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Nintendo/Iwata's Bias Against The West

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Fusioncode said:
JazzB1987 said:
Fusioncode said:
It's interesting to note that before the 7th Generation, Japan was the center of the gaming landscape. Their wants and needs were put front and center and that's one of the reasons Microsoft struggled so heavily out of the gate with the Xbox. In Gen 7 though there was a huge paradigm shift in gaming. With the explosion of the 360 all of a sudden Western audiences had taken the forefront of gaming. This is also thanks to Japan's growing obsession with mobile. It took Sony a while to catch up but now they're also focused primarily on the Western market as well and Japan is merely an afterthought for them.


And guess in which generation all that product devaluing crap like DLC, console DRM,  online activation etc... appeared?  I can understand why some people dont like western studios/games/mentality.




Hasn't Nintendo jumped on the DLC bandwagon as well? And don't forget about Nintendo's obsession with region locking their systems even though it's an outdated and draconian policy that only serves to annoy people. 

Not to mention the stupid eshop prices!!



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Fusioncode said:
JazzB1987 said:
Fusioncode said:
It's interesting to note that before the 7th Generation, Japan was the center of the gaming landscape. Their wants and needs were put front and center and that's one of the reasons Microsoft struggled so heavily out of the gate with the Xbox. In Gen 7 though there was a huge paradigm shift in gaming. With the explosion of the 360 all of a sudden Western audiences had taken the forefront of gaming. This is also thanks to Japan's growing obsession with mobile. It took Sony a while to catch up but now they're also focused primarily on the Western market as well and Japan is merely an afterthought for them.


And guess in which generation all that product devaluing crap like DLC, console DRM,  online activation etc... appeared?  I can understand why some people dont like western studios/games/mentality.




Hasn't Nintendo jumped on the DLC bandwagon as well? And don't forget about Nintendo's obsession with region locking their systems even though it's an outdated and draconian policy that only serves to annoy people. 


Yes and? Nintendo is experimenting with it and so far all of it is better than what most other companies offer because it does not give you the feel of being cut from the maingame so it can be sold to you as DLC. Its optional yet pretty useful does NOT devalue the rest of the game by being to important and its not horse armor crap (thats the way it should be. The other way is like Borderlands DLC that can be considered full Addons!)

Nintendo also copied streamlining their games. Galaxy2 Prime3 SkywardSword  all have a "chose your level" instead of "go there by exploring" thing. It destroys the games immersion.

Nintendo gets constant criticizm for being so Nintendo so they tried to be more western but the more western they are the worse their games get. (at least in the exact part that gets westernized/made for westerners.)

Luigi's Mansion 2 also is far worse then LM1. It has no connected "world" its again just some levels without any meaningful connection and it has this completely idiotic "it took you 2 minutes to finish this level here you get your digital nonsensical Gold medal that has no meaning at all and you cant even unloick something with it".

You can feel that its not made by Nintendo and is more western than its predecessor. Fire Emblem Awakening on the other hand just screams "PRODUCTION VALUE BITCHES!"




JazzB1987 said:
Fusioncode said:
JazzB1987 said:
Fusioncode said:
It's interesting to note that before the 7th Generation, Japan was the center of the gaming landscape. Their wants and needs were put front and center and that's one of the reasons Microsoft struggled so heavily out of the gate with the Xbox. In Gen 7 though there was a huge paradigm shift in gaming. With the explosion of the 360 all of a sudden Western audiences had taken the forefront of gaming. This is also thanks to Japan's growing obsession with mobile. It took Sony a while to catch up but now they're also focused primarily on the Western market as well and Japan is merely an afterthought for them.


And guess in which generation all that product devaluing crap like DLC, console DRM,  online activation etc... appeared?  I can understand why some people dont like western studios/games/mentality.




Hasn't Nintendo jumped on the DLC bandwagon as well? And don't forget about Nintendo's obsession with region locking their systems even though it's an outdated and draconian policy that only serves to annoy people. 


Yes and? Nintendo also copied streamlining their games. Galaxy2 Prime3 SkywardSword  all have a "chose your level" instead of "go there by exploiring" thing.

Nintendo gets constant criticizm for being so Nintendo so they tried to be more western but the more western they are the worse their games get. (at least in the exact part that gets westernized/made for westerners)

Luigi's Mansion 2 also is far worse then LM1. It has no connected "world" its again just some levels without any meaningful connection and it has this completely idiotic "it took you 2 minutes to finish this level here you get your digital nonsensical Gold medal that has no meaning at all and you cant even unloick something with it".

You can feel that its not made by Nintendo and is more western than its predecessor. Fire Emblem on the other hand just screams "PRODUCTION VALUE BITCHES!

I agree, tho Nintendo hasnt really effed up their games by westernizing them (yet) but other Japanese companies from Capcom to Square Enix dont seem to realize that by following western trends it will only ruin your famous franchises.



