Japanese Game Industry is Feeling the Pinch

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Japanese Game Industry is Feeling the Pinch

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Things have gone from bad to worse for Japan's game industry, according to a recent survey.

The survey, conducted by Mirko Ernkvist of the University of Gothenberg, was mailed to every CEO with a company with at least 3 years of business experience. Only 25% of the CEOs contacted responded, and some neglected to fill out the survey in full, but the picture painted by those who did respond is grim indeed.

Of the companies that responded, only 52% claimed to have made a profit during 2011, and 89% reported that they'd outsourced parts of their own projects.

Of course, 2011 was a pretty tough year for most Japanese businesses - tsunamis and nuclear meltdowns do not, as a rule, stimulate the national economy - but the software industry was hit particularly hard. Software revenue dropped by 8% during 2011.

Almost 58% of respondents reported using third-party graphics engines in the past three years, which Ernkvist argues is a sign that they're less technologically sophisticated than their western counterparts. Only 36% of respondents reported using a commercially available AI program, and 41% admitted to using a third party physics engine.

You can browse the entire report, which is actually quite stimulating for a document that uses the word "median" more than once, here.

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Well this is disappointing... I can only hope the Japanese game market can find their shines back, but if any I think its mostly because of how there probably has been a change of consumer taste as well.

If not we can always point at how they often keep the GOOD titles to themselves... No exports for you indeed.

Maybe this'll provide the right stimulation for them to innovate more.

Which reminds me, the Japanese gaming industry is so weird in that respect. On one hand you have crazy-awesome innovation with games like Katamari and Catherine, but on the other hand you have the ever-popular JRPG genre which is hopelessly outdated, especially in terms of narrative design, because seriously who the hell designs something for an interactive medium almost like a movie.

I never really got that duality.

No Probremu! Just mako nu Finaru Fantaji and voira! Biggu hitto at bokus offisu!

Man, I'd hate to have to rely on the western market (and its seemingly burning hatred of the consumer) more for games. Come on, bounce back!

I blame companies like Capcom who won't release their games anywhere else but japan like Pheonix Wright.

Also JRPGs have now become pretty stale IMO.

Jove:
Also JRPGs have now become pretty stale IMO.

How so?

and don't mention that pathetic shell Square-Enix. I'm sick of people using them as the measuring stick for all JRPG's.

I'm not really surprised. I love when people announce something as recession proof, because that proves how utterly useless they are. It's mind blowing actually. First, there is no such thing. Even in the instance of it's a non-profit and people volunteer. People end up having less time to volunteer, so that isn't even recession proof. And anyone who thought tech was recession proof... I have nothing to say that can express how stupid that is.
/endrant

Nazrel:

Jove:
Also JRPGs have now become pretty stale IMO.

How so?

and don't mention that pathetic shell Square-Enix. I'm sick of people using them as the measuring stick for all JRPG's.

I hear you there. There are usually a decent amount of good JRPG's, but they are always overshadowed by Squenix as if they are the gods of the genre. It's mind numbing. While they make competent and decent games, they are not JRPG's, nor should they be thought of as that. My only real problem with them at this point Final Fantasy XIII. I am trying to beat it though because I understand XIII-2 is a better all around game. It's a big pain in my ass.

Maybe they could outsource some of those jobs over here?
Along with some freaking exports. Of course that would mean they actually wanted to make money.

Meh, I dont care. I never found the majority of Japanese games all that interesting. But hey, the more they out source the better the games will get so net gain I guess!

Japan has grown notorious for not exporting a lot of games that show promice, and if we aren't good enough to give them our money they don't deserve to recieve said money.

the software industry was hit particularly hard. Software revenue dropped by 8% during 2011.

why contradict yourself? a 8% drop in revenue when your company is in loss and your country is pretty much a big disaster fair isnt being hit hard. if anything, remembering the late sony hack and whatnot they have dropped ONLY 8%, which is extremely low compared to how other industries bare (for exampel car manufacturers).
Also outsourcing, buying graphic and physics engines and so on is the norm now. it is far cheaper to do so. why create an engine from scratch when you can buy one and modify it to your needs. especially when there are so many good ones out atm.

