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Square-Enix: "What's In America Should Be Handled By Americans"

Square-Enix has been striving to expand well beyond Japanese boundaries this generation and in speaking to VentureBeat, head man Yoichi Wada explains the company's movement.

In addition to predicting the eventual end of "retail video games," Wada spoke about the aim and inherent difficulty of targeting a worldwide gaming population, which of course boasts different tastes and ethnicities. He also said that despite the attempts of some Japanese publishers to "globalize," the strategy didn't work because it remained mostly Japanese in nature. In fact, Wada cites several major companies that tried to expand to a global market and thus far, he believes no one - including Western publishers trying to cater to the Japanese - has succeeded.

"We have to appeal to customers with different preferences. Sega did not succeed. Konami did not succeed. Namco Bandai did not succeed. Western publishers have not succeeded in selling in Japan. Nobody has succeeded at globalization. But it hasn’t succeeded because it was always based on Japanese direction. It was Japanese people who commissioned the Western developers to make games."

Wada goes on to mention the recent purchase of Eidos and that by "becoming part of the family," there's a general melding going on. Eidos isn't a "slave" to Square-Enix; the studio is treated "as completely equal as the studio in Japan" and in the end, it's Square-Enix's goal to create a business environment "where completely different ethnic groups can coexist in the same company." And then, he said something that we know long-time fans of Square won't particularly like (although it won't come as any big surprise):

"It is important that what’s in America should be handled by Americans. The same goes in Europe and in Japan. These people who are deeply rooted in their own cultures can engage in their own dialogues. The mistakes I have seen so far are when Japanese people try to do everything the Japanese way, using Japanese workers in different areas of the world."

That, right there. Is this not the single biggest mistake Square-Enix continues to make? Isn't this what we've been screaming about the entire generation? Isn't this exactly what I said? Who wants to start up a petition that tells Square-Enix that not all Westerners always require distinctly Western games, especially when we all grew up with Japanese games?!

Tags: square-enix, wada, west

7/5/2010 10:19:55 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (65 posts)

oldmike
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 10:49:05 AM
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he is clueless i think its the fact the early games they made for the 360 did poorly colored there outlook on this gen
sadly he is such a 360 fanboy he cant see it

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 10:50:43 AM
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I would not go that far, i'd still like American games to be released in Europe, i just want Japanese games to stop this phase of 'going western.

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Jawknee
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 10:52:20 AM

Almost sounds like hes saying all of us are too stupid and uncultured to like each others games.

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Jawknee
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 10:50:58 AM
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This just keeps getting better and better. I'm almost at the point of boycotting Square just because they have this douche speaking at their helm. He seems to be the only one dreaming of end of retail games. Hes going to be waiting a looooooooooooong time. Mp3's still haven't killed CD's i don't see PSN and LIVE games killing retail releases anytime soon either. As of now, its a pipe dream.

Get bent Wada.

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Gabriel013
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 12:50:40 AM

Once downloads start selling for a fraction of the hard copy price then the market shift will follow but while ever they try to charge nearly as much for the download as the disc, we'll continue as we are.

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Clamedeus
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 10:51:08 AM
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What they need to do is stop trying to make a western styled game and bring back the old style of games we loved and played, then i would be a happy camper.

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Jawknee
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 10:53:33 AM

I think Wada's problem is he sees where the money is at, so he must grab that money even it if means drastically changing their company.

Sadly hes too dumb to understand this will mean the eventual end of Square Enix.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/5/2010 10:54:46 AM

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tes37
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 10:53:30 AM
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So, do we now ask SE's American based company for the rpg games we want? There probably aren't enough of us left to get anyone to listen.

Thankfully we have developers like Level 5 working hard to fill the void.

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Jawknee
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 10:54:25 AM

Yup. Level 5 is my new Square. This is asinine what this man is saying.

Seriously, am i the only one who finds this just a little bit insulting?

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tes37
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 11:03:13 AM

They should fire this guy before people start viewing the Japanese the way he views us. Maybe he should go ahead and say we are classless, unsophisticated, and unable to appreciate things we don't think of ourselves.

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Jawknee
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 11:05:37 AM

That is pretty much what I took from these comments. He sounds like an out of touch arrogant jerk when he makes comments like this. It's hard for me to believe that a company who used to be as great as they were has gone so far down the tubes this quickly. The last great JPRG i played by Square was DragonQuest VIII.

Sad.

