Titanfall Devs Surprised At Japan's Positive Reaction to its Game

Titanfall Devs Surprised At Japan's Positive Reaction to its Game

Titanfall panoramic

"It's probably the biggest compliment you can get, that you take mechs to Japan and they like them."

At this year's Tokyo Game Show, the surprise show-stealer was Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall, which by the end of the show had four-hour-long queues snaking around the Xbox One booth. What's particularly surprising about this is A) it's on the Xbox, which historically hasn't performed well in Japan, and B) it's a first-person-shooter, which is not as big of a genre in Japan as it is in the west. Respawn's community manager Abbie Heppe was just as surprised by the game's positive reaction, telling Xbox One Magazine "It was crazy."

"We weren't really exactly sure how Titanfall would read with the Japanese audience. It's a first-person shooter and that hasn't always been the biggest genre there, so it was like 'Eh, we'll go to Japan and see what happens' and the coolest thing was that we came away and got a ton of feedback about the Titans from the Japanese audience there, and it was really nice."

Anyone who has delved into Japanese anime or videogames will know that mechs are kind of a big deal to Japanese people. "It's probably the biggest compliment you can get, that you take mechs to Japan and they like them. That was awesome," commented Heppe.

Heppe says that while Western audiences were most impressed with the speed and velocity of the game, for the Japanese, it was all about the mechs, something she found amusing because "When we were first starting to figure out how we were going to talk about Titanfall it was like 'lets not use the word mech'. Because mech has, especially with Western gamers, an association of slow and heavy, and you have these expectations of gameplay that really wasn't what Titanfall is."

However, going to Japan changed the team's perception. "We really shied away from the word and then we went to Japan and it was really embraced there. 'Ok, so we are going to talk about mech here.'"

Shooters, like Call of Duty and Battlefield are slowly starting to gain traction in Japan in recent times. Maybe it won't be a "big-name Japanese RPG" that sways the Japanese to the Xbox One, but Titanfall.

Source: Xbox One Magazine

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This is actually kinda cool. I actually want to see a Japanese made FPS just to see how that would work. Maybe Titanfall may convince some Japanese Devs to make one.

They were surprised that Japan loved the idea of mech based combat? Man are some devs out of touch...

AzrealMaximillion:
They were surprised that Japan loved the idea of mech based combat? Man are some devs out of touch...

I think that it's not that they were surprised that Japan liked mech-based combat in general, more that they liked their mech-based combat. It's like, say, having Spanish friends over for dinner, cooking Spanish food for them, and the friends really liking it. (At least, that's what the Devs seem to be saying)

AzrealMaximillion:
They were surprised that Japan loved the idea of mech based combat? Man are some devs out of touch...

I think it was more the part where the Japanese gamers liked the Western-style mechs. Mechs in Japanese games tend to be a lot more nimble than those we find in games made over here, and the games themselves are often built around them, rather than being a component of an FPS title (that genre not being exceptionally popular in the Land of the Rising Sun).

The last thing the world needs is Japan to embrace first-person shooters. Granted, they'll probably make them even better (seeing as Vanquish is easily the best third-person shooter out there), but I just pray that developers don't churn out even more FPSers because of eastern praise. Though being a fan of anime, I'd love to see a game where the Titanfall mechs go up against the mechs from shows like RahXephon, GunXSword, Code Geass, and Escaflowne, because they'd tear the Titanfall mechs new and exciting exhaust pipes in new and exciting places.

The Rogue Wolf:

AzrealMaximillion:
They were surprised that Japan loved the idea of mech based combat? Man are some devs out of touch...

I think it was more the part where the Japanese gamers liked the Western-style mechs. Mechs in Japanese games tend to be a lot more nimble than those we find in games made over here, and the games themselves are often built around them, rather than being a component of an FPS title (that genre not being exceptionally popular in the Land of the Rising Sun).

I wouldn't exactly say the mechs in Titanfall are all that "Western" though. It may not be Warframe/Hawken levels of mobility, but it isn't slow either.

