Low PS4 Sales in Japan Combined with Success in the West Are Pushing Japanese Developers to Localize Games

on August 9, 2015 8:15 AM

With the PS4 generation a lot of Japanese developers and publishers like Koei Tecmo, Bandai Namco or even Sega have started to localize their games for the western market.

To learn more about the reason behind this change, I asked legendari Koei Tecmo producer Kenichi Ogasawara at Gamescom.

Ogasawara-san explained that localizing Japanese games in the west isn’t just a matter of translating in English, but involves complex planning, distribution and marketing. It takes a long time to get that right. He also mentioned that nowadays Japanese products are well accepted in the west.

Another important point is that sales of PS4 aren’t that good in Japan yet. Many Japanese gamers are still sticking to the PS3, while in the west many did the current generaton jump already.

Because of that, sales of PS4 games are worse in Japan, but publishers don’t really need to gain a high percentage of the much bigger current-gen market in the west to make similar sales. This is one relevant economic reason that led to the strategy of localizing Japanese games and bringing them to the west.

Personally, I welcome all the Japanese games I can get, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.