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BTNwarrior
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 3:11:47 PM

atlus is my current favorite japanese dev/publisher

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Natalisrubbish
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 11:00:03 AM
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I can scantly believe how backwards and out of touch wada is. What made Japanese games great was the fact that they were bringing a very creative and uniqe gaming expirence from the Japanese and Asian culture abroad and sharing it with Americans. That is what made Japanese games superb, they were uniqe and seperate from western produced games for the most part. Why, from a business point, should we as Americans lust after more western themed games than we already have coming out of our own studios? Wada doesn't get it and it's going to eventually hurt SE bad I predict, both in fanbase and sales. This is all so backwards, lol it's almost as if wada is turning into a gaming and business xenophobe. Haha.

Last edited by Natalisrubbish on 7/5/2010 11:01:21 AM

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CHAOS THEORY X
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 11:12:48 AM
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What a hippo(Hypocrite)...

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Highlander
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 11:28:53 AM
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I am so sick and tired of this BS from Square Enix. Someone needs to take these guys to the woodshed and beat the crap out of them until they 'get it'

Were the sales of games like the various Final Fantasy games in the west simply Japanese gamers here? I mean come on that's absolutely fricking stupid. FF games (I'm not including FFXIII) sales in the western markets utterly destroy their logic. Hell, the sales of other JRPG games in the west destroy their arguments. Gran Turismo destroys their argument, Yakuza, Soul Calibur, Tekken, Street Fighter, Ninja Gaiden games, etc....

Square Enix ha lost touch not just with Western Gamers, not just with Japanese gamers, but with reality in it's entirety. Ben, if there is a petition, I will sign it. In the mean time one can hope that some strange malady strikes the entire board at SE that leaves them otherwise unharmed but prevents them from working at SE.

the thing is that this latest pronouncement from Wada sound more xenophobic than anything else. I just do not get this at all. Up to now it seemed that Wada and SE and some other Japanese developers were intent on diluting their own cultural distinctiveness in order to court some kind of golden market of Western gamers. Time after time we heard this talk about appealing to western gamers and games such as FFXIII have been major departures from the game formula that works so well in Japan. And time after time we here at PSXExtreme and others elsewhere have wondered why it is that Japanese game developers/publishers are filled with self doubt verging on self loathing. It's almost been like they felt like the could not compete with Western developers. Now with this we're back to isolating ourselves with western games and developers for the west and Japanese games and developers for Japan.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised after the way in which the brain dead morons at Square Enix made two distinct versions of Neir and sold the Xbox 360 version (as a multi-plat) here in the west, but kept the perhaps more JRPG audience friendly PS3 exclusive version limited to Japan. I don't know whether to be disappointed in the ignorance, offended by the potential xenophobia or just confused by the complete lack of logic or consistency.

</rant>

Last edited by Highlander on 7/5/2010 11:34:19 AM

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Jawknee
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 11:32:15 AM

I've emailed them numerous times to express my discontent with their direction and my contempt for Wada. They told me all they could do is forward my email to Japanese Head Quarters. I think maybe all of us here should start bombarding them with angry emails. Maybe that will light a fire under their a** and get these people moving in the right direction. Starting with the firing of Wada.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/5/2010 11:32:28 AM

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main_event05
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 12:44:44 PM

Can we get that address Jawk.

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Jawknee
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 1:13:38 PM

You have to be a member of Square's website. It takes a moment to sign up but you can go their main site and create a username and password. Once logged in look for the contact by email section. You contact them much like we contact Ben and Arnold, only difference is you must be signed in to email Square.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/5/2010 1:14:02 PM

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nilos95
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 11:45:15 AM
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Wada is a fool. Konami's Metal Gear series appealed to all audiences in general(individuals may not like them, but most gamers do)! Wada, develop a good game and it will sell. Didn't FF7 and FF10 do well? Ok, there is a group of gamers that only play games with explosions and massacre and another one that loves playing exclusively casual games(who are those groups?) but if you deliver superb games for the right platforms, sales will do fine!

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shaydey77
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 6:32:06 AM

Agreed. And going by his theory it looks like Killzone 3 will be staying in Europe.

EPIC FAIL by him.

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Dancemachine55
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 11:28:38 PM

Unfortunately, Wada is trapped in the whole Modern Warfare frame of mind where they have to dumb down their games to capture the COD audience.

And for that, Wada is an idiot. No COD gamer will go for a JRPG, no matter how COD-like they make it. They won't play anything BUT COD!!!!

