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Kojima: FPS Popularity Equals Fewer Original Ideas

You have to appreciate Hideo Kojima's insights. The guy has been around for quite a long while, ya know.

And in a new interview with OPM UK, the master talks about the current state of the gaming industry, and why Japan might not be in a position to compete. Said Kojima:

"It’s much more competitive now: if you look at triple-A titles on a worldwide scale there’s maybe only ten really big games that can get gamers’ attention, and I’m not sure how Japan can compete on that level."

Kojima says it's all about consumer demand and for now, gamers are "happy with what they have."

"First-person shooters sell like crazy, so there’s not really a strong demand for anything else, and that’s why [original ideas] stop being made. People are satisfied with making minor upgrades and tweaking things here and there – as long as that’s the landscape, it will keep on happening. I don’t see a problem necessarily, but at the same time it is nice to see new things come."

If there's one guy that can bring us in a new direction, it's Kojima. Of course, we have to assume the hardcore Metal Gear Solid fans want a recognizable MGS5 but at the same time, many want him to try something new. Perhaps his new "Ogre Project" will be innovative and revolutionary; if it turns out that way, we won't be surprised in the slightest.

Feel free to read the rest of the interview. It's always worthwhile when Kojima is involved.

Tags: hideo kojima, kojima productions, metal gear solid, gaming industry

1/3/2012 9:52:51 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (40 posts)

Highlander
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 10:18:55 AM
Reply

"First-person shooters sell like crazy, so there’s not really a strong demand for anything else, and that’s why [original ideas] stop being made. People are satisfied with making minor upgrades and tweaking things here and there – as long as that’s the landscape, it will keep on happening. I don’t see a problem necessarily, but at the same time it is nice to see new things come."

Well, that neatly sums up why Hollyweird has trouble making anything other than the horror porn and teen vampire angst movies these days. So, now that one of the leading lights in the gaming industry has come out and said what many players have said (in comments here too), where next? Do we just shut doors on games outside those mainstream titles, or resign ourselves to a future of a few core mainstream titles and a lot of small, niche, "indie" games mad by smaller devs that do not cater to the masses?

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TheAgingHipster
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 10:24:45 AM

Good lord I hope not. I'm really hoping that people will finally get sick of the FPS genre and move on. Heck, even my CoD-loving little brother admitted to me that he's tired fo playing the same games over and over again and wants to try something new. (I got him playing Mass Effect and AC:Rev.)

My sincere hope: Mass Effect 3 and Kingdoms of Amalur will bring the RPG back into the spotlight, and then games like Ni no Kuni will suddenly be much more viable to the non-RPG gamer, and from out of nowhere, we'll see a revival in the RPG genre to rival that of the PS1 days.

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daus26
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 10:32:12 AM

Yeah, I'm not understanding the boatload of horror films releasing every year either. But really, Hollywood doesn't have any excuses, because there isn't really any real "trend" in movies. I personally don't think there's a bunch of scary movies because it's the trend, but rather lack of original ideas. Movies with original ideas shouldn't have as much trouble fitting in as original video games releasing amongst the online, fps generation.

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PoopsMcGee
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 11:49:13 AM

Hollywood makes a slew of horror movies because they're cheap to make and almost always make money (see: Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Saw, etc.).

Period.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 12:25:10 PM

There are truths to be found in all the posts in this thread, I just want to add that there also are wonderful, gorgeous movies being made to this day. They are not gone, you just need to seek a bit deeper than browsing the top ten blockbuster charts.
Plenty of fantastic moments to enjoy.

And as the market for games only grow bigger and bigger, so will also the market for subgenres grow. I do not think we have much to worry about, I am optimistic about the future of gaming. I really am.

Last edited by Beamboom on 1/3/2012 12:27:23 PM

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Gabriel013
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 @ 1:23:39 AM

Commenting on the Hollywood movie issue, it's not only that they are making the cheap copy horror movies but they are aren't even original horror movies. They're mostly remakes and sequels.