Well, maybe if they brought the Monster Hunter MMO to the US....

No, no... Thats just me being selfish. They should bring it to the rest of the WORLD! :D
Im serious though, a lot of games that people enjoy are going to be japanese only. And they think that its not going to hurt its sales. >.>; Quite the opposite. If they said "Fans raise the money for the English transaltion", every game they produce would come over seas the month after its Japanese release.

Nazrel:

Jove:
Also JRPGs have now become pretty stale IMO.

How so?

and don't mention that pathetic shell Square-Enix. I'm sick of people using them as the measuring stick for all JRPG's.

Love em' or hate em', Squeenix is STILL the most mainstream Japanese RPG company for the global market; everything else teeters on or falls firmly into the realm of "export-niche'", and that alone is going to skew the public's perception of jrpgs...

OT: Based on their publishing and distribution schedules, Japan seems to be floundering in indecision when it comes to exporting titles. Nintendo's baffling rejection of Project Rainfall, Capcom's continued moon-logic scheduling and marketing (hey guys, lets launch a redundant version of our own game!!..In the same year of the original's launch!), Konami's mass-withdrawal from, well, everything...and all of these companies used to be GIANTS in the global gaming market (well, Nintendo still is, but the gimmicky Wii is thankfully dead, and until the 3DS picks up more momentum, Nintendo goes back to being the semi-relevant "sleeping giant" they've been for the previous 15 years).

Personally: I wouldn't mind a return to Suikoden's core-continuity (and not that ear-raping kiddie shit they shoved out of their rectums for the DS...there's a problem with your game when you want to mute it every time the main character speaks), but even among jrpgs that franchise is very niche'.

Hmm, slow to innovate much. Though really, tons of American companies use externally developed graphics and physics engines and what-not. That's simply the direction the industry is headed in right now.

I'm not even a fan of Japanese video games, but if I was shown this data and told that it represented North American developers I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. It doesn't seem far off from what I expect of the game industry in general.

There's nothing wrong with using 3rd-Party Tech. A ton of western games use Unreal Engine or Euphoria. If it's good software, there's no sense not using it.

I've never had a problem with Japanese games, but I cant say I buy many of them. I bought Catherine new and picked up FFXIII used last month... and that's about the only Japanese games I can think of off the top of my head that I felt deserved a purchase. I hear Dark Souls is good, but I'm waiting to see how the PC Version rumors develop.

well I hope they can bounce back soon

But I guess everyone has to make their games like skyrim or get soled back within a week. That's the future of this industry

Maybe if Japanese companies were not so snobbish about releasing games to territories outside of Japan itself then they would have more success. Plus some of the games just do not appeal to the West because of cultural differences.

Cowabungaa:
especially in terms of narrative design,because seriously who the hell designs something for an interactive medium almost like a movie.

I never really got that duality.

Pretty much every game with a script of any length is designed like a movie including action games especially third person and first person shooters, adventure type games in the style of zelda (ok not that many but hey are in there) in fact Ill just put almost everygame ever in there reason being scripts that are interactive are a hell of a lot of work, too much work for even all but the shortest text adventure game to pull off successfully beacuse they increse exponentially fast,so the solution at the moment is just to craft one story yeah you can have a few factors in there but its always the same story mostly a straight line with a few branching bits for sidequests and character interactions and maybe a single true branch at one point like Ar Tonelico so you can actually play two different sides but generally you may get a few endings based on some flagged short side paths and even then its usually divided into good ending and bad ending because as I have said you are only playing along a narrow path so it cant diverge too much.

I would be surprised if Japan was doing great after this year in particular but its far from dead ironically a JRPG in the form of Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the freshest games I have played in years and will hopefully get more makers of JRPGS/WRPGS to buck their ideas up and create something of similar worth.

