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Wired: "western game, bad bad" say japanese

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The graphics and storytelling styles in the west are not popular in Japan. Nobody there says western games are "bad," just that they don't like them as much as made-for-Japanese-tastes games. They like manga -- they don't like Marvel superheroes. They like anime - they don't like Toy Story or Shrek as much. They also don't care that much for the play mechanic, usually. Japanese hardcore gamers like a certain amount of challenge, and western developers cater to a gentler ramp-up of difficulty.

I'm surprised the Wired article doesn't say any of that? (I haven't read it.)

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In addition to any of that, that the article specifically mentions open-world games, which run contradictory to the cultural preference for well-defined goals that can be seen in jRPGs. Japanese entertainment in general tends to have stronger storytelling which expects more attention span and maturity from its intended audience than western entertainment aimed at the same age group; this is most clearly seen in the fact that Western TV and comics are often episodic, while Japanese TV and manga are rarely so.

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In addition to any of that, that the article specifically mentions open-world games, which run contradictory to the cultural preference for well-defined goals that can be seen in jRPGs. Japanese entertainment in general tends to have stronger storytelling which expects more attention span and maturity from its intended audience than western entertainment aimed at the same age group; this is most clearly seen in the fact that Western TV and comics are often episodic, while Japanese TV and manga are rarely so.

But there is a reason for that. If your show is serialized, you can't just start watching it middle of the season and know what's going on. Though serialized provides more story line, it is more inconvenient. Just heard of the amazing TV show Game of thrones? But it is already on episode 6? Too bad, you can't watch it anymore.

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[quote name='sunandshadow' timestamp='1321140286' post='4883311']
In addition to any of that, that the article specifically mentions open-world games, which run contradictory to the cultural preference for well-defined goals that can be seen in jRPGs. Japanese entertainment in general tends to have stronger storytelling which expects more attention span and maturity from its intended audience than western entertainment aimed at the same age group; this is most clearly seen in the fact that Western TV and comics are often episodic, while Japanese TV and manga are rarely so.

But there is a reason for that. If your show is serialized, you can't just start watching it middle of the season and know what's going on. Though serialized provides more story line, it is more inconvenient. Just heard of the amazing TV show Game of thrones? But it is already on episode 6? Too bad, you can't watch it anymore.
[/quote]


There may be a reason for it but that doesn't mean everyone enjoys TV structured in that way. Sun was saying that the Japanese tend to enjoy TV or comics that are serialized over those that are episodic. That doesn't mean that they don't have them but that it just isn't as popular in Japanese media as it is in western.

On a side note the downsides of a TV show like Game of Thrones are a lot less deal breaking than they used to be. The ability to stream TV shows over the Internet/TV itself soon after they are broadcast means that you can catch up on almost any show and regular DvD releases mean you can buy a hard-copy to watch at your own pace soon after the season ends.

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[quote name='sunandshadow' timestamp='1321140286' post='4883311']
In addition to any of that, that the article specifically mentions open-world games, which run contradictory to the cultural preference for well-defined goals that can be seen in jRPGs. Japanese entertainment in general tends to have stronger storytelling which expects more attention span and maturity from its intended audience than western entertainment aimed at the same age group; this is most clearly seen in the fact that Western TV and comics are often episodic, while Japanese TV and manga are rarely so.

But there is a reason for that. If your show is serialized, you can't just start watching it middle of the season and know what's going on. Though serialized provides more story line, it is more inconvenient. Just heard of the amazing TV show Game of thrones? But it is already on episode 6? Too bad, you can't watch it anymore.
[/quote]
In this age of internet connectivity all they need to do is put the first few websites up for view or even paid download on a website. Personally I would much rather have a whole season or series on DVD and watch it all at once, screw waiting a week or two for each new episode.

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The markets and demographics are very very very different.

Japan has entire local markets that pretty much only Japan buys, it's a very diverse economy.



They have many little developers and various other stuff like ero-games and dating sim games that are bought in Japan, but wouldn't really be successful outside of it.

When you think about portability in markets, you really need to think of who your target is before releasing.




I mean, Atlas was thinking about not releasing "Catherine" in America because they didn't really know how it would do. But, it ended up selling a lot and probably surprised them with the hype it had behind it.


In the end, you can only cater to your core audience and anything else that latches on to it is extra.

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In addition to any of that, that the article specifically mentions open-world games, which run contradictory to the cultural preference for well-defined goals that can be seen in jRPGs. Japanese entertainment in general tends to have stronger storytelling which expects more attention span and maturity from its intended audience than western entertainment aimed at the same age group; this is most clearly seen in the fact that Western TV and comics are often episodic, while Japanese TV and manga are rarely so.

I'm not sure you can equate a mechanic like storytelling to attention span and maturity. Playing Skryim, which is an open-world game with user-defined goals requires more effort and attention on my part than passively absorbing a narrative. I don't think genres inherently determine a level of maturity or attention span. There are complex narratives that do require you to pay attention, and trite narratives that spoon-feed everything to the audience. The same goes for open-world mechanics. I think the issue is more cultural than anything else.

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My impression is that Japanese games tend to have more over-the-top elements, while western games tend to be more realistic, even when it comes to fantasy. Compare Skyrim to Final Fantasy (or whatever they're up to).

I think it might have to do with western games being more influenced by PC games, which tend to be more "real" (descendants of flight sims and the like). People got used to more complex control systems (e.g., free movement, no rails) and non-linear elements.

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