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Beamboom
Thursday, January 05, 2012 @ 7:19:39 AM

"They're mostly remakes and sequels."... Something that is completely unheard of in the gaming world. Sequels is a concept we know nothing about over here. Nope. Not us. Never. ;)


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/5/2012 7:24:16 AM

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TheAgingHipster
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 10:20:01 AM
Reply

Absolutely. With so many studios concerned about capturing Activision's billions in sales for themselves, their production models basically turn to CoD emulators. (Even if they're very PRETTY emulators.)

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daus26
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 10:22:05 AM
Reply

Of course. It's simple really, and unfortunate... but the reality is that FPS games are really immensely popular at the moment, so a lot of gamers are using their time to shoot with their friends online, more so than spending their time in an engaging, single player experience. Not saying that there's anything wrong with that, but online gaming is a big deal nowadays and that may push a lot of developers to move into the trend in order to compete or whatnot. I guess it's hard to make something original, with the "online" aspect as a requirement, or rather necessity.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 10:54:24 AM
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Pretty much what I have been thinking for sometime now however I do thinks it's a problem. Just the other day I was telling my wife how gaming is starting to turn into other forms of entertainment media like music and movies where innovation and freshness is thrown to the way side in exchange for mediocrity.

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johnld
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 5:58:34 PM

i dont mind first person shooters as long as they're great like battlefield 3. i can play that any time, any day. what i'm tired of are games like call of duty and every other fps that just simply go with call of duty philosophy, ie rehashes with the same game but different skin. activision is pretty much the main perpetrator of that. every call of duty is a rehash of the best call of duty, modern warfare 1. hell, goldeneye is just call of duty 4 with a movie skin. i'm kinda irritated that they used the new bond instead of the original bond from the n64 goldeneye.

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Alienange
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 11:00:38 AM
Reply

Too easy to blame the fps genre when in actual fact only maybe 2 fps franchises ever "sell like crazy" as he puts it. What, Halo and CoD? Heavy Rain sold more than Resistance 3 and about the same as Killzone 3. Explain that.

And how does his reasoning explain the Wii's dominance with dancing and exercise games? Or what about GT5 or GTA and RDR or Skyrim or AC and on and on the list goes??

It's not that Japanese devs can't keep up with some imagined fps dominance, it's that Japanese devs are, for the most part, putting out terrible games. I seem to recall a certain popular JRPG selling into the double-digit millions. Has the FPS killed it, or is it that they've screwed up their own winning formulas?

I think Japanese devs have to do two things. Stop being scared and stop taking forever to release games. You know, like they used to.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 11:07:40 AM

Japanese devs have always taken too long to release games. I think every FF ever made has been delayed.

But you're right. I don't think FPS' are killing everything. There were 2 years or so there that they were dominant. But that was a small phase. There are plenty of genres that are finding success.

And I totally agree. Japanese games, like the newer DQ games, may be doing well over there, but they aren't competing here... not because FPS's are awesome... but because we aren't as big into handhelds, MMO's, and monster hunting.

If they were to give us more top quality console games instead of the three examples I just listed, we'd buy into them a lot more readilly, I think.


It's true... it's not about certain genres being what people want. It's about the presentation. I didn't buy the new Parasite Eve and I'm not even sure I'll get Type-O. I didn't get Tactics Ogre or many other PSP games either. I also don't own a DS and didn't get DQ9 or any other DS rpg.

Would I have bought those titles for a PS3 release?

Likely every single one of them.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 11:23:42 AM

@alienage

I absolutely agree they take an ETERNITY to release games. That simply has to change are they will even be more left in the dust. I sometimes think to myself if Japanese developers worked any more slowly they would they would miss the entire gen of consoles they were aiming for. The Last Guardian and FFvs13 are almost mythical creatures now. Rarley seen in the wild with barely any proof they even exist. What in the world is taking so long?

The games you mention shows other genres are successful, but they are QUITELTY successful. I sometimes wonder if Japan notices that.

@underdog

I would have bought every single one of those games you list as well if they were on the PS3.