The Japanese game industry has for a long time stood as a giant, in the 80's and 90's being a powerhouse of the developing gaming industry. Many people who claim to be gamers started out with a Game Boy Color or an Nintendo64. As many people have said, "that age is over now."

The report seems to underline how things have CHANGED, but not how things will go. One person keenly pointed out that it's acted as a cycle, with gamin in it's early stages owing large successes to people who could code simply games that did extraordinarily well, along side other more prominent-well funded games from companies like Nintendo who made games for business. We've gone full circle from games that were made solely by multi-million dollar corporations to the iphone games, games made by people who want success,but also want to make games in their spare time.

The Japanese games industry has been hurt by this. Immensely. Recent natural disasters and their effects aside, the Japanese games industry has tried to tick with what it knows how to do, which is make people pay lots for a cartridge or disc with a game on it. with the ipod, people can make games and distribute them for free, the advent of Steam and other distribution sites (excluding Pirate Bay and other torrenting sites) the Japanese tend to try to overprice their sales, with digital copies costing as much as a hard copy, transportation fees and all. Many people above me here have stated that it's because companies like Nintendo respond to efforts like Operation: RAINFALL with a bureaucratic response that doesn't say 'yes' and doesn't say 'no', drop the issue, then still expect people to buy from them. Back in the 1990's if you didn't want to buy a Nintendo game, you'd have to make do with other systems that weren't as nearly as advanced as an N64. Now, with Microsoft and Sony also supplying their own systems and games, the Japanese gaming industry isn't all alone and has to contend with actual opponents to be 'king of the hill'.

As far as appeal goes, JRPGs have long since been very flashy, but predictable, with characters acting as they would in an anime, not expressing their emotions in a more human way. I turn to a personal grievance, knowing it's nit-picking, of Serah in FF XIII-2, many times, if not almost all of them, she will bring her hands to her chest, and fold her hands as if she's begging, or praying (I cannot say for sure), she does this in so many scenes, one could be led to believe she's not very confident. That part aside, another example that can be gleaned from it is her sidekick (for lack of a better word) Mog, who, at one point, at one era, at one time, suddenly tells us he essentially has amnesia, and doesn't remember where he comes from. It's a sudden and irrelevant plot element that seems to only apply to those areas, it's not a factor of character development, and seems only to fascilitate a side-story.

As far as Final Fantasy goes, that cannot be used as a real measuring stick for the entire games industry, I understand, but, what I also want to point out, is that companies like Ninetendo, like Square Enix, and several others big names, tend to keep releasing additions onto a franchise, trying to keep it alive. Yahtzee uses the word 'nostalgia' a lot, and it works, it sells. Pokemon could have died off after Ruby and Sapphire, after the art style and the story became radically different. Zelda has had numerous incarnation with the same feel to them all, but with a new mechanic that justifies it's price. Final Fantasy has had many incarnations, none of which are truly final, because there's bound to be another one waiting next year. It's not good business to not come up with any truly new games. How many brawlers are there? There's Tekken, Street Fighter, Dragon Ball Z and Naruto have their own incarnations--it is a genre, but how many Naruto fighers are there? How many Dragon Ball Z? How many Tekkens or Street Fighters? The Japanese market what sells, and we play a part in what they release to us.

Looking at games, the Japanese have a cultural identity that is completely the opposite of the West. Samurai, I will point out, are not marines. They train to use a weapon, and to understand it, rather than pick up a rifle and defend freedom because 'it's the right thing to do' only to have your CO betray you because he has his own plans and a bigger gun. The Japanese games industry has it's own successes and failures, it follows the industry norms, such as using engines from third parties that they feel will work best with what they want to make, and I for one cannot hold that against them, but I cannot be surprised when they lose money thinking that the old ways are the best ways. I don't like seeing games that don't feature relate-able characters with which we can feel a deep emotional investment in (certainly in the more story-centric games). The Japanese industry isn't doing well because they make games that are sometimes as simple as an iphone game, and would have the consumer pay $60, rather than Apple's $1. Customer alienation, blatant favoritism, and games that are more or less expansion packs and graphics upgrades for each release. A cameo by Freddy does not make Mortal Kombat a whole new game. That's just Freddy in Mortal Kombat.

