Square Enix: We don't separate East and West markets

Destructoid writes: There has been a lot of talk lately about Japanese studios "going West" and "appealing to Western gamers" as the Japanese market allegedly sinks into decline. While chatting with Square Enix about The Crystal Bearers, we took the opportunity to ask game producer Akitoshi Kawazu what he made of the whole "go West" movement.

"The presence of Japanese games is not as strong within the international market these days, and as a business that creates and sells games, the reception in the Western market is naturally a point of interest to us," he explains. "However, when developing a game we do not separate our target audience into categories like 'Japanese' or 'Western.'I do feel that one major difference in the Japanese and Western gamers' preferences lies in the art style."

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Gandalf3215d ago

Sure you do. That's why you bought Crystal Dynamics.

baum3215d ago

Since they started to cater to the west, their games lost their far eastern identity. Just look at Final Fantasy post FFIX. A lot more influence from pop music, less from classical music. More teenager characters, less adult (since FF8). Sci-Fi and futurism rather than fantasy. Etcetera.

FF1 to FF9 are great, especially FF1 to FF6. FF7 to FF9 retained most of the great elements, but after that FF lost its identity. It's now generic garbage as far as the themes and storylines go. The only reason to play them might be the gameplay but even then, it's gotten weak. I'll have to see how FFXIII turns out.

kaveti66163215d ago

Say the people who are releasing Final Fantasy XIII in the West several months after the Japanese launch.

Rocket Sauce3215d ago (Edited 3215d ago )

I don't think they're catering to the west at all as far as Final Fantasy is concerned. After X came out, they made everything way more anime-ish. Look at XIII, with people flying around like maniacs and a dude who has a bird living in his afro. It's more whacked out and Japanese than ever.

The SNES and PS1/2 games were way more accessible to me - I'm majorly put off by this anime business. Crystal Bearers may be a different story, I don't know anything about that game.

Noctis Aftermath3215d ago (Edited 3215d ago )

You don't? i could of sworn that you were adding in a LEONA LEWIS song into FF13, and if that is not catering for "westerners" i don't know what is.

Now i'm not a psychologist but isn't the first step to rehabilitation to admit what your problem is? if you are still denying it then we will have to look elsewhere for our JRPG fixes.

Aleusia3215d ago

You may personally be put off by the japanese artstyle (it's not strictly used in anime) but others are not, and it does have its place in gaming. I'm not sure I like the way you talk about the matter. I like the japanese artstyle and always have, I watch alot of anime and it's not all like what you're thinking, there is literally something for everybody in's a form of visual medi with several genres and subgenres.

Don't play the games if the artstyle puts you off so much, they aren't going to cater to your wishes (thank god) or the wishes of any others complaining about the "anime artstyle"

Do you want the games to look more like something Bioware would crap out? I'm not talking about Square Enix exclusively or defending them, this is about the entire genre, all the devs including level 5 and Tri-Ace too. Tell me what puts you off so much about these games and why you still bother to play them and complain about the artstyle that has been there for decades.

Marceles3215d ago

The beginning of the separation

"hah we're too advanced for you Americans. Here....take this dumbed down FF since our real FFs are way too much for you to handle"

FamilyGuy3215d ago

Then WTF is with the difference in the Neir plot-lines? Specifically made it different for us westerners...

sikbeta3215d ago

"We don't separate East and West markets"

Nah, you only want to WESTERNIZE every game you make and wish that some day Japan will start to buy [email protected] Half-a$$ed FPS games ala Western style, that's why you publish MW in Japan even if you know Japan don't jump in the FPS Hype train

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 3215d ago
reintype3215d ago (Edited 3215d ago )

Then Last Remnant was not really made for western gamers in mind, or were you just lying back then? How about the 2 versions of Neir, they don't count, eh? The changes to Front Mission? The streamlining of FFXIII?

What's with all the BS, SE seems to be saying these days? Is this another form of marketing that I don't know about? If it is, it's not working.

RememberThe3573215d ago

Neir being the the prime example.