Wada, Square-Enix has a fanbase, a pretty darn huge fanbase at that, and you are throwing it all away to try and get COD gamers into your games. IT WON'T WORK!!!! They're too busy building their kill-streak scores to care about what games you bring out.

The only chance SE now has is to return to their original formula and cater to the long-term SE fans who have been their since the old days of Squaresoft. Support the people who have supported them for so long.

God, I really do hope someone fires that Wada idiot soon.

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Mavfan321
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 11:53:32 AM
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The biggest point has already been said how can any of that he's saying be valid if for years in America Japanese games dominated the market. The Japanese are buying into this idea that all Americans want is the next shooter because they sell, granted they sell very well. However to isolate a whole other kind of gamer that basically wants to see this gen pick up where prior generations have left of. Which means a FF that feels like a FF, and bringing back other JRPG (Breath of Fire, Dragon Quest for an HD console, the list is endless) franchises that have been put to the wayside for no reason other than they aren't "Western enough."

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SmokeyPSD
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 12:04:22 PM
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this borders on histerical, coming from him.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 12:24:03 PM
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I'd just like to say that although my previous suspicions were verified, I was still seeing red when I saw that last set of comments.

I'm no businessman but the entire thing seems really, really stupid.

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main_event05
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 12:46:18 PM

From a business stand point I think its suicide to insult your consumer.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 2:09:55 PM

SE is in self destruct mode and it doesn't take a businessman to see that.

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Scarecrow
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 4:07:31 PM

BOOM!

As Selphie would say "they're going to blow themselves up to smithereens!"

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shadowscorpio
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 1:19:13 PM

I juat feel sorry for the employee's at SE that have to work with this man and don't agree with him.

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dual soul
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 12:44:08 PM
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What the...? Could somebody who lives in Japan, please go down to Square-Enix headquarters and bi*** slap Yoichi Wada.

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Deleted User
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 12:49:33 PM
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I wish Yoichi Wada would just go away. He's just as bad as Bobby Kotick.

I don't care to read anything that comes out of his mouth as it will only make me angry.

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GuardianMode
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 1:29:44 PM
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It seems like Wada is on the path to self destruction. This reminds me of the days of Lorne Lanning and Oddworld Inhabitants. He claimed his 30 pieces of silver when he sold out to Area X. Now look what happened. I doubt anyone remembers him or his studio.
SE seems to be on the same path. With its 360 only games failing,this smacks on sour grapes.

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kraygen
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 2:11:24 PM
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Well sadly it seems some of my fears were well warranted. In an earlier article today we were discussing our feeling for FF versus and this gives ground to why I don't think it will be at all like what we are hoping for.

Wada doesn't get it and it seems the more ppl try to explain it, the less he understands.

I'm afraid ff versus is going to be another let down because apparently us stupid americans don't like anything that we didn't make ourselves.

Which makes perfect sense by the way considering that ff7 on the psn sold over 100,000 copies in less than 2 weeks, highest sales for a ps1 game on psn.

I'm afraid that to get the final fantasy I love I will just have to play what has been released before the ps3 arrived. To get my JRPG fix on ps3, well say hello to level 5.

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Highlander
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 3:10:10 PM

Someone (may have been you) posted in a reply a few weeks back that Level 5 may be the new SE, I wholeheartedly agree.

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Jawknee
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 3:15:06 PM

Its telling that a lot of people seem to be flocking to Level 5. Maybe they will dominate in Japan and else where enough to kick some sense in to Square.

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ZettaiSeigi
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 6:52:56 PM

@Highlander: I was among the people who thinks that Level-5 is the new Squaresoft. I'm even hoping that Sony would just outright buy them and make them a first-party developer so we can all leave this Square-Enix debacle behind us and move on to RPGs that are intended to be played by fans of the genre for the longest time.

As for that Wada guy, he has completely lost the plot and I see no need to reiterate what you guys have said on your earlier comments. One thing's for sure, he and his company have been sitting at the bottom of the pile along with Activision. At least Kotick doesn't talk as much as Wada does. Both of them are very bad jokes that nobody gets.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 2:12:32 PM
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Really? Wadsworth? Retail games are going the way of the Dodo? Western Audiences don't like Japanese Games? Is there a Meth outbreak in Japan or something?

Hironobu Sakaguchi made and sold JRPGs like hotcakes, this idiot is just making excuses about why his westernized games aren't up to snuff this gen.

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Underdog15
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 2:16:01 PM
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Dude.... FF7's

STRATEGY GUIDE

sold over 1 million....

