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HomeNews Konami Producer Tak Fujii: "Western Gamers Don't Play Japanese Games Anymore"
Konami Producer Tak Fujii: "Western Gamers Don't Play Japanese Games Anymore"
A question by Siliconera on the lack of confirmed US Konami titles has promoted Konami producer Yak Fujii, responsible for conversions between Japanese and Western games, to explain America's collective dismissal of Japanese games:
It’s hard. As you know, the industry has changed. It’s a totally different business here compared to five years ago. This is my personal guess, but many Western gamers don’t play Japanese games anymore or maybe they never played Japanese games. They have no interest in Japanese games.
...OK, there is a big FPS franchise in the West, the biggest one from somewhere. It has massive numbers. Maybe half or more than half of those players may have bought hardware just to play that game and no other games. They only have one game and they keep purchasing downloadable maps, additional content, DLC, DLC, DLC. And then a new one comes out and they just buy it. They never play sports games, action games, and have no interest in Japanese games.
Before Microsoft came into the console business, the center of development was Nintendo or Sony. It was very handy for us to discuss hardware and technology with them because everything was in Japanese. Now, reports have to go through the American division and are translated into Japanese for the technical division and then if anything comes back we have to translate that into English for support. It’s hard. Once America started getting into the console business, there is only English support and they are in the Western market. It was handy for them and so the roles changed.
I think Fujii-san has a point in stating that there are some gamers who play only one or two specific franchises each year, so it's difficult to say their true gamers or at least well-rounded gamers, but that doesn't mean Americans hate Japanese games. The point is to make good games, not just games that feel Westernized just to appeal to us. We love Metal Gear Solid, we love Dark Souls., and we love Street Fighter.
RPGs, however, are a different matter. The Japanese, should I say MMORPG, mentality for RPGs, where everything is crammed together, isn't that appealing to Western gamers. We've got World of Warcraft and DotA, and that seems to be enough for us. Turning Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest into MMORPGs is not what we want, though the Eastern market has a love affair with Monster Hunter. Sorry, I just don't get it.