And, honestly, the author is overlooking one rather massive misstep here. Titanfall ISN'T exclusive. It will never be exclusive. You don't call a game exclusive when it's release is on multiple platforms, and I highly doubt interest in the game is geared towards the 360/Xbox One version (specially considering the lack of room inherent in typical Japanese dwellings). No, more likely interest is on the PC version, which they will likely play elsewhere.

Again, Titanfall =/= Xbone exclusive. It isn't. And one of the single biggest reasons shooters in general don't take off all that well there, is the common issue of motion-sickness from first person perspectives. I know a few people that suffer from it, and in Japan its much more predominant. It happens when movement on the screen is too fast, and considering the bulk of Titanfall? Not gonna work well at all.

I really wish people would just get over this ignorant concept that this game is an exclusive title. It's like saying Kingdom Hearts 3 or Final Fantasy 13 was PS3-Exclusive.

If Japanese are intrigued by it, its not 1 reason why people should buy Xbox One.

Its millions of reasons why Titanfall should be on PS4.

mysecondlife:
If Japanese are intrigued by it, its not 1 reason why people should buy Xbox One.

Its millions of reason why Titanfall should be on PS4.

Or like, PC, which is popular every where around the world.

Oh look, it is on PC!

Sseth:

mysecondlife:
If Japanese are intrigued by it, its not 1 reason why people should buy Xbox One.

Its millions of reason why Titanfall should be on PS4.

Or like, PC, which is popular every where around the world.

Oh look, it is on PC!

Is it though? I have hard time associating Japan and PC together.

I know its really popular in South Korea and China.

mysecondlife:

Sseth:

mysecondlife:
If Japanese are intrigued by it, its not 1 reason why people should buy Xbox One.

Its millions of reason why Titanfall should be on PS4.

Or like, PC, which is popular every where around the world.

Oh look, it is on PC!

Is it though? I have hard time associating Japan and PC together.

I know its really popular in South Korea and China.

Yeah... the Japanese like their PCs tiny and underpowered so PC gaming isn't a big thing over there.

Japan likes a game that really tries to make Mechs feel awesome?

Color me not surprised. :P

But yeah, it's great they like it.

cursedseishi:

The Rogue Wolf:

AzrealMaximillion:
They were surprised that Japan loved the idea of mech based combat? Man are some devs out of touch...

I think it was more the part where the Japanese gamers liked the Western-style mechs. Mechs in Japanese games tend to be a lot more nimble than those we find in games made over here, and the games themselves are often built around them, rather than being a component of an FPS title (that genre not being exceptionally popular in the Land of the Rising Sun).

I wouldn't exactly say the mechs in Titanfall are all that "Western" though. It may not be Warframe/Hawken levels of mobility, but it isn't slow either.

And, honestly, the author is overlooking one rather massive misstep here. Titanfall ISN'T exclusive. It will never be exclusive. You don't call a game exclusive when it's release is on multiple platforms, and I highly doubt interest in the game is geared towards the 360/Xbox One version (specially considering the lack of room inherent in typical Japanese dwellings). No, more likely interest is on the PC version, which they will likely play elsewhere.

Again, Titanfall =/= Xbone exclusive. It isn't. And one of the single biggest reasons shooters in general don't take off all that well there, is the common issue of motion-sickness from first person perspectives. I know a few people that suffer from it, and in Japan its much more predominant. It happens when movement on the screen is too fast, and considering the bulk of Titanfall? Not gonna work well at all.

I really wish people would just get over this ignorant concept that this game is an exclusive title. It's like saying Kingdom Hearts 3 or Final Fantasy 13 was PS3-Exclusive.

Any idea what the PC market is like in Japan because I know they have a decent arcade, mobile and playstation market. Regardless, this type of attention may be enough for Respawn to try to make a ps4 version; reach a large audience like Japan and make a lot more money for a relatively small amount of money for conversation.

edit: I see one source of competition for Mech combat in Japan: Gundam Extreme Vs. Full Boost. It's an arcade game getting a full console release in Japan

Yeah, Titanfall may be well and good but an FPS is definably going to have problems competing with a 2v2 arena gundam game in Japan.

cursedseishi:

The Rogue Wolf:

AzrealMaximillion:
They were surprised that Japan loved the idea of mech based combat? Man are some devs out of touch...