Atmos Duality:

Personally: I wouldn't mind a return to Suikoden's core-continuity (and not that ear-raping kiddie shit they shoved out of their rectums for the DS...there's a problem with your game when you want to mute it every time the main character speaks), but even among jrpgs that franchise is very niche'.

Shit... I wouldn't mind a handheld re-release of II...

Any Suikoden game that ignores III's existence is also fine by me.

And I wouldn't call it "niche" so much as "under the radar"

Guess what came out around the same time as Suikoden.

Final Fantasy VII

Cobalt180:
Now, with Microsoft and Sony also supplying their own systems and games, the Japanese gaming industry isn't all alone and has to contend with actual opponents to be 'king of the hill'.

Psst....

Sony is a Japanese company.

Can't say I care very much, if Japan wants to stay in business then they should make decent games for once. How many of their titles do I need to play where the boss is some kind of giant robot (robots, what's with the freaking robots??) and it takes like a half hour of mindless grinding before I manage to kill it.
That's not to say all their games suck but what's good is so rare that it makes little difference.

idarkphoenixi:
Can't say I care very much, if Japan wants to stay in business then they should make decent games for once. How many of their titles do I need to play where the boss is some kind of giant robot (robots, what's with the freaking robots??) and it takes like a half hour of mindless grinding before I manage to kill it.
That's not to say all their games suck but what's good is so rare that it makes little difference.

I have yet to see a good American game.

Oh what's that? Skyrim you say?

It's terrible, I reply.

People have different tastes. And those robots appeal to alot of people.

Useless data with nothing to compare it to. Do a survey on western developers first before you cry doom.

Grey Carter:

Almost 58% of respondents reported using third-party graphics engines in the past three years, which Ernkvist argues is a sign that they're less technologically sophisticated than their western counterparts. Only 36% of respondents reported using a commercially available AI program, and 41% admitted to using a third party physics engine.

Bullshit. All it means is that there's already something that does exactly what you need, so wasting time and money on your own engine is stupid. How many western developers use the Unreal engine? How many use the Havok physics engine? He's trying to make an issue where there is none to help prop up his argument.

Without a list of the companies that responded to the survey, we have no way to interpret the data. Whether or not the larger, more profitable companies responded would change the results drastically as opposed to only small companies responding. Not to mention that, with so few companies responding, there's way too little data to come to a conclusion.

dimensional:
snip

It really wouldn't hurt to use a bit more punctuation. You know, for readability and all.

Anyway, your reply shows that you don't really get what I'm saying. Which isn't an insult, because looking back I didn't really write my thoughts down very well.

What I was trying to say is that lots of developers, and I see it very prominently in JRPG's, fail to realize the potential of the medium that is videogames and fail to design their games according to those specific characteristics that make the videogame such a unique storytelling medium and a unique experience overall.

What makes videogames a unique medium you ask? Well, interactivity of course! The fact that you, the player, become a living, breathing part of the story, of the universe the game is in. And that's where many Japanese games drop the ball, they fail to exploit the strengths of the medium. Many an JRPG I played, recently Recettear, required me to look at (near) static images of characters and read countless of pages of dialogue as if it were a comic book. Or what about MGS4, which has apparently, at least that's what a friend told me, more hours of cutscenes than actual gameplay, as if it was a movie.

Now of course, that dialogue can be well-written, as with Phoenix Wright for example, or a cutscene can be very moving, but it's still incredibly jarring to suddenly get all control pulled out of your hands. That goes directly against what makes videogames unique as a medium. An even worse example would be Enchanted Arms I played a few years ago. From a narrative p.o.v it was one big disjointed mess. You had dialogue told in a static comic book style, you had (beautiful) cutscenes that looked nowhere near the actual world you inhabited and battles with monsters popped up out of nowhere from an otherwise nearly lifeless gameworld. It all made zero sense.

