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Author Topic: What's up with Japanese games being released in Japan LAST?  (Read 1956 times)

Paul Jensen

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Is it just me, or is there a growing trend of Japanese games being released in Japan AFTER being released in other regions?

I've been lucky enough to get some games early by living here, like Soma Bringer (which never even saw legitimate release outside of Japan) and Fantasy Life, but a lot of games now see (near-)simultaneous release in all the major regions, or even worse (for me), come out in Japan last.

I got a copy of New Yoshi's Island yesterday, feeling lucky to live in Japan where I can get Japanese games ahead of other regions, but then I checked online and found out that the game came out in NA back in March. WTF? Same thing happened with LoZ: ALttP 2 (speaking of which -- the LoZ series goes by LoZ instead ゼルダの伝説 in Japan now). I hadn't thought about it earlier because I'd assumed the game had come out here first.

It kind of sucks to move to Japan partly because of a love for Japanese video games and then see Japanese publishers release not just their outsourced stuff, but even their locally-developed games here LAST.
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FAST6191

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Re: What's up with Japanese games being released in Japan LAST?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 06:17:45 am »
I reckon Japanese game dev has become a bit more insular in recent years, though how much of that is the half demise of a lot of once prominent Japanese game devs I do not know. On releasing later then if I go by handhelds and the 360 (might not be the ideal barometer for Japan but I would still argue it is valid enough to look at) then definitely, and yeah several games never made it back into Japan as well. The (Advance) Wars series probably being the more prominent one for that.

Part of me wonders if it is a response to market forces -- Japan is smaller than the English speaking world, if you call all of Europe one thing (and possibly bundle Australia) then it is probably in third place (or maybe less depending upon how China and other parts of Asia play into things).

Holiday releases might also be a thing, a lot of this I see being getting things out for Christmas in a lot of the rest of the world.

Paul Jensen

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Re: What's up with Japanese games being released in Japan LAST?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2014, 06:40:56 am »
Holiday releases might also be a thing, a lot of this I see being getting things out for Christmas in a lot of the rest of the world.

That hadn't crossed my mind. Schools here are just getting out for summer break, so maybe they timed the release of New Yoshi's Island in time for that. But then again, Super Smash Bros 3DS (which miraculously comes out in Japan a few weeks before NA) comes out the the beginning of the next term, so maybe that's not the case.  :huh:
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Next Gen Cowboy

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Re: What's up with Japanese games being released in Japan LAST?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2014, 06:46:58 am »
There's a large gap between Yoshi's Island and Smash Bros though. I assume Yoshi's Island can linger for a bit, releasing it at a time when people will be more apt to buy it. Smash Bros will be such a major release that they will probably want to get it out as quickly as possible once it's finished. Especially because it's a game that's supposed to move console (pr handheld in this case) units, so pushing that back could affect other games.
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Re: What's up with Japanese games being released in Japan LAST?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2014, 09:04:48 am »
I assume they are going for the largest market first for some of these games.
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Malias

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Re: What's up with Japanese games being released in Japan LAST?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 12:14:06 am »
Because they got tired of using the local market for beta testing.
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Panzer88

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Re: What's up with Japanese games being released in Japan LAST?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 12:29:31 pm »
it does seem crazy to me, Japan historically always got the first taste. Nintendo has certainly started doing things differently in the last few years. Can you think of examples of other game developers that this is also the case for? (capcom, konami-hudson, namco-bandai, square-enix-taito, etc.)
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FAST6191

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Re: What's up with Japanese games being released in Japan LAST?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 01:39:53 pm »
I have seen a few of those do things like only release in Japan and Europe/Australia. Bomberman 2 on the DS being one. Mr Driller on the DS being another that came out in Europe and Japan later, with extra modes outside NA though. Namco Museum DS technically did the same but that was only a few weeks, Go Go Cosmo Cops was published by Namco but only in Europe (as in the game only came out in Europe, despite being developed and published by a Japanese dev*).  Others like Mega Man Zero Collection are even shorter in timeframe (a couple of days) but if we are looking for patterns.

*they even had Japanese in the game code, which was later unlocked.

Not sure what Sega are doing these days, equally with Square Enix being into publishing there might be some stuff there.

Going further on the holiday stuff then might it also be advertising? I am sure we have all seen the advertising budgets skyrocket in recent years for things. A full worldwide release might be harder to coordinate there.

Isao Kronos

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Re: What's up with Japanese games being released in Japan LAST?
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2014, 01:56:29 pm »
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin.