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Old 08-08-2010, 06:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

A company involved with localising Japanese games for the US has publicly lamented the fact that US retailers refuse to carry games which insist on substituting Chinese cartoons for the sort of manly testosterone dripping beefcakes Americans apparently love so dearly.

Xseed, the localisers for Japanese RPG Zwei, report that “retailers aren’t too crazy about the cutesy graphics, which makes our job a little more difficult.”

In an earlier update they mourn the fact that US retailers apparently refuse to stock insufficiently manly games:

“We do take game requests, but games based on anime are very difficult to do – unless it’s a Dragon Ball or Naruto title, retailers refuse to carry them.”

Japanese publishers and US retailers seem to agree – American gamers simply hate anime.

NSFW:
US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games” | Sankaku Complex
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

You know, anime really killed Castlevania for me. Think about it, we went from this;


To this;


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Old 08-08-2010, 08:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

I'm not surprised at all by this. I disagree that Americans only want ultra macho characters though. I think it's just that most american gamers don't like super deformed little kid characters, seems perfectly reasonable.


@DN- +1 for a great example. Is that even a guy?
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

I disagree. There are a lot of anime titles that never get ported over that a lot of us would enjoy because of this misconception.

Xseed and Atlus are awesome like that.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

I agree that plenty of these anime games would be good but it's the anime art style that is killing it for US audiences. I don't understand why people seem to have a hard time understanding this, it's just a cultural difference and it's slowly changing anyways.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

Because it's a really stupid reason not to like a game?
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudebro View Post
I'm not surprised at all by this. I disagree that Americans only want ultra macho characters though. I think it's just that most american gamers don't like super deformed little kid characters, seems perfectly reasonable.
So American consumers are opposed to buying a great game with good gameplay because the character art is cute? Hmm... that's pretty stupid of them. A game can be good even if it is ugly, the graphics do not make the game. I initially turned away from Disgaea because the main character looks like he is six years old, but once I started playing, I realized how good the game really is. Sure the main character looks like a little kid, but you can adjust to it, and, for the most part, the art in the Disgaea series is pretty good.

I guess some American consumers are scared of not looking cool while playing a video game {apparently playing any game where the character is not a muscular man wearing a loincloth, makes you gay}.

( Click to show/hide )

Yup, it isn't the least bit gay to stare at this character for hours on end while playing a game.



( Click to show/hide )

And apparently, it is gay to play a game featuring this character as the protagonist. {referring to the human, not the Persona} Also note: he is supposed to look like a kid, he is a high-school student.

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Old 08-08-2010, 09:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudebro View Post
I'm not surprised at all by this. I disagree that Americans only want ultra macho characters though. I think it's just that most american gamers don't like super deformed little kid characters, seems perfectly reasonable.
I guess this is a personal opinion but these people are missing out on good games just because of a style choice of the creators. That seems a bit silly to me.

But then again I guess it's the same thing if I say that I don't like the super dark gray colored games of the west. Somehow ever since the N64/PS1 days all games developed in the west have lost all bright colors.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

It's not that the world outside of Japan dislikes anything, it's just when the store shelves are over populated with a similar looking style, nothing jumps out, therefore the games sell less.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

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Originally Posted by Seahawk View Post
But then again I guess it's the same thing if I say that I don't like the super dark gray colored games of the west. Somehow ever since the N64/PS1 days all games developed in the west have lost all bright colors.
The standard "Brown, Grey, Red" coloring used in games like Halo and Gears of War bugs the hell out of me. Sure I like games that are dark, but switching to dull colors doesn't help make your game feel any darker and grittier. Shooting an alien/communist in the face in a colored environment is much more appealing to the eye, then shooting an alien/communist in the face in an industrial complex setting, or a dusty old ghost town environment.
They claim to use the best graphics engines on the 360, but the lack of color is saying otherwise.
Sure, we are capable of using more colors than Batman on the NES did, but let's use less colors than Batman on the NES did. Also, the lack of color makes the environment harder to become immersed in. Sure, it was cool in MGS way back on the PSX, but that was because we were sneaking into a nuclear warhead storage facility, in the dead of winter, in Alaska. That and the fact that MGS had more to it than shooting aliens/communists in the face, there was a story that felt important, not just a story to give you an excuse to shoot aliens/communists in the face. The gameplay was also deeper than shooting aliens/communists in the face.