I do tend to agree with alienage that Japanese game production has slowed this generation. It sure feels that way.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 1/3/2012 11:30:06 AM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 11:32:21 AM

oh they're definitely slow. I just think that's no different than it's always been.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 11:45:06 AM

Last gen we got 2 GT games, 3 DMC games, 2 MGS games for the consoles. 3 FF titles plus the spin offs. Capcom released multiple RE games on different systems plus the Onimusha series.

I don't think we are seeing the same level of production this gen. I could be wrong because I am just basing this off of my gaming collections. Something feels off.

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 11:49:03 AM

I'd rather have a good quality game that took 10 years to make, rather than CoD wich takes about 2 years to make. Compare Mw2 to Mw3, you will clearly see that it is almost the exact same game, and a very bad one. Now, I know GTAV isn't out yet, but it took a longer development cycle to make the game. If you look at the trailer you will clearly see the better quality it is over GTA4. So... Who cares if it takes for ever to make a game, as long as it's good. Try rushing a 15 story building, it will collapse!

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 11:51:57 AM

and half the console life. Don't foget that. We may still see a second GT game. The next one is certainly in development. Whether that's for PS3 or PS4 remains to be seen. But you can bet if it's PS4, then that system will have two GT's. Capcom has changed it's production focus. It has nothing to do with the speed in which their games are released. We are getting a second DMC and we may yet get a third before the PS3 is finished. We may still get a second MGS. We have 2 FF titles already plus a spinoff soon to come. (If you're including the PS2 version of FFXI, which was delayed as well after the PC version, by the way, then I'll do the same with FFXIV) We may still get another spin-off in versus and a 3rd entry in FFXV (which is rumored).

Like I said... most Japanese games are being sent to the handheld realm. I don't think I need to make a list of Japanese games on handhelds for you to see the incredible amount of productions Japan has given gamers the last 5 years.

In fact, PS3 Japanese development is comparable to PS2 Japanese development, as I just showed. Yet, handhelds, MMO's, and monster hunters are made by the bucketloads.

I'm gonna disagree here and stick to my guns based on the evidence I see in front of me.

Keep in mind... Gran Turismo has been introduced to PSP. So have FF games and MGS. The total games made by Japanese devs is not dwindling. The issue is my OP.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/3/2012 11:57:16 AM

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 12:04:30 PM

@underdog

Okay, I'll say PD has at least slowed down its production. As far as I know they have only sent 1 game to handheld realm. Team Ico has slowed as well. Forgot about them. They released 2 games on the PS2 and yet we have seen nothing from them. Zip. They haven't even brought their game to a trade show yet to show off.

Your point about a lot of Japanese games being cast off to the handheld realm is valid.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 12:33:32 PM

Alienage, congrats, you just posted the post of the month.
This "imagined FPS dominance" goes against all facts there is both in terms of metascores (there are no stats indicating that the reviewers favour shooters), range of genre games released (most games released are *not* fps), and sales numbers (like you point out).

It's a myth!

Last edited by Beamboom on 1/3/2012 12:35:19 PM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 12:45:43 PM

Yes congrats on post of the month, this 3rd of January. ;p


As for Team ICO, I point to the same argument about Capcom. They quite clearly have had some internal issues.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 1:43:14 PM

Definitely an interesting discussion which is what I love about this site. There is probably some truth to the "imagined FPS dominance". I'm starting to wonder if the the decline of the Japanese gaming industry has just messed with Japanese developers heads. They certainly have behaved strangely this gen. Major players just up and walking away from their companies. That's happened at Capcom, Team Ico, and Tecmo. Konami's stuglles with Rising or whatever it's called now. I still would argue all those issues have impacted production regardless of their cause but I could be wrong. It's more of a gut feeling than a fact.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 1/3/2012 1:44:47 PM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 2:02:17 PM

One thing worth taking away from Kojima's statements, whether the FPS thing is imagined or not, is the fact that Japanese devs DO seem distracted when it comes to the NA audience.

They aren't really failing their Japanese customers. The handheld market there is INSANE compared to... well... everywhere else.

