Experienced Points: Microsoft's Chance in Japan

Experienced Points: Microsoft's Chance in Japan

After 17 years of Xbox, Microsoft still hasn't made a dent in the Japanese market. Shamus Young sees an opportunity to change that.

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Cities: Skylines would still have been a good game, but it probably wouldn't have sold nearly as well and it certainly wouldn't have become the new standard bearer of the genre.

I hate to be pedantic[1], but Cities: Skylines literally wouldn't even exist if EA hadn't screwed up SimCity so badly. The guys at Colossal Order had wanted to make a city-building game for some time, but they couldn't get funding for a game in a market that was dominated by the SimCity franchise. It was SimCity's failure that gave publisher Paradox Interactive the reassurance they needed that they might be able to compete in that genre.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. It's been nearly a year since I've typed "P.S. Thanks" and I didn't realize how much I missed it :)

[1] No I don't. I love it.

Huh. I didn't know that. I guess in that case I'm acutally glad that EA did what EA do best, so that C:S could exist.

On Topic: Its certainly a good idea, but I can't see Microsoft having the creativity or goodwill to actually go through with it. Unless they can use it to somehow hoover up all of the japanese player's data: then they'd be all over it. Also, I think that Public Exhibition of a work is technically illegal in the west too, its just rarely enforced, if ever.

That's a really good idea. I'm just not certain it's a good idea that the behemoth Microsoft has become is flexible enough to pivot on and take advantage of. (If they do, they should pay Shamus a royalty.)

I wonder how licensing in Japan works as far as PCs go. (Is having an open terminal running Windows 10 a problem?) It seems like there's room enough here that any number of indies could take a similar advantage of the situation.

Microsoft need to make the kinds of games they play in Japan, they need to realise that not everyone in Japan has the same interests as Western gamers. A lot of the Japanese games are also insanely popular to Westerners.

nickpy:
Also, I think that Public Exhibition of a work is technically illegal in the west too, its just rarely enforced, if ever.

Iirc, and I could easily be wrong about that, that's governing by license, so if someone like a radio station has a license to play a certain song, as long as they stay within limits set by that license, they can play it as often or as infrequently as they want.

Keep in mind, though, I'm just some random person on the internet with no experience in that area of law, so take it with an entire mine's worth of salt. :P

I'm fascinated by this idea. The thing that sticks out to me the most is the fact that Xbox has a tidy arsenal of vintage titles that would work really, really well for the nostalgia-hungry crowds at game bars. Rolling in with an original Xbox full of classic Sega titles like Jet Set Radio, Sega GT, Gunvalkyrie, Virtual On, Panzer Dragoon, Rent-A-Hero, and Shenmue would be enough on its own to lure people in and then at the very least get them looking at what else is available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. And by embracing the scene, Microsoft could generate new nostalgia for its consoles; they could build a new Xbox ecosystem. It might not make Xbox One a market force or super appealing to Japanese developers. But it could absolutely create a market receptive to something like an Xbox Mini Classic.

nickpy:
On Topic: Its certainly a good idea, but I can't see Microsoft having the creativity or goodwill to actually go through with it. Unless they can use it to somehow hoover up all of the japanese player's data: then they'd be all over it. Also, I think that Public Exhibition of a work is technically illegal in the west too, its just rarely enforced, if ever.

It's legal for a copyright holder to make that a condition of their license, but I don't believe it's automatically illegal. Otherwise, surely there'd be a version of Creative Commons by now that explicitly allows it.

Also, hi everyone. I didn't realize content had started trickling in again, because the site is still a horrible mess and doesn't have links to anything and also the little comment links on videos all say "0" for some reason, so I've only been looking at the Zero Punctuation landing page for the past several months.

Yeah, the site layout is still needing some work.

I will say this, though...at least we don't need to worry about Shamus accidentally posting the entire article on the front page like he does on his own site. :3

Yep. As someone who has been into jpop I can confirm Japan would rather see copyright enforced at the expense of exposure

008Zulu:
Microsoft need to make the kinds of games they play in Japan, they need to realise that not everyone in Japan has the same interests as Western gamers. A lot of the Japanese games are also insanely popular to Westerners.

They already tried that. Early in the 360's life they tried courting the Japanese with titles like Tales of Vesperia or Blue Dragon. I don't think it got them anywhere.

That's more or less exactly how Sony got the Playstation a foothold in Europe. They went around handing the things out to student unions and installing Playstation boxes in bars. Usually with Wipeout or Ridge Racer in the box, but I remember Tekken as well. It was instant access and exposure to hundreds of thousands of 18-21 year olds who up to that point thought only of Nintendo or Sega.

I'm surprised nobody else has done it in the years since, but then with gaming being one the netertainment industry's main pillars now it doesn't need to push for exposure so much.

PS, welcome back Shamus!

 

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