But here's the thing; all those mechanics made sense. More than a decade ago. Back when we just didn't have the technology to tell complex stories and create very complex worlds without resorting to some of those mechanics. I certainly don't blame Planescape: Torment for having a lot of dialogue I have to read.

And that's what I mean with many JRPG's being very outdated; they're stuck in the past when it comes to game mechanics, especially narrative mechanics. And that's also what I hope that's going to change, that they'll innovate in that regard.

So what sort of games am I talking about? Just look at what Valve produces. In most of their games the narrative is closely interwoven with the game world you inhabit; the story is told at all times throughout the game itself, visually and not just verbally. They also rarely wrest all control out of your hands. In parts that would usually be cutscenes they'll let you walk around or even just look around. You never really leave the character, you're always joined with it.

And that's a thing other media just cannot do, to give you that connection with a character and the world he/she is in, and what I hope more game developers will do, especially Japanese ones. And who knows, maybe this pinch will jumpstart that.

PS:
Other notable examples of games who do videogame narration well would be BioShock, Crysis, Dear Esther and yes even most Call of Duty games, no matter if the story itself is actually good.

Well, frankly I don't care.

The Japanese gaming industry has, like most Japanese things in general, been far too self-centered and isolated and homogenous for far too long. Its one of the reasons why I, as a person who grew up on GaoGaiGar and Digimon, almost never watch anime anymore--its all become basically the same thing, with several overlapping universal designs and almost interchangeable scripts. That exact thing could be said of Japanese gaming too.

At the end of the day, they could export every game ever made in Japan to the rest of the world and most people wouldn't want them. They're a niche now, the whole Japanese gaming industry, producing the same kinds of albino blonde man-girls, the same JRPGs, the same maudlin anti-stories, over and over and over again for the same people who played FF7 when they were twelve and thought it was "so deep". Or people like Bob Chipman, who outright DEMAND "innovation" in Western games, but then pounce on anyone who DARES to point out that he's been buying the same Mario game for twenty fucking years. And that's all the Japanese gaming industry has been for over a decade now, just a delivery service for manchildren with arrested development, or people who enjoy the stilted, implausible aesthetics and Barbie-like accessories of Anime pretty boys. The whole thing is a niche.

Someone earlier said "I guess everyone has to make a game like Skyrim now", well Jesus Christ above I hope so! Make a great, innovative game with a wide open world, infinite replayability, and the feeling of crafting and role-playing as a unique individual with the power of a god...yes, yes please. God forbid we make what people want. And if people also want to buy games about soldiers in an actual, real-life setting with some attempt at verisimilitude like the so-called "wave" (even though its less than a dozen in ten years) of military FPS games over the last decade or so then by all means, do it. And if Japan can't keep up because they obsess over their albino Man-Barbies and ridiculous mascots that were retarded looking in 1998 let alone 2012, then to Hell with them.

Don't mourn for companies that can't support themselves. Mourn for the actual, real people who may lose their jobs--not because they're bad developers, or bad studios, or bad animators but because they're part of a stagnant, dying system they have no power to change. Those are the people my heart bleeds for. Especially after all Japan has been through recently. If they're smart they'll jump off the Titanic before it hits an iceberg and come over to the USS Western Gaming to make quality titles here. I'd love to see some of the animators who made FF13-2 (which is, no question, the most beautiful looking game I've ever seen, seriously) do some work on the next Elder Scrolls or Mass Effect games. Or see some of the IPs like Contra and Zelda and Metroid sold off to studios that know what to do with them...I mean, Cliffy B already made a next-gen Contra game three times, its called Gears of War. Why not take it a step further, and slap the ACTUAL Contra name on there. Or imagine a Zelda game by Bethesda or BioWare. Imagine a Metroid game by the makers of Dead Space.

If the Japanese games industries dies, and for the sake of the actual people involved who don't deserve to go down with the ship, my one true hope is that some good comes out of it and they can maybe migrate over to a studio in Europe or America that respects them enough to not ask them to grind out another soul-crushing Final Fantasy game or yet another iteration of Nintendo's long-since irrelevant mascots for the smothering love of their endless manchild fanbase.

And nothing of value was lost.

poiumty:
No Probremu! Just mako nu Finaru Fantaji and voira! Biggu hitto at bokus offisu!

Translating that was well worth the laugh :D
OT: I think the Japanese game industry really needs a work-over. A lot of JRPGs suffer from having the same dated formula. Sure they might look impressive, but the gameplay is often monotonous and the narrative cliché. As much as I adore the country there haven't been nearly as many worthwhile JRPGs in the last five years compared to western titles.

Xenoblade was the only one at the level of 'incredible' as far as I'm concerned - that game needs to be the new standard from which JRPGs are made.

This... really isn't that surprising. There are a lot of games that use the Cry engine, I'd be willing to bet that EA has reused the engine for MW2 more than once, and as far as physics engines go, go look through your library and see how many titles include that use the Havok physics engine. A short sample from Wikipedia: Alan Wake, Assassin's Creed (all of them), Bioshock 1/2, Dark/Demon's Souls, TES: Oblivion, TES: Skyrim, Fallout 3, FEAR 1/2, Half-Life 2, every Halo game past the first, LA Noire, Killzone 2/3, Just Cause 1/2, Portal 2, Saints Row 1-3, The Witcher 2, and Uncharted 2/3. More than 100 games have used the Unreal 3 Engine - from Zumba Fitness to the entire Mass Effect series.

Better j-rpgs for the xbox please
D:

Cowabungaa:
Maybe this'll provide the right stimulation for them to innovate more.

Which reminds me, the Japanese gaming industry is so weird in that respect. On one hand you have crazy-awesome innovation with games like Katamari and Catherine, but on the other hand you have the ever-popular JRPG genre which is hopelessly outdated, especially in terms of narrative design, because seriously who the hell designs something for an interactive medium almost like a movie.

I never really got that duality.

You're forgetting that some JRPGs actually are innovative within the genre, at least in gameplay and artistic design if not in cutscene design. And if you do want an action-based JRPG without very much spiky hair (and an interesting thing with "heart to heart", get yourself a Wii and Xenoblade Chronicles.

Seriously, do it, that's game's amazing. And who knows? Maybe it'll encourage some games that innovate outside the JRPG label to get localised. ...Or you could just stick to the ever-popular first-person shooter genre which is hopelessly outdated, especially in terms of environment design, because seriously who the hell wants to see the Cold War escalate ten times in one year?

This is a shame, they're my favourite part of the gaming industry. This hasn't stopped so many doujin games from continuing to come out that I don't have time to play all of the amazingness. Compile that will all the fanart and music and I'm dead duck who can never catch up. It's awesome both in that it's great, but also in that it's literally awesome, overwhelming. And yet most doujin developers disappear quickly, it's the mere quantity of people who want to make doujinsoft and even freeware that does this.

And it's still super depressing to see Japanese video games, and even more as a result, fall from any relevance in the world because of this. Most of the Western games I play are indie games. And really, I've just always been a big fan of Japanese style video games. One of the Western games I'm looking forward to most right now is Skullgirls, an incredibly Japanese Western title.

It depresses me. Also in no small part that this isn't the only of these kind of reports out there. The gaming industry is littered with this talk that Japanese games are no longer relevant. One of the few media Japan has ever had a strong global presence in. Music, live-action, they are irrelevant as far as the global media is concerned. Even in animation they are largely ignored for being drawn with big eyes. But video games, Japan was always a Juggernaut. It's sad to see someone who broke the Anglophone trend in globalist media dominance to fall from the stool.

Jove:
Also JRPGs have now become pretty stale IMO.

There are plenty of good RPGs coming out of Japan right now. Tales of Xillia, Xenoblade Chronicles, Persona 5 is on the horizon...