I think it was more the part where the Japanese gamers liked the Western-style mechs. Mechs in Japanese games tend to be a lot more nimble than those we find in games made over here, and the games themselves are often built around them, rather than being a component of an FPS title (that genre not being exceptionally popular in the Land of the Rising Sun).

I wouldn't exactly say the mechs in Titanfall are all that "Western" though. It may not be Warframe/Hawken levels of mobility, but it isn't slow either.

I dunno. On a sliding scale I'd say they're closer to Western than Eastern, especially in design; Japanese mechs tend to be mysical suits of armor that ignore the more boring parts of physics like inertia and material stress- Rule of Cool is in full effect.

I do agree that it's unlikely Titanfall will herald some sort of sales surge for Microsoft's consoles. The Xbox line has never really "cracked" the Japanese market, and only in part because of aesthetics. It may, however, pique some interest in FPS games in the PC market.

I don't think "western mechs = slower, Eastern mechs faster" argument is relevant because Titanfall plays exactly like Gundam Battle Operation and that game was even "slower paced" than Titanfall and people loved that game anyway.

I'm going to go against the grain of the thread and say that it is actually surprising that the Japanese like a western studios mechs.

Japanese gamers? They know their mechs, and as such, they are extremely picky when it comes to mechs. So, to have a Western developer make mech-based gameplay that is appealing to them is kind of a big deal.

The probably heard the game is getting a PC release then got excited.

I think the question should be: Who doesn't get excited about a game with massive battle mechs?

I keep reading statements in the press that the Japanese aren't big fans of First Person Shooters and that it's "surprising" that they enjoy the genre... but they play and buy them more-or-less as much as Westerners.
In it's debut week Black Ops II was the second best selling game in Japan and only recently Battlefield 4 entered the Japanese gaming charts in the top spot.
It's been like this for quite some years now too, yet every time you'll see surprise at the fact that FPS are popular there too. The surprise of the gaming press is what surprises me, to be honest.

cursedseishi:

The Rogue Wolf:

AzrealMaximillion:
They were surprised that Japan loved the idea of mech based combat? Man are some devs out of touch...

I think it was more the part where the Japanese gamers liked the Western-style mechs. Mechs in Japanese games tend to be a lot more nimble than those we find in games made over here, and the games themselves are often built around them, rather than being a component of an FPS title (that genre not being exceptionally popular in the Land of the Rising Sun).

I wouldn't exactly say the mechs in Titanfall are all that "Western" though. It may not be Warframe/Hawken levels of mobility, but it isn't slow either.

No, but they do move around with a good sense of weight and spatial awareness: compare that to the sorts of mechs in say, Gundam, and it is quite different.

It's like how the Mechs in Pacific Rim moved about, in that sense, they are western, as Japanese mechs tend to be more agile and quick on their feet, rarely feeling like large mechanisms, but more like an extrapolation of the pilots.

Which come to think of it, reminds of Extra Credit's Myth of The Gun episode: Japanese mechs are like that because they are an extension of the pilot, and not simply a tool to be used for a cause, like say in America.

It must take a special kind of myopic to look at a game about giant robots killing each other and think 'yeah, Japan's not going to be into this,' it's not like there's an existing market on that island or anything.

If Microsoft run it right, Titanfall could be what breaks Xbox into Japan, just like Halo got Xbox into the rest of the world's consciousness (and lets face it, without Halo 1 and 2 Xbox would have been deader than dead).

A Japanese FPS that isn't Maken... which isn't even and FPS because you fight with a sword. Seems interesting.

It's nice that Japan is finally warming back up to console gaming.

lol why are they surprised ? Its got cool mechs. Simple. Have they not seen any anime ?

fix-the-spade:
It must take a special kind of myopic to look at a game about giant robots killing each other and think 'yeah, Japan's not going to be into this,' it's not like there's an existing market on that island or anything.