Sarick3215d ago (Edited 3215d ago )

In the FF11 they made the system so that the updates would always be on USA or EU prime times. The Japan players rarely ever had to sit out 10+ hours while they did server maintenance.

In Japan that would mean late night non-working hours or CAT-EYE shifts. It means they do server maintenance based on the JPN ofttimes. I'd assume since it's a worldwide game they'd do it in the daytime. So they are basing the maintenance around when Japanese players are usually asleep not EU or US players.

The timezones would mean in USA they'd take the servers down at 12pm PST and they'd be down to 6-8PM est. In retrospect Japan time the same server downtime would be in the middle of the night 3 am JST to 9am JST.

Yea, they also forced PC USERS to be the first to require the verified by visa garbage. Basically If you'd want to renew your account and you can't find a new credit card that supports it on PC. You're told piss off or get a new bank/credit card. This could be mitigated by using a 360 or compatible Sony console to renew the credit card data but, it's just BS.

this might change soon when they force everyone on SE accounts to use the internet SE management page for all account management. This will surely force players who want ff14 to take extra effort creating an account.

In the FF1, if an non-Japanese player upsets another non-Japanese player or a Japanese player upsets a non-Japanese player the GM request takes several minutes to get response. If the person who calls the GM is on a JPN account it's not always the same. It could take seconds to get a response. In the game players call this the JPN button.

Also, in Japan the gamers get updated faster to news then the non-japn playonline site.

Contry to what SE says they *DO* discriminate based on what I've seen in the FF11 management. Until you've witnesses it first hand, aside from them releasing the FF stuff in japan first. Don't say they're not and, definitely don't believe what this developer says about being balanced.

Godmars2903215d ago


That's why you're tagging the Western version of the game with some throw-away title song?

Sarick3215d ago (Edited 3215d ago )

"Square Enix: We don't separate East and West markets"

He could've been trying to say discriminate instead of separate. Just like in the early 60's when there was the black and white segregation push mentality. As long as black and whites have equal resources the supporters of segregation thought it was fair and not really discrimination.

We all saw how well that worked out. It's the same here. Instead of saying we don't segregate it's we don't separate.

Now, replace the <inserted word> with Segregate or Discriminate. Then you'll then understand the true meaning of his sentence.

"Square Enix: We don't <insert word> East and West markets"

Unless, the customer is extremely gullible or inapt at SE's current standing busyness practices they'd be hard to manipulate into believing SE's propaganda and hype model. Seriously, what is fact and what is fiction when a statement is made that seems totally opposite of the way things are being run at SE.

justlikeme3215d ago

They are mocking you guys. They know you will still buy their games. Why? B/C they are that damn good!

Godmars2903215d ago

No, more like they have enough rep for making great games they can skirt on crap for one or two more.

Though I figure that's done once FM: Evolved comes out. Don't see Nier, who's main strength seems to be a foul mouthed hermaphrodite, doing any better.

Aleusia3215d ago (Edited 3215d ago )

You obviously know nothing about Nier, the white haired guy you play as isn't a hermaphrodite, it's a rumor there's a hermaphrodite in the game and it's the girl you see wearing the lingerei and thong in both's not confirmed she's a hermaphrodite so you can stop talking crap about the game.

How could you assume nier, the main character who has been confirmed male in both gestalt and replicant (younger version of him)...was a hermaphrodite?

Wait im wrong, you said main strength not main character...the main strength or appeal of nier is what I've seen of the gameplay and the character models of Replicant..I don't really care about the "hermaphrodite" girl...are there people out there that see the herm girl as the dominant strength of these games? That's pretty weird.

Godmars2903215d ago (Edited 3215d ago )

I said main strength, as in the game's major public attention getter. The first thing that got any attention for the game is that a featured character, not the main one, was a hermaphrodite. Second was that the two console versions would have different main characters with differing storylines.

Sure as hell hasn't been anything to do with gameplay, which no one has gotten a solid look at for less than a second.

Now that i think about it, the very first thing that got everyone's attention was the usual exclusive console BS that is the heart of the fanboy wars. First one console, then another.

Meanwhile, what little I've seen of gameplay hasn't been worth any real level of excitement. PS2 level graphics.

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