GamesBeat

The Truth About Japanese Video Games

This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

There is a debate going on in which the majority of both western video gamers and game developers believe that Japan needs to adopt  western game developer practices. (i.e. follow their game developing models) The thing these individuals fail to realize is that, if Japan conforms to the west, gaming would be pointless, as all games would be similar in both look and gameplay. Thus many would dub gaming boring and repetitive.

There are already gamers stating this on various forums. This is result of the absence of Japanese games on consoles. It is the single reason handhelds are thriving this gen, and the reason the PS2 dominated last gen. Japanese games always bring new dynamics to gaming. These dynamics are what brought the PSX to life, games like Intelligent Qube, which challenged the players mind. Japanese games vary, there are JRPG, Action/Adventure, Puzzle, Platformers, Hack n Slash, etc…

The variation in Japanese games eclipses the west (especially this gen) where variation is little to none. Western developers (with a few exceptions) have all focused on FPS, (which is now the dominant and most lucrative genre in the west and the one genre, that is non-existent in Japan) leaving other genres by the wayside. Once upon a time, the west had some variation (PSX/PS2 even further back than this) Sports games (very few this gen) Racing games (few to none this gen) Puzzle games (little to none this gen) etc…

All the genres referred to are in terms of console, not digital formats. One could argue that indie (digital) developers are providing what larger western developers and publishers aren't. However, it is the latter who represent the west on a worldwide scale, as opposed to regionally. (which is what indie developers are, with a few exceptions) The former of which reflects western gaming as a whole.

The same is true of Japanese developers and publishers. Although, they hold themselves to a high standard. They develop games based on tradition, which is something the west ( the majority) doesn't respect. These games could be anime based (anime is a Japanese creation, which is most of the time based on Japanese culture) or Japanese culture based. (i.e. samurai history-Sengoku Basara, Japanese art-Okami, which is based on Ukiyo-e art, etc…) Both of which are held in high regard in Japan. 

There is a "truth" that no one in the west talks about. This "truth" is one that every gamer should know. The gaming (entire) industry would not even exist if it wasn't for Japan. It is Japanese developers and publishers as well as Japanese consoles that kept the gaming industry alive. After the Atari (http://www.1up.com/features/japanese-games-breaking-west?pager.offset=1), gaming would have faded out. It was Nintendo (NES/SNES) and SEGA (Sega Genesis) who paved the way for gaming to continue. Afterwards it was Sony's PSX and PS2 that would take the reigns. All of which lead to Japan dominating the gaming industry for over 2 decades.


Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!
blog comments powered by Disqus

GamesBeat is your source for gaming news and reviews. But it's also home to the best articles from gamers, developers, and other folks outside of the traditional press. Register or log in to join our community of writers. You can even make a few bucks publishing stories here! Learn more.

You are now an esteemed member of the GamesBeat community. That means you can comment on stories or post your own to GB Unfiltered (look for the "New Post" link by mousing over your name in the red bar up top). But first, why don't you fill out your via your ?

About GamesBeat