go over them:


Walt wrote:
The sales of Final Fantasy have been going down in Japan as well. I don't think that means Japan is less interested in Japanese products as I'm pretty sure Japan mostly buys....Japanese ideas, so the point is unrelated. (...) Your theory is also flawed for comparing Final Fantasy, by the way, as FF10 and 9 sold more than FF8. If what you were saying was absolutely true, than it would be a continual decline rather than an increase. I think it's more of a comment on the quality of the Final Fantasy games than a comment on Japanese products as a whole.

To start, my original comment wasn't towards japanese audiences, rather at western ones. What any of the Final Fantasies sold in its native Japan is, for this discussion, irrelevant.

Now, you can't sit there and tell me my theory is flawed because FFs 9 and 10 outsold FF8, can you? Why do you think 7 outsold 8? How about the fact that 10 outsold 12? You can't simply discount my point because sales figures don't make up a perfect diagonal line, while also negating to mention that 10 got the hype it needed from being in a new console.

A comment on the quality of the Final Fantasy games? Surely not. Critically compare FF12 to FF7. Same game with better sound and graphics, fair to say? (In my mind, that's worse than making a worse game, that's stagnating, but nevermind) Now let's compare a couple of western staples. Doom 3 with Doom. Same game with better sound and graphics; GTA4 and GTA3. Same game with better sound and graphics.

Like it or not, and I don't, that's the way games "evolve". And japanese companies aren't the only culprits to this crime.


Walt wrote:
Lets put it this way, back in late 90's and early 00's, most entertainment shops I went to had a very small anime section. My FYE now has an entire corner of the store dedicated to it. Anecdotal? Yes, but if you look at most shops, it's true around the board. Every Barnes and Noble I've been in has a sizeable manga section. You can even find the stuff in Walmart nowadays which was unheard of 10 years ago. To further counter your argument - look at Con sales. Otakon has been getting larger every year. If anime/manga was a fading idea, those sales would be dropping instead of increasing.

Agree. Almost in full. Local "culture" vendors, the kind like B&N, do have Manga/Anime racks the like of which would have been ridiculous to preview back in the nineties.

Now, does this mean that now that the market's smartening up to its consumer automatically translate to an increase in consumer interest? I don't think so. Western countries aren't growing in populational terms, (they're growing old, more like) so what I gather from this is while there's a whole new generation that does have the possibility to acquire Japanese cultural items, the previous generation (mine) as grown out of it. This increase in availability has, like jetbaby said,
jetbaby wrote:
(...)gained enough of a fanbase that it exploded so instead of a few good things among a few bad things coming across it's the same few good things, but now amongst a sea of festering rot.(...)
and in fact trivialized the Japanese import, to a point where it lost it's "novelty effect" like I wrote originally.

Does that mean I think there's less people buying than there was in the 90's? No.
Does that mean I think there's more people buying? No.

And what does any Con have to do with this? People attend events, period. Make any event about any conceivable subject and push it down your target's throat the same way the people behind Otakon are doing, and people will attend, more often than not, just because.


Walt wrote:
But back on point - I think the problem that the Japanese game industry is seeing nowadays is that video games have lost the previousily mentioned niche. While I think Anime, Manga, and other Japanese ideas are more or atleast just as popular as it was a decade ago, they've still yet to gain very large amounts of mainstream acceptance. Video games, however, have become so universally accepted that they're in almost every facet of media and almost everyone I know plays video games.

This segways pretty well with the above paragraph that, while we've established that interest in all things jap as hardly increased, gaming has grown, and substantially so.

So there you have it. Japanese companies that in the last decade largely only bothered to make games for internal consumption, with the added occasional bonus of high international sales and whose novel appeal has faded, trumped by western multinationals that cater to the taste Hollywood has been establishing for the most part of the last century.


Walt wrote:
That creates an artificial appearance that a decline of interest has occured in Japanese video games, when really it's just an increase in stupid people liking video games, and the industry, just as any other industry, appeals to the largest amount of consumers.

Strike. I agree.
But you can't neglect that whereas you used to have massive novel interest in a Japanese import like FF7, you have a big gaping hole of people who go "meh" due to the fact that, unlike what happened in the 90's, how commonplace japanese stuff has become has only diminished its selling points.

I chose Final Fantasy as an example for a reason. FF7 was at a perfectly balanced point between being underground enough to appeal to the nerdiest and out in the open enough to appeal to the "casualest" of gamers back then. It struck gold because, as far the grand western audience matters, true, novelty interest on things japanese was at a peak. Dragonball Z, Pokemon, Tamagotchi, FF7, those are the examples of a peak in interest that has, over the last few years, failed to be replicated. Do you believe any japanese game, toy, anime or tech company to be capable of achieving that kind of monstrous overnight sucess with a similar product nowadays?

A personal aside. When Dragonball Z started playing on TV, there was me and a couple of my friends watching it in the TV room at highschool. 5-6 people at most. By as little as 2 months later (by the time I'd realized I'd stick with the feature films the likes of Akira or GITS) the room had morphed to what can only be described as a Tokyo train carriage at rush hour. Fuck, owning a VHS copy of Akira made me the most popular guy at school.
Now, I'm going out on a limb here (since I assume things went down differently in the US), but can you honestly say that the number of people you know now that watch anime outnumber the people you knew watched DBZ? I can't.
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Wolfman Walt
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Except we're not saying the same thing.

