Tak Fuji, a man deeply embedded in the video game world, recently spoke with Siliconera about the differences between Western video game fans and Japanese gamers.
Fuji works for Konami, frequently concerning his day-to-day life with the behind-the-scenes work required for licensing deals for Japanese and English-language games.
He had some pretty interesting things to say regarding the fickle tastes of Western gamers and why they tend to sometimes ignore some of the most popular Japanese titles.
Some quotes from the interview:
On why some Japanese games aren’t converted for American audiences:
…As you know, the industry has changed. It’s a totally different business here compared to five years ago. This is my personal guess, but many Western gamers don’t play Japanese games anymore or maybe they never played Japanese games. They have no interest in Japanese games.
On the popularity of FPS (first-person shooters) in the US, such as the Call of Duty series, and how that hurts the expansion of Japanese titles:
OK, there is a big FPS franchise in the West, the biggest one from somewhere. It has massive numbers. Maybe half or more than half of those players may have bought hardware just to play that game and no other games. They only have one game and they keep purchasing downloadable maps, additional content, DLC, DLC, DLC. And then a new one comes out and they just buy it. They never play sports games, action games, and have no interest in Japanese games.
Read the rest of his interview here.
Fuji’s statements should inspire debate among American video game enthusiasts. Yes, the CoD games are extremely successful, but to say that American gamers “never” play sports or action games seems inaccurate. Maybe the same amount of gamers don’t play all types of games, but there definitely seems to be a sizable audience for all types of games.
Then again, Fuji is in the industry, and deals with issues like this every day. What do you think? Are his statements accurate?