Snoorlax said:
JazzB1987 said:
 


You can feel that its not made by Nintendo and is more western than its predecessor. Fire Emblem on the other hand just screams "PRODUCTION VALUE BITCHES!

I agree, tho Nintendo hasnt really effed up their games by westernizing them (yet) but other Japanese companies from Capcom to Square Enix dont seem to realize that by following western trends it will only ruin your famous franchises.


The problem is that japanese devs including NIntendo think that we suddenly have alot more gamers than before. But thats not true. We have gamers and we suddenly have a shitload of mainstreamers. (because gaming became well mainstream and "pseudo cool" (it was cool before but people didnt realize)

The "classic" gamers dont like when you streamline your games to appeal to the mainstreamer and the mainstreamers dont give a fuck about your niche title just because its streamlined a little bit it will always be to strange for them.
And in the end you get DevilMayCry and everyone is whining and saying "Dante's haircut? Order cancelled!".

Thank god that some japanese devs seem to finally understand what happened (SquareEnix and BravelyDefault etc.)

There are 2 seperate groups and they are not interchargeable for the most part. Dont fuck up your fanbase by changing for people that wont give a fuck about your product anyway.



Soundwave said:

It is kind of odd that Nintendo has pretty much disengaged from the West, whereas in the 90s they were much more of an East + West company. Why the change and is it warranted? Especially when the West now is basically the entire console market? It seems to basically all trace back to Iwata and even Miyamoto moving up the ranks on Nintendo's Board of Directors. A few points I'd raise:

- Iwata after being groomed since about 1999/2000 takes over as Nintendo president officially in May 2002. His first major move as president? Selling Rare to Microsoft in September 2002. Despite spin at the time that Nintendo would use the money from the sale to invest in a similar Western studio (Zoonami was thrown around a lot), this never materializes.

Actually, it was Yamauchi that refused to pay more than "a fraction" of what Rare wanted to buy the rest of the studio. The negotiations with Microsoft had well and truly started before Iwata became CEO. All Iwata did was recognise that holding 49% while MS held 51% is pointless, since it meant MS had the controlling share.

Similarly, Retro's focus was adjusted well before Iwata became CEO.



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This are things I knew, but it's very interesting to see it all laid out.



Soundwave said:

It is kind of odd that Nintendo has pretty much disengaged from the West, whereas in the 90s they were much more of an East + West company. Why the change and is it warranted? Especially when the West now is basically the entire console market? It seems to basically all trace back to Iwata and even Miyamoto moving up the ranks on Nintendo's Board of Directors. A few points I'd raise:

- Iwata after being groomed since about 1999/2000 takes over as Nintendo president officially in May 2002. His first major move as president? Selling Rare to Microsoft in September 2002. Despite spin at the time that Nintendo would use the money from the sale to invest in a similar Western studio (Zoonami was thrown around a lot), this never materializes. 

- In basically two years, Iwata dismantles pretty much all of Nintendo's Western relationships. Silicon Knights is out. Factor 5 is out. NST is downsized to a Mario Vs. DK studio. Left Field is out. The deal for Star Wars exclusive games is not renewed. Nintendo Sports is shuttered.

- Now you may say 'b ... bu ... but Retro!", but Retro opened in 1999 was supposed to supply Nintendo with *multiple* games in genres like action/sports/shooters at once. That was Howard Lincoln's brainchild. Under Iwata, Retro is stripped down to one team and kept under an extremely tight leash where they only work on Nintendo IP. The same is basically true of Next Level Games (one game at a time, on a Japanese Nintendo IP only). Nintendo does work with a very small handful of Western companies, but basically only lets them work on Japanese IP that they're too busy to do themselves. No chance of an original IP like GoldenEye, Eternal Darkness, Killer Instinct, or NBA Courtside being greenlit here. 

- Under Iwata, Nintendo finances many different 2nd party Japanese titles ... The Last Story, Bayonetta 2, Zengeki No Rengleiv, Endless Ocean 1/2, Pandora's Tower, Fatal Frame IV/V, Devil's Third, The Wonderful 101, etc. etc. etc. Yet they never do this with any Western developer, even though Western devs like the Darksiders guy did make advances towards Nintendo. Nope, Nintendo only bails out a project, like Devil's Third or Bayo 2 if it's a Japanese developer. Tough luck if you're American/European. 

- Monster Hunter was a huge hit ... in Japan. Notice how Nintendo moved quickly to secure that as exclusive? But what about Western trends? They apparently won't even talk to the Minecraft people ... how much do you want to bet if Minecraft was a Japanese IP that there would be considerably more outreach from Iwata's Nintendo on it? You'd probably be able to play it on your Wii U/3DS right now if that was the case. 

- Another example of Nintendo's complete disengagement from the West ... Activision actually apparently offered Nintendo exclusivity on the Skylanders franchise while it was in the conceptual phase, Nintendo basically told them "thanks, but no thanks". 