Not at all.

Quote:
What any of the Final Fantasies sold in its native Japan is, for this discussion, irrelevant


Except it is completely relevant.

Your conclusion is that since Final Fantasy have apperently sold progressively less in Western Countries, that the West has also become less interested in Japanese products.

Final Fantasy has also been in the decline in Japan.

I'm pretty sure that by your logic, Japan is also becoming less interested in Japanese things.

That, however, is impossible as it's very hard for a Western game to make it into the top 10 in the Japanese market, with very few exceptions.

Video games, are also being sold in higher numbers in Japan.

Hence.

Your logic is flawed.

It was to begin with.

It's like taking the most popular brand of cars, showing that there has been a decrease in purchases of newer year models, then declaring that interest in cars is going down.

It was also to be mentioned since FFVIII came out at the time that, in your opinion, Japanese products were at their height.

If what you were saying was true.

It would have sold better than games that came out much later when disinterest settled in.

It however sold much less than the game that followed it the next year.

As well as the game that followed it many years later.

Quote:
Now, you can't sit there and tell me my theory is flawed because FFs 9 and 10 outsold FF8, can you?

That's not the only reason I'm saying it, though.

Just a supporting argument.

It's flawed because your argument hinges on proving that Western society cares less about Japanese products through sales data.

However, opposite sales direction proves a hitch in your theory as if it was society becoming less interested in said subject, it should be a continuing trend.


Quote:
Same game with better sound and graphics, fair to say

No. Actually the changes implimented in Final Fantasy XII are part of the reason it sold so poorly.

Most people didn't care for the change in the combat system.

The travel system was also completely different from Final Fantasy VII.

Other changes also proved unpopular with long time fans.

If you're just refering to things within the JRPG genre, then technically every game in a genre outside of the first is stagnant by your standards.

Quote:
And what does any Con have to do with this?


The fact that if people were becoming less interested, those numbers should be going lower, not increasing.

The con is about anime, manga, and (in part) Japanese culture.

Every year has brought more people.

If the west was growing tired of it, then those numbers would atleast stagnate.

Instead they're growing.

As for your argument about the consumer interest not growing.

Disagreed.

Any marketing group would tell you that if there was a decrease in consumer interest; there wouldn't be an increase in product available.

Remember the great game crash in the 80's?

There was hardly any product available until Nintendo came around and rejuvanated console gaming.

That's because you don't house product you can't sell.

You definetly don't expand on product.

If there was a disinterest, there would be a decrease in sales.

Sales instead have only increased.

In 2008, manga made $175 million in sales in the States.

It's even more popular in Europe, apperently, as Germany and France alone spent over 2 million in it.

That would have been unheard of 10 years ago.

Even the mainstream market recognizes that anime and manga is becoming increasingly more popular.

It's to the point that a very large amount of Western companies try to emulate anime styling conventions.

Various popular magazines such as Times have mulled about printing Manga in their magazines.

Quote:
hardly increased,

Negative, ghost rider.

My point wasn't that interest has hardly increased.

My point was that while interest has steadily increased in Japanese products, interest in video gaming has increased exponentially higher.

Big difference.

That also has not been established.

If anything, I've yet to see anything from you to indicate that it has decreased/stagnated aside from your conjecture.


Quote:
but can you honestly say that the number of people you know now that watch anime outnumber the people you knew watched DBZ? I can't.


I can.

I don't know if you ever worked for any sort of media sales.

You may have.

I'm sorry if you did.

I used to work for Gamestop.

Shit that ties into anime?

Sells like an assload.

Even Dragon Ball Z still sells a lot.

I had never heard of Bakugan until a game sold for it.

It was the most popular game for the month it came out in, I swear it.

The city I worked in?

Huge Persona fan base.

Again.

If waining interests were present.

Than those would not do well.

And it's not just with older people.

Newer generations are also getting into it.

So again. I find your theory flawed.

If interest in Japanese things are waining, nothing would increase.

My point isn't that interest is declining, it's that companies feel that they can earn more by appealing to the masses.

It's not that interest has been declining.

It's that companies want to earn the most money.

That's capitalism.

Right now, there are more people who wish they were Master Chief than Naruto.

Japanese see the sales data that Bungie had and go "We want that too" and try to make themselves more Western.

The thing about it is - they generall fail, whereas their bigger success would probably be if they stuck to more Japanese ideas.
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Yonmanc
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This topic sucks!
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hoochimama
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wolfman Walt wrote:

Your theory is also flawed for comparing Final Fantasy, by the way, as FF10 and 9 sold more than FF8.


They didn't, according to that link tofu man posted:

Final Fantasy VII 9.8 million
Final Fantasy VIII (8.15 million)
Final Fantasy IX (5.30 million)
Final Fantasy X (6.6 million)
Final Fantasy XII (5.2 million
Final Fantasy XIII (2.89 million

Aside from 10 selling a bit more than 9 it's a fairly downward trend.
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