Its more due to the fact that the mechs are more 'western' with passing nods to things like inertia and weight. Combined with the FPS format (which is nowhere as big a genre there as the western world) you get a game which would normally be regarded as a niche product, rather like some JRPG series are in the west.

The fact that it appears to strike a chord with many would be like if a say Persona game grabbed the attention of the fratboy demographic in America, a noticeable shift in demographics and a possible foot in the door for other games of a similar genre at getting a larger audience.

I don't know if this will pull sales away from the PS4, even if they release before Feb MS has yet to make any headway in that market before despite multiple tries.

PS4 fanboys are out in full force for this one. They must be something bitter to turn a simple article about a new FPS getting a good reaction into about how it's not truly an exclusive for X1, especially when that has nothing to do with this article. Fact is they played it on the X1 not a pc, having to wait four hours to try it must of been really good to get that many people in line. I just see this as a good sign, giving me more reasons to play attention to this game coming out.

Well, I've been ignoring Titanfall forever since I'm not interested in consoles shooters. But since it comes out for pc I finally decided to watch a gameplay video.

And holly hell it's awesome. The gameplay looks very similar to Cod, specially Cod4 which is great, with the addition of mechas (which I dislike in most anime, but for game it might give us interesting new mechanics).

The only thing I didn't like was aiming down the sights, there's no recoil, I imagine everyone sniping whit machine guns from miles away with no problem.

Ken_J:
This is actually kinda cool. I actually want to see a Japanese made FPS just to see how that would work. Maybe Titanfall may convince some Japanese Devs to make one.

It'd probably be Resident Evil 4 but in first person and without the health management and third person gun/knife controls.

You guys can't see it, can you? Titanfall was designed from the get go to be that kind of game, taking the best of BF/CoD and mashing it with sci-fi/Mechs. This was tried before on PC in Shogo, years ago (a combo of FPS and mech combat).

I think exclusivity was sought by MS, because Halo has kind of burnt itself out and something new was needed to help push Xbox One. Yes, its on PC too, but Japan has never embraced PC gaming (while I'm sure we'd all love to see that change, as they are missing out on so much games), that leaves Titanfall as an Xbox One lead game, many gamers in Japan will crave. Doesn't matter if some don't like the facts of it, but it is exclusive to Xbox until the sequel comes out (ages away). If you have a PS4 and want a dose, just buy the PC version, if buying an Xbox One is too much for you.

When Xbox One is released in Japan in 2014, with Titanfall alongside it sales will be high. in fact I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Xbox One shortage because of it. I just hope MS get their act together to benefit from it.

As for japanese gamers liking Titanfall, I'm not surprised by this news (four hour line...wow). Gundam and other mech games from japan, have yet to make a convincing enough world for their mechs to inhabit (possibly due to their lack of capable 3D artists etc. They focus too much on the mechs looking good and not enough on the characters, environments, effects etc etc, making these games look sparse and cheap. An arcade fighting game might look good for the arcade, but its a quick fix by design. I believe that japanese mecha fan want something deeper, but have never really got it.

Pacific Rim showed what could be done with film through good 3d and special effects, which also went down well in Japan, so I expect Titanfall to do huge sales there too. Make sure you keep watching March 2014, to see how MS play this one out.

As for RE4/5/6, you'll notice those are Capcom games. Capcom are devs that have adjusted well with changes in 3D dev software over the years, when many smaller japanese devs might have done the opposite, hence Capcom getting TPS/FPS games done so well, while other japanese studios struggle.

Ken_J:
This is actually kinda cool. I actually want to see a Japanese made FPS just to see how that would work. Maybe Titanfall may convince some Japanese Devs to make one.

It would be interesting, it has been shown that Japan can produce decent shooters (if Resident Evil 4 & Vanquish are of any indication).

Izanagi009:

Any idea what the PC market is like in Japan because I know they have a decent arcade, mobile and playstation market. Regardless, this type of attention may be enough for Respawn to try to make a ps4 version; reach a large audience like Japan and make a lot more money for a relatively small amount of money for conversation.