- All their crossover games too are basically Japanese collaborations only. Hyrule Warriors, SMT x Fire Emblem, Metroid: Other M, Pokemon Conquest, Mario & Sonic are fair game ... but doing that with a Western IP ... nope. 

- NOA is basically stripped of any real power they had. Reggie mentioned they liked Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet) too and had them on their radar but Sony beat them to the punch. I really have to wonder if a lot of that has to do with NOA having no real power to make deals anymore. Iwata basically granting himself presidency over NOA when he himself admits he doesn't understand the Western market as well as Japan is just incredibly non-sensical. 

I'm not saying supporting Japanese development is bad, but really the above points to a bit of a disturbing trend of bias. I understand Iwata comes from the Japanese game developer community and maybe views it like a fraternity where deals are inked over glass of sake, but really there should be no excuse for Nintendo to be a more closed off Japanese company in 2014 than they were in say 1997. 


Sorry, but I am calling bullshit on your post. Some people have already called you out in posts above, but here we go:

1. You claim Iwata sold Rare. Iwata didn't own Rare. The Stamper brothers owned Rare and they sold a majority share to Microsoft.

2. You claim Iwata had nothing to do with Retr studios. Miyamoto was the one who made the decision to give Retro a shot with the Metroid license. Retro was purchased by Nintendo in May 2002.

3. You claim Factor 5 wa cut loose by Iwata. Factor 5 began developing for other consoles because the GameCube flopped and they wanted to expand their operations, and was unable to sustain them. It wasn't Iwata's decision.

4. You claim that Western Studios began leaving under Iwata when it is a fact that they began abandoning Nintendo during the N64 era when Western studios began focusing on Sony consoles instead of Nintendo consoles. Unlike some of your examples, some of these departures are directly the fault of Nintendo prior to Iwata. A huge example is Nintendo second party DMA/Rockstar North. Nintendo had a deal with them to be the studio's publisher. DMA developed Uniracers, Body Harvest, Space Station Silicon Valley, and Grandtheft Auto - Nintendo during the N64 era dropped them as a studio, opting out of publishing their games because they would not appeal to the Japanese market. This was not Iwata, but rather the previous leadership. Iwata never, ever dropped a studio because the games wouldn't appeal to Japan, but the previous leadership did just that with one of the most important studios of the past 20 years.

5. You claim that Nintenso "stripped NoA of any real power" but there haven't been any such moves at all. What power are you talking about? When was it stripped away? NoA is simply Nintendo's publishing and localization office for North America, it is the equivalent of NCL, NoE, NoK, etc... If Iwata was biased towards Japan in regards to NoA, then NoA would have a Japanese president, not an American one. All of the other International offices are run by Japanese presidents, except NoA, which has been run by Reggie Fils Aime since he replaced Kimishima in 2006.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

I remember reading that before most Metroid Prime developers left Retro, they showed Nintendo of Japan their ideas of a zelda game made by them, and Nintendo didn't really consider it.
I think in Japan developers are happy of being of the Zelda team or Mario team and working on that all their lives, but westerners don't like being stuck with something with no chances in sight of ever doing something new.



Fantastic post Op. I was just about to strike up a topic about this, but you did it way better than I could have. Kudos.

I've seen some people in this thread say that by the time Nintendo sold Rare, Rare was already dead. I don't buy that at all. There was still a LOAD of talent at that studio when they were sold. The Viva Pinata series is proof of that. Not to mention the sheer value of all their IP's. Banjo and Conker would be in smash, etc.

Also, the gimping of Retro is bizarre. They should have been expanded, and trained. The team that made Metroid Prime was just pure talent. They should have given every team at Retro the same treatment instead of gimping them half to death.

The N64 sold by far the most in North America. It had lots of great western developed games, and primed it's successor to dominate in the west. Then Iwata killed the west. Really baffling. Seems honestly like the Japanese Nintendo developers are disdainful towards the west. Sakamoto discounting the Prime games(then making the shittiest metroid game of all time), Sakurai not acknowledging the prime games in smash, and ignoring western character requests, etc.

Iwata needs to suck up his pride and acknowledge the fact that Japan is not the world.




Fusioncode said:

Hasn't Nintendo jumped on the DLC bandwagon as well? And don't forget about Nintendo's obsession with region locking their systems even though it's an outdated and draconian policy that only serves to annoy people. 


The region locking is pretty stupid, but DLC bandwagon? Not really, no.

Unless we consider bonus expansions to content that are tertiary to the main game as "DLC trash" akin to what Ubisoft/EA/etc like to pull. Its not like all DLC is bad, there's nothing wrong with DLC that functions exactly as how an expansion functioned in the past. Its the Day-1 DLC/on disk DLC of content or games deliberately made to end without DLC that are bad.