KrabbiPatty:
manchild fanbase.

This is a horrible, pathetic insult. And you shouldn't be hurling insults at people who like something different than you.

And cue the racist "everything from japan sucks" speeches from the CoD fanboys in 3...2...1...

In all seriousness, this is sad. Japan suffers from the same issue we do(releasing the same game over and over again like EA and activision do with shooters like what square does with Final Fantasy and Capcom with fighters. While good, innovative titles get scrapped in favor for this garbage.) We do have people like that former head of team ninja wants to do, bridge the gap between USA and Japan gaming industries.

LilithSlave:
This is a shame, they're my favourite part of the gaming industry. This hasn't stopped so many doujin games from continuing to come out that I don't have time to play all of the amazingness. Compile that will all the fanart and music and I'm dead duck who can never catch up. It's awesome both in that it's great, but also in that it's literally awesome, overwhelming. And yet most doujin developers disappear quickly, it's the mere quantity of people who want to make doujinsoft and even freeware that does this.

And it's still super depressing to see Japanese video games, and even more as a result, fall from any relevance in the world because of this. Most of the Western games I play are indie games. And really, I've just always been a big fan of Japanese style video games. One of the Western games I'm looking forward to most right now is Skullgirls, an incredibly Japanese Western title.

It depresses me. Also in no small part that this isn't the only of these kind of reports out there. The gaming industry is littered with this talk that Japanese games are no longer relevant. One of the few media Japan has ever had a strong global presence in. Music, live-action, they are irrelevant as far as the global media is concerned. Even in animation they are largely ignored for being drawn with big eyes. But video games, Japan was always a Juggernaut. It's sad to see someone who broke the Anglophone trend in globalist media dominance to fall from the stool.

Jove:
Also JRPGs have now become pretty stale IMO.

There are plenty of good RPGs coming out of Japan right now. Tales of Xillia, Xenoblade Chronicles, Persona 5 is on the horizon...

KrabbiPatty:
manchild fanbase.

This is a horrible, pathetic insult. And you shouldn't be hurling insults at people who like something different than you.

Don't even bother. Its a uphill battle with these xenophobes...

leet_x1337:

You're forgetting that some JRPGs actually are innovative within the genre, at least in gameplay and artistic design if not in cutscene design. And if you do want an action-based JRPG without very much spiky hair (and an interesting thing with "heart to heart", get yourself a Wii and Xenoblade Chronicles.

See, that's what confuses me. Yeah, JRPG's often have wonderful set design that really sparks the imagination, and yet when it comes to narrative mechanics they're a decade behind schedule. The Japanese clearly show a skill for creative game design, so why not in all areas, and why not in that specific area in which the videogame as a medium has such unique strengths? What gives Japan?

It's not the first time I heard about Xenoblade Chronicles, sadly I don't own a Wii but I'll be looking into it. I'm curious whether it really breaks the mold and pushes the videogame medium forwards, I always look for games who do that.

Or you could just stick to the ever-popular first-person shooter genre which is hopelessly outdated, especially in terms of environment design, because seriously who the hell wants to see the Cold War escalate ten times in one year?

While it is a somewhat recent trend, I must say that the rage against 'grey and brown shooters' is sort of overblown and mainly revolves around one big offending franchise, which indeed is getting pretty damn stale. Though sadly my current lover, BF3, belongs to it as well, which is a rotten shame because Bad Company 2 did a terrific job of not fitting that stereotype. Good heavens that game was gorgeous...

Overall though I'd say that there's still a lot to be seen. From Deus Ex's stylized cyberpunk world to Far Cry 3's tropical paradise to the aformentioned Bad Company 2 with it's wide variety of environments. Not even all Call of Duty games are that bad, I was pretty impressed at Black Ops' environmental variety, despite it not being on BC2's level.

And luckily there's more on the market than just modern warfare shooters.

RaikuFA:
Don't even bother. Its a uphill battle with these xenophobes...

*snicker* Ironic, coming from a Japan defender. Said in jest, of course.

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