This Saturday sees Kenji Mastubara declare his faith in the Japanese gaming market, Fez - potentially the next indie hit coming to the 360 in 2010, Left 4 Dead 2 doing twice as well as its predecessor, and Sesame Street sticking up for gaming.
Japanese Gaming Market Will Grow Again
Kenji Mastsubara, CEO and President of Tecmo Koei has revealed much of his opinion on the Japanese gaming market. In an interview with Kikizo he said “The Japanese video game market is pretty much the same, or is even shrinking, compared to ten years ago”. He still