Is Japanese gameplay lagging behind?

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Is Japanese gameplay lagging behind?

Postby yyr » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:14 am

I see posts like this one on Kotaku and I want to groan.

Here's the comment I just posted there:

Personally I think the "Japan's core gameplay is not as strong" or the "Japan is lagging behind" claims are BS. I believe that Japanese core gameplay is quite strong right now, but that the average Western gamer's tastes have changed.

It seems that, by and large, the Japanese philosophy on "gaming as skill test" has not changed. One only needs to look at intense recent releases like BlazBlue: Continuum Shift and Espgaluda II Black Label to see that. (These games, by the way, are incredible in every respect and deserve a lot more credit than they receive.) But so many folks these days don't want their skills tested; they just want to play a video game as a relaxing escape. Western developers seem to cater to that more.

The proof is in the sales numbers...even my own. I develop games for Xbox LIVE Indie Games and have four releases out and a contest running right now ( All of them are skill-testing, arcade-style games, and my sales numbers back up my opinion. Western gamers of today, by and large, prefer things that will relax them, make them laugh or act as an escape from their everyday lives, not a test of their skills. I'm somewhat saddened by this, because I have always been a huge fan of arcade-style and other skill-testing games, but that's the trend. (I'll continue developing the sort of games I want to play, though...I'm stubborn like that, heh.)

Just in case you're wondering, the answer to the question is NO. Personally I'm enjoying Japanese games more than American ones these days (In The Groove 2 being the exception). Part of that is because I don't have time to play long games right now, but I've always preferred games that tested my skills to ones that don't. If I want to watch a movie, I'll do that...
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