But when it comes to an NA audience, I think Japanese devs are thrown off a little bit because the HUGE blockbuster hits (5 million+ sales) are all typically games Japanese devs don't make. Things like Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, the list goes on. I think they just got psyched.

And they shouldn't. The "FPS" thing is certainly imagined. But I think, apparently on the part of Kojima as well, that the Japanese devs are imagining something that isn't there, too.

If you look hard at their games for consoles... they just sort of.... stopped doing what they've always done. They never failed at anything. They just got psyched out and started brewing all sorts of things differently. I think they're looking at EU and NA markets differently for reasons that are likely non-existent.

It would be interesting to see how they would have done had they just kept trucking along doing things the way they've always done. The toughest thing of all, though, is that the Japanese devs do well in Japan. It's their overseas battles that they seem perplexed about.

And to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why.

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Alienange
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 5:36:12 PM

@ Killa Tequilla - I understand that point of view, but it's just not realistic. The best books and best movies and heck, the best games, have not taken ten years to make. Why would they now? All games start as ideas in someone's head. THAT might have taken place ten years ago, but the actual development of the game? No. History has shown that long development cycles, more often than not, means trouble more than anything.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 9:50:39 PM

If memory serves me correctly...

FFVII was delayed an absolute ton... and it was still rushed out of the gate.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 @ 12:46:07 AM

@Alienange Okay, maybe I exaggerated on ten years but say GTAV took 4 years to make, in between it's development cycle there will be a ton of games you can play till GTAV is released. 2 years just isn't enough time to release a solid game. Just sayin' there are so many great games out there that you can play before [title] is released. In the end, that game will be better than it would of been if it was released only 2 years in the making.

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JLB1
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 1:59:46 PM
Reply

I sort of disagree. There's plenty of room for innovations. If you make a brand new IP with COD sales in mind, then you've already lost the battle. But, if you head in with an open mind and the product is actually good, the game will do well. This year we had games like Catherine, LA Noire, and Shadows of the Damned(which I hear sold ok) which were all risky games but succeeded in their own way because they were all good games.

Blaming FPS's isn't the way to go because, although COD sell like hotcakes, games like Catherine earn enough for the developer to make something else innovative.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 2:05:42 PM

Exactly.

New and risky ideas will not work on Playstation ONLY if it's not well made. We've seen proof of well made titles doing well in Heavy Rain, Catherine, and the like.

FOr XBOX360, I'm not sure risks are as easy to take. Look at titles like Alan Wake... a risky new title that was well done.... didn't fare too well. And on creative multiplats or japanese multiplats, it almost always sells better on PS3.

Again... something which I can't explain. I don't know why.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/3/2012 2:06:12 PM

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 3:03:52 PM

Interesting. Regarding the japanese multiplats you mention, do you have some examples for me there, Under? Could Katamari be one of them? Those are released for the xbox too I think.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 3:08:30 PM

FFXIII immediately comes to mind.

I don't think you need many examples. In Japan, people own PS3's over 360's by more than 10 to 1.

Most Japanese games for 360 have not fared well. Especially jrpg's, first and foremost. I would bet even MGS collections won't do well on 360.

If I'm a Japanese dev, i'm making games with Sony or Nintendo in mind. Multiplat status is for extra sales. And since most Japanese devs don't make games specifically FOR NA and EU, and are made first for their locals and then translated after, it's going to have the Japanese market in mind.

Only SE and Capcom have tried to do things with NA and EU in mind over JP. (They both haven't had much favor with their shareholders, either)

Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/3/2012 3:12:35 PM

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 3:50:08 PM

But FF13 was a very special case, I don't think that one works as a general example for anything at all.
If I am to allow myself to be a tad blunt here; if you don't already know the FF brand well and had formed a strong relationship with that series prior to ff13 then that game was pure nonsense. Seriously. WKC were way, waaaaay better, another ballpark better than FF13. So to launch that particular game on the xbox (and thus to a crowd where the majority knew FF as well as I did, ergo not at all) makes very little sense.