So let's combine simplistic, dull gameplay mechanics with simplistic, dull colors. Now let's call it Halo 176.827: Who Cares.

---------- Post added at 07:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:30 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevencassidy13 View Post
it's just when the store shelves are over populated with a similar looking style, nothing jumps out, therefore the games sell less.
Really? I thought each Halo game outsold the last, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 outsold Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, I also though Gears of War 2 outsold Gears of War.
All of these games have a similar looking style, along with just about every Alien/Communist based first person shooter.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

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Old 08-08-2010, 09:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

You posted that cover for what purpose.

So we don't want games that look like anime, then why do we have three games titled "Persona 3" all of which were released in a rather short time frame.
We don't want anime games, then why do we have so many Dragon Ball games, and Naruto games?

If we don't want these things, why do we buy them in such large quantities?
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

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Originally Posted by Demon-Mask View Post
Really? I thought each Halo game outsold the last, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 outsold Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, I also though Gears of War 2 outsold Gears of War.
All of these games have a similar looking style, along with just about every Alien/Communist based first person shooter.
So your comparing unknown anime style games, to the most hyped up games of all time? Yep this post is another winner, good job DM.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

So you are saying that anime style art has less variance than these games in terms of art?
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

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So you are saying that anime style art has less variance than these games in terms of art?
I don't know if discussions with you are even worth tapping the damn keys.

I'm saying that when a random consumer looks at a store shelf filled with games with anime art that consists of a collage of random anime characters holding swords and casting magic spells on just about every cover, none of them will jump out at him or her. If this consumer doesnt know anything about Japanese games the they will not pick one at random, they will move over to the games that are familiar to them.
This is probably the same reason that so many covers throughout history have been given horrible new cover art when they cross the ocean.

And before you have a chance to say it:
-I do not think that the anime cover art is bad
-I do not think the games are any less varied then NA games
-I do not think that the games are better
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

@DM: You people say you want these games but for the most part they don't sell. Sakura Wars is an amazing game that mixes two very Japanese genres, mecha and dating sim. Great, great game. I don't know another single soul who owns it.

Article is correct. We don't get these games ported over because you people refuse to ask for them with your wallets instead of your e-complaining.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

No, my use of the pronoun "we" is more of us as American consumers.

So if we all start buying anime-games then developers will start localizing more of them, and they will become more popular and sell better. That makes perfect sense, but I think the majority of American consumers will stay with their Brown/Gray-Alien/Communist-face shooting games.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

Here is an essay from the early 1990's summarizing this problem.

Modern Times

To those disinclined to read, here is a good summary.

"The distributors and retailers have become pickier. They don't want to carry good games that sell 50,000 units; they want only the 250,000 unit hits. This has created a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy with respect to games. If the big distributors and retailers decide to carry a title, it is guaranteed good sales. If not, it dies. This phenomenon has accelerated the separation of games into big hits and losers. It also gives distributors and retailers a surprisingly large voice in game design."

(250,000 units was a very good run for games back then)

*EDIT*
The essay lists other problems but the quoted section is the one most relevant to the topic.

*MORE EDIT*

Summarizing Tenser's response:

"The most insidious effect of rising development budgets will be an increased reluctance of publishers to take chances on unconventional games. The penalties for failure being so much higher, publishers simply cannot afford to take big chances on untried concepts. The dilemma we're in is that such prudence guarantees our doom. We are an entertainment industry; creativity is our lifeblood. We desperately need the SimCitys and Railroad Tycoons pumping new blood into our industry's consciousness."

Last edited by Seahawk; 08-08-2010 at 10:41 PM.. Reason: Clarification
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

Actually, that essay from the early 1990s is still true today, it's strange to see how similar economic trends were then, barring inflation and more consumers, the ups and downs were the same, and the goals of retailers was the same, and the role of the consumer is still the same mindless pawn to the corporate elite's money.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:19 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

@Tenser- I agree it's a stupid reason but it's the truth. If the sales aren't there the game companies won't bother. Like I said though, it is changing. The next generation is already being assimilated with all the anime styled kids shows we have now. Just wait a few years and it'll pick up I bet.