He obviously skipped his "statistical methods" class in university... either that or he skipped out on an education altogether.

Honestly.... this guy is so frustrating to listen to. It's like trying to argue with a 3 year old who repeatedly asks, "why?".

Last edited by Underdog15 on 7/5/2010 2:16:46 PM

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Highlander
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 3:09:10 PM

I would have to say that Wada is evaluating western gamers on the performance of something other than games like FF or Soul Calibur, Tekken, Street Fighter, Gran Turismo or Ridge Racer. In other words games other than any game developed in Japan that sold well in the West as well. In which case, the man is a self deluded fool.

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Scarecrow
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 4:07:52 PM
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*waves bye bye to Squeeeeeeeenix*

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Deadcelledo
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 4:09:54 PM
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"The mistakes I have seen so far are when Japanese people try to do everything the Japanese way, using Japanese workers in different areas of the world."

A mistake you are part of Wada.

Last edited by Deadcelledo on 7/5/2010 4:13:13 PM

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fstop
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 5:12:21 PM
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My blood is boiling so bad I can't help but write anything else other than how I feel physically. I feel as though I'm about to break out in a sweat and shivers.
No, I don't have any underlining issues with my health.
These feelings I'm expressing to you is genuine heart break. I loved Squaresoft when I was growing up. I loved the worlds they used to take me to each time I popped in a cartridge and in later years a CD.
You may think I'm over the top right now but, I'm sorry, Squaresoft died in my heart today (this time for real). I should have seen it when Square-Enix was born from what was two great companies operating fine on their own to this abysmal atrocity we see before us today.

I will always have hope that some day Squaresoft would return to me and my fellow brethren. We will never lose that hope.

But...I now know what it's like to love but no longer be "in love".



Last edited by fstop on 7/5/2010 5:13:41 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 6:11:04 PM

I do have health issues and I feel the same way.

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Snaaaake
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 5:18:58 PM
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Murder is not allowed, but I know the whole world will forgive me if I kill this guy.

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Lotusflow3r
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 7:46:39 PM
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All this Level 5 love is brilliant :)

I've been hailing them the new Soft since FFX-2 lol

This doesn't surprise me and since i moved on awhile ago, im not bothered anymore. Im just happy at the fact Level 5 is receiving their long overdue love.

Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 7/5/2010 7:47:09 PM

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DeathOfChaos
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 8:25:31 PM
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Wada is so f-ing retarded. Namco-Bandai, Konami, all of them are doing better than Square, in my opinion. Where the hell is this joke looking at to say what he did? Another reason to learn Japanese and run away from America and move to the land of the rising sun. The vast majority of Americans have stained the images of true gamers, and we have to suffer for it. I still have faith in Versus though. Who cares if it isn't a turn based game. It's turning out to be what it's been promised to be, and I'm completely happy with that. Maybe that's what is going on here: too many people are complaining about everything, so Wada is just saying screw it and doing it for the money. He's just going by stereotypes and going by that, the racist motherf u c k e r...

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 12:33:58 AM

DeathOfChaos,
WTF???
Stop frigging dumping on America when America doesn't have a frigging thing to do with SE's decisions!!!! No American has twisted Wada's arm, or what's left of his mind!

America isn't the head of SE and most American's want SE to go back to the old Squaresoft way, EXACTLY LIKE the rest of the world!!!!!

Put the f*cking blame SEquarely where it belongs, right at Wada's non-functional deluded brain stem.

HMMMMM. I wonder if Wada's just thinking Western because maybe he's come down with Al Capone's little social disease and it's eating all of his brain cells alive

Last edited by BikerSaint on 7/6/2010 12:38:06 AM

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DeathOfChaos
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 9:56:32 AM

I know it's not America who made this statement, but so many American fans complained about things not being exactly like they wanted it, so Wada just doesn't care what Americans think. It's because of the American fanbase that Japan had to suffer such an awful Final Fantasy (XIII).

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Highlander
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 8:57:53 PM
Reply

Here's something retarded.

Guess what platform NamcoBandai decided to develop a home console version of the IdolMaster games for?

Yes, that's right, you guessed it, it's the Xbox 360! Someone please tell me what planet these morons are from where this is a good idea. That series sells gangbusters in Japan on the PSP. So what in hell are NamcoBandai playing at? Ah, they are purposely developing a specifically Japanese game for a Western console. In this context, that is the definition of both stupidity and insanity.

