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Re(4):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?
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This is such a great discussion! So many great, refreshing points being brought up. I basically agree with what everyone's said. Here's some additions: @Ishmael - yes I was specifically referring to Facebook games. They're monstrously popular and mainstream in a way that games have never been in North America prior. There are 70 million people playing Farmville. That's absurd. These games cost relatively little to make, and the returns are insane. Low risk, high potential for reward. The business model for game production and distribution have been changed forever. @Karasu - I think the next century will stylistically be a rehash of the previous. Most new designs (fashion, visual art including fine arts and cartoons, industrial design etc) is a throwback to something between the 20s and 90s. @Everyone - I appreciate the thoughtful discussion regarding why the Japanese videogame industry is in a slump. There's a million things I'd like to say on that topic. I'd love to launch into a deep discussion about how Americans really rock at marketing and branding (things we genuinely innovated on and perfected post WW2), but I think there's actually one very simple solution to all of Japans pop cultural problems: Stop concentrating on North America, put all your efforts into China. If Japanese companies just had more brains and balls, they'd concentrate on the Chinese market. It's the biggest market in the world, by far for games. Videogames are far more mainstream in China than any other country. Beyond that, the Japanese have every cultural advantage. Yes there's still bad blood between Japan and China for all the atrocities the Japanese committed during WW2 that they still refuse to fess up to, but that's neither here nor there. What actually matters is that in terms of taste, Chinese people basically like the exact same things as Japanese. There's no cultural schism. Both cultures are deeply Confucian (Japan even more so than China), comfortably Buddhist (as in mostly non religious), and let's face it, all traditional Japanese culture originally comes from China (mostly from the Tang Dynasty). Young people all across China (and Asia in general) love Japanese stuff. To them, it's not foreign, it's something warm and familiar. Almost everyone I've ever met from China under the age of 40 reads manga and plays games (like how almost every American I've ever has watched a sitcom at some point). From street vendors to millionaire entrepreneurs, men and women, they all read Naruto or One Piece or Bleach, they love Ghibli and they pay console games (pirated) as much, or more than PC games. Oh, and they ALL PLAY MONSTER HUNTER (pirated). And it's not cos of good marketing, it's because they genuinely love it (it might be the most distinctly Asian friendly game ever made). I'm willing to bet that there are more PSPs being actively used in China than Japan. Japanese games are much more naturally suited to Chinese tastes than North American or European games. The only problem is that Japanese game companies are so married to decrepit old models of production and distribution, so terrified of piracy, and very possibly have such a condescending view of mainland Asians that they don't have the good sense to enter the market. Notice I said game companies, because since 2005, China has been Japan's leading trade partner, not the US. Other industries have been savvy enough to make the move (Asahi has been kicking all kinds of ass), it boggles my mind why more videogame companies haven't taken the plunge. They have every advantage in the biggest, most profitable videogame market in the world. They just lack the brains, balls and heart to take action.
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