Fall Lineup Evidence Of Lagging Japanese Influence
Western game studios are dominating the industry, despite the enduring popularity of Japanese franchises that appear timeless.
But at least there's usually one or two massive Japanese offerings that add some flavor to a launch period. Last holiday season, for instance, we got Gran Turismo 5. But if you look at the spectacular autumn lineup for 2011 - here's part of the upcoming onslaught, which remains accurate minus Twisted Metal - what do we see? RPG fans will be quick to point out White Knight Chronicles II next month but let's face it, that's a minor release in direct comparison. The biggest games of the fourth quarter are invariably Western, with only a few small exceptions.
It's obvious that most gamers don't mind, as the majority of those big titles are bound to be insanely popular. It really does seem that few miss the Japanese icons these days, especially when such unbelievable excellence can be found in so many Western-developed titles. And in truth, if you look at all of 2011, that's just added commentary: Portal 2, inFamous 2, Crysis 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, L.A. Noire, Killzone 3, Dead Space 2, etc. It's easy to say, "we miss you, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy," but even if we did have new installments in each of those franchises this year...they'd still be overshadowed. It's sad but true.
I still remember a time when if we saw a Western-developed game, we were immensely skeptical. It wasn't that long ago, was it?
8/15/2011 9:27:47 PM Ben Dutka