@DM- Like I said to Tenser, I agree it's a stupid reason to not play a game. I was just saying I'm not surprised and I'm not sure why anyone else is or seems to be.

@Seahawk- To be clear I'm not saying I refuse to play anime games. My point was some people do. It is stupid to limit yourself for arbitrary reasons but it's not like people don't do it with other media like movies and music. Some people like to broaden their minds and some don't.


Steven brought up a good point about anime game covers. To the non anime enthusiast most anime and anime games looks very similar. I know this from personal experience. My exposure to anime is limited to mainstream stuff like Ninja Scroll, Akira, Vampire hunter D and ones I don't remember that played on cable. Other anime looks different to me and it all blends together. Like a lot of US guys my age I didn't grow up with anime and I didn't get into it as an adult. It's as foreign as opera. I thought that was common knowledge about us boorish americans?

Quote:
Article is correct. We don't get these games ported over because you people refuse to ask for them with your wallets instead of your e-complaining.
I agree with this. Anime fans need to spend money on the games for more to be made.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:44 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

Well I don't really like the art style a whole lot for anime, mostly because the characters don't seem to need to stay in a realistic boundary of existence. What I really get into are games with atmosphere that hits all the corners while still having the corners; the dark setting of Left 4 Dead 2 makes a good mix with the out of place characters, each of which I have no problem wanting to be.

But to get on the subject specifically, I would not likely buy a cartoony video game if I haven't heard good things about it or liked the series. That's all I really have to say about that.

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We don't get these games ported over becaue you people refuse to ask with them with your wallets instead of your e-complaining.
What do you mean you people?

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Old 08-09-2010, 01:51 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

+1 DN I think you summed up my feelings better than I could. It's nothing against anime it's just not my thing.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:34 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

Makes a bit more sense. I also just realized: part of the reason people of your age group didn't get into anime as much, is the fact that beyond Speed Racer and Transformers, anime wasn't mainstream in America until sometime in the late 1980s, early 1990s, and even then it was seen as an oddity.

Jump about twenty years from when it started to gain popularity, and now there is too much anime, and there is the common misconception that anime is for kids, because this is what the people in Japan believe that the majority of Americans believe, so too many anime are being made specifically for children, then add in quite a few anime series made specifically to be an advertisement for a product targeted towards children {Pokemon} and so it would appear that the majority of anime is childish and poorly made. Now, this is just the majority of what comes to America, plenty of the best anime will never make the jump over the Pacific because of this attitude we have, so some of us {who don't search for these anime} will never see them and never see what anime can really be.

So far as anime that have made it to America and are not childish are: Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, The Big O, and Vampire Hunter D.

As a child, I was actually discouraged from watching anime, given reasons like "This show is for girls.", "I don't get it, it's just not right.", "This is too violent for you." {as I was watching Highlander: The Series with my mom later on that night} "What's up with all these giant robots, it's just messed up."
As you can probably guess, this didn't stick and I got into anime anyway. Now, I'm not quite as serious about it as I was two, three years ago, my tastes have changed while the anime I used to enjoy didn't. So it didn't get to me on some mega-deep level and I can function in regular situations without improperly using mispronounced, half-assed Japanese. When I do use Japanese {I've been learning it for years} I tend to not use it in unfitting situations {like anywere outside of Japanese class}. Man, it's sad to see all the people nowadays who think the fact that they like anime, can say six words in Japanese {all of them mispronounced and not meaning what they think}, and have a high-pitched squeal for a voice think they are Japanese.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:31 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demon-Mask View Post
Makes a bit more sense. I also just realized: part of the reason people of your age group didn't get into anime as much, is the fact that beyond Speed Racer and Transformers, anime wasn't mainstream in America until sometime in the late 1980s, early 1990s, and even then it was seen as an oddity.
I watched anime when I was five through ten, and I don't like the style any more.

However, I still love Big O and Cowboy Bebop.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:53 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: US Retailers “Don’t Want Anime Games”

If you like Cowboy Bebop, you should check out Samurai Champloo, it is by the same person, and one of the characters is almost exactly like Spike, they even have the same voice actor.

Samurai Champloo is pretty similar to Cowboy Bebop as a whole, a group of drifters just doing what it takes to survive. It was too short though, only around twenty-seven episodes.
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