PC Culture is relatively the same in Japan as it is in other parts of the Asian region, like Korea. Home computers aren't the biggest, but there is a large number of "Internet Cafes" that offer computers, video games, and the like. Its why, for instance, many Pay-to-play MMO's rely on a "pay-per-hour" type deal instead of a monthly sub there, and in part why the F2P market is so predominant.

Akichi Daikashima:

No, but they do move around with a good sense of weight and spatial awareness: compare that to the sorts of mechs in say, Gundam, and it is quite different.

I agree, which is why I said it isn't at the level of mobility you see in games like Hawken, which have the kind of faster pace seen in anime and games like Gundam. It's not quite Western, as its far and above the slower pace of MechWarrior and Steel Battalion, or Chromehounds, yet it has (as you said) the weighty feel that isn't seen in Gundam or Evangelion.

misg:
PS4 fanboys are out in full force for this one. They must be something bitter to turn a simple article about a new FPS getting a good reaction into about how it's not truly an exclusive for X1, especially when that has nothing to do with this article. Fact is they played it on the X1 not a pc, having to wait four hours to try it must of been really good to get that many people in line. I just see this as a good sign, giving me more reasons to play attention to this game coming out.

Article mentions solely the game's release on the Xbox One, focuses upon it, and acts as if it will herald the Xbox One in the market. It doesn't touch on the fact that the Xbox 360 already has a, rather pathetically weak, install base there the game could feed, or the fact that an Online-focused game like Titanfall would be more likely played through internet cafes rather than trying to fit what we all know is a rather bulky, space-consuming system into a cramped living quarters.

That isn't PS4 fanboism. That's simple fact.
Just like "mech game has good reaction in culture ALL ABOUT MECH" isn't a good reaction, it's the standard reaction. Japan embraced building life-sized statues of mobile suits from Gundam and EVA units from Neon Genesis Evangellion well before anyone thought of making a Robocop statue here in the US, and unlike in the US, Japan's officials endorses it to this day.

Am I the only one happy enough to see Titanfall being so successful for being an awesome concept?

I do find it awesome that Japan thinks that our mech concepts are awesome, given how their reactions to other examples have been lukewarm at best. Not gonna get a Xbox One, but I will see into getting into Titanfall for PC.

DarklordKyo:

Ken_J:
This is actually kinda cool. I actually want to see a Japanese made FPS just to see how that would work. Maybe Titanfall may convince some Japanese Devs to make one.

It would be interesting, it has been shown that Japan can produce decent shooters (if Resident Evil 4 & Vanquish are of any indication).

I would think that the way for Japan to compete with shooters from the West is by making unique concepts, Resident Evil was a reversion of horror that used the mechanics in conjunction with the Horror while Vanquish was a combination of the faster gameplay of hack and slash or arcade games with shooters (was a bit smashed because of short amount of content and odd vision being made given what the dev video was like).

I would like them to make a combination of Vanquish, Anarchy Reigns, and Max Paine which would create a unique blend of abnormal scale, kinetic movement, and unique weapons

Kaimax:
I don't think "western mechs = slower, Eastern mechs faster" argument is relevant because Titanfall plays exactly like Gundam Battle Operation and that game was even "slower paced" than Titanfall and people loved that game anyway.

true but two things

1)Gundam is extremely popular in Japan (as far as mecha goes) so even if the the gameplay is a bit slower than the norm people will still most likely enjoy it for being Gundam.

2)The mechs in Titanfall are not your average western mechs. While the gameplay in the video is slower than the Titanfall gameplay I've seen, its still much faster than your average western mech game (mechwarrior/mechassault, chrome hounds, Steel Battalion, etc.).

This just in: Japan likes Titanfall..a game that include mechs! News at eleven!

Kidding aside...it's quite obvious that this game would apply to Japan, but it's rather a double edge sword for them. Japan doesn't really like PC gaming and the Xbox brand is barely bought there as well. These are the only two platforms that the game releases on so I do wonder what they will do. Will they buy a PC or an Xbone to play it ?

 

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