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GuardianMode
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 12:30:19 AM

If I remeber correctly. Idolmaster is a signed exclusive to the 360. Money talks and MS is desperate for any headway in Japan. Lets face it,its hard to compete against a company that throws money around for exclusives like Microsoft does.

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Highlander
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 9:34:23 AM

IdolMaster is developed for PSP too. I think there are like 3 different versions for PSP - perhaps more.

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Gamer Girl Gemo
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 9:23:57 PM
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Hahaha... Let's give this guy a big round of applause!
Is he completely serious? Or is he just giving us something to talk about until he tells us jk? It's a wonder when SE will understand that what they do or say nowadays are going straight down the toilet. We should have seen this coming once they told Soft farewell, honestly. Sorry SE, you've lost me. Level 5 has definately replaced you.

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Macavity
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 9:33:15 PM
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Whenever Wada speaks, it just brings more damage.

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Luiscosmo2
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 9:43:24 PM
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But i like diffrent kind of games..Sure most of my libary is Shooters but I rented FFXII and it has a mix of Japaneese and Western but I like the Japaneese style more.

And the thing is companies are trying too hard to sell at other regions...Just do you own style and sell 'em at other regions and hope they like 'em..or Dont send too much copies to make 'em look like there in Popupar Demand.

Last edited by Luiscosmo2 on 7/5/2010 9:45:39 PM

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King James
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 11:03:01 PM
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called it!

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BigBoss4ever
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 12:20:48 AM
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wada, just shut up your shithole, just shut up and disappear!!!

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 7/6/2010 12:22:09 AM

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Robochic
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 12:55:38 AM
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Square has not been the same for years, I think they need to close shop.

I'm personally a level 5 fan have been for awhile. When my husband saw this article he just said it doesn't suprise him he hasn't repected square for many years he doesn't even play their games expect for FF 7 which is his fave.

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Akuma07
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 1:13:00 AM
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Im sorry, but he is saying that Konami and Namco both failed.

Um where is the evidence of this?

MGS is one of the best selling games series of ALL TIME. this is a fail?

Namco have released some really fun games too, which have sold well over the years.

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spiderboi
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 2:04:10 AM
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M$, you'll soon run out of money to bribe these companies.....

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___________
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 2:53:56 AM

ha, are you kidding?
this is just pocket change for them!
i was reading gameinformer the other day at the hospital and there was a little snippet in there saying M$ not only paid 50M for the DLC they also paid 75M to make GTAIV multiplatform.
2K you fu*king sellouts!!!!!!!

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 2:13:29 AM
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FOR SHAME WADA! Everything else I had to say has already been said by others.
That is all.
Peace.

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___________
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 2:59:00 AM
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thats what ive been saying for ages!
especially with capcom how there trying to shill off games to american studios like they did with bionic commando.
yeah, how did that turn out!?
if i want a Japanese game im going to buy it from a Japanese developer.
if i want a JRPG im going to buy it from a Japanese developer.
if i want a high octane shooter im not going to go to a Japanese developer am i?
there just not known for those types of games.

if i want Asian food, ill go to a Asian shop.
the first thing i do when i go to any type of restaurant is check whos behind the stove.
if im in a Italian restaurant and theres a Asian behind the stove i walk out.
Asians can not cook Italian food, just like Itallians cant cook Asian food.

just like if you want a reliable car you buy a Japanese car.
but if you want a pile of bolts, that is sexy as hell and is built with passion you buy a alfa!

though $E and capcom are too busy lining there wallets to figure that out.

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Highlander
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 9:35:13 AM

You forgot to mention an Alfa's tendency to rust at warp speed.

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___________
Wednesday, July 07, 2010 @ 8:51:59 AM

thats because they never get to warp speed.
alfas are so freaking slow for their price, a friend of mine has a berrara which is their fastest car 80 grands worth!
my nieces WRX STI is faster than it, and it only cost 56 grand.
there beautiful cars, there is no denying that but there far to slow and far to unreliable for there price.

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THEGODSLAYER
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 10:30:00 AM
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ben please put up a petition asap, then send it to SE lol

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 @ 5:26:59 PM
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FYI to all
If anyone want's to start a petition, maybe you can use this site.

http://www.change.org/petition


I'd do it myself, but someone with much better writing skills than myself should do it, if for now other reason than just to give the petition a much more refined look of legitimacy.



(OK, ...back to my more normal street talk mode......"Yo Adrian, com'ere")

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