But that other very typical japanese action game, I can't remember the name of that title now but it's made by the same company that makes that new MGS with the weird name, how did that sell on the xbox? Or the Katamaris for that matter? Or Bayonetta (that's very Japanese too isn't it)?

Last edited by Beamboom on 1/3/2012 3:56:13 PM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 9:59:15 PM

It's funny. Your criticism of my argument is that I only provided FFXIII as an example (which works). Yet, you do the same with a couple of action games. That is not within the realm of "risky" at all.

I'm talking JAPANESE games, here. In general. The facts are simple. Japanese gamers prefer Nintendo and Sony. The sales are overwhelming over there. 360 is almost non-existent. As a result... Japanese devs take big chances on their home soil with either sony or nintendo. Either on their main consoles or on their handhelds.

You might be able to find 2 or maybe if you're lucky, 3 examples like Bayonetta that sell better on the 360. Specifically because it was developed FOR THE XBOX 360!!!! They weren't even in charge of porting it to PS3. Nex Entertainment did that. Hardly a development effort to make a fair multiplat. It was clearly better on the 360 as well.

But at LEAST 95% of Japanese made games are made with Sony or Nintendo in mind when it comes to taking risks.

A successful DMC creator making another action game based on a quasi-demonic realm within the real world, but with a female?

Hardly a stretch or a risk.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 @ 1:02:30 AM

... But I'm not really trying to argue or criticize here, hehe! I am just genuinely curious about what titles this has been the case for. It's not that I doubt you, I just want some titles for the sake of my own understanding and knowledge, if you know what I mean. I've seen the claim before, just never seen any names mentioned with them, other than ff13 who I for the mentioned reason don't think works that well as an example.

And I wonder if Katamari might be one of those titles since I *love* that series and wonder why not sequels are made any more (one exception being the Vita Katamari).


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/4/2012 1:07:37 AM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 @ 8:51:45 AM

I would suggest doing some digging if you want to find out. I typically don't pay attention to sales figures system vs. system. Although, admittedly, I do sometimes tune into overall sales.

The only reason I knew of FFXIII was because it has been mentioned here at this site.

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Beamboom
Thursday, January 05, 2012 @ 7:29:19 AM

Also, a consoles share of the market must also be taken into consideration if a comparison of sales figures system vs. system is to make any sense at all. If there are just a few xbox in Japan then the sales of any title on that platform must be put in relation to the amount of xboxes.

It would be nice to see such a list somewhere.

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Underdog15
Thursday, January 05, 2012 @ 9:12:26 AM

I don't think that would be a helpful measurable. Too many other uncontrollables for a measurement.

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BigBoss4ever
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 7:47:08 PM
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the last one of the two remaining perfectionist and visionary in Japan (the other being Fumito Ueda), this guy single-handedly pointing directly to the core of the issue in this gen and remain as the sharpest mind in video gaming.

He is a true legend, just like his most beloved creation -- The Boss and Snake....

The problem of this gen, sum short -- too much worry about how well it sales...in older days, those artist just use games to realize their dreams without much concern how well it sells, and you know wut, the result is they create a legendary title like Final Fantasy or Metal Gear or Chrono Trigger, when they made those games, they did not even have the slightest idea how well these games could sell subsequently.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 1/3/2012 7:56:52 PM

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Teddie9
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 9:08:51 PM
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I am so excited to learn about Project Ogre.

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___________
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 @ 3:04:27 AM
Reply

not much demand for anything else my a$$!
look at batman AC, skyrim, ACR, the notion that only shooters sell well is absolutely ridiculous!
japan can easily compete with the market, they just have to stop trying to be what there not!
as i said the other day, you dont go to suzuki looking for a top class supercar!
so why are asian developers trying to do western genres?
do what your well known for, what your fans want, and you will do fine!

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ae86takumi
Thursday, January 05, 2012 @ 10:51:45 AM
Reply

Capcom is the one that just followed the milk train.
A. Release Title
B. 6 months later announce "Extra version"
C. 12 months later announce "Ultimate version"

So they milk twice for the same game when they could have just released a patch at a $15 price.

SFIV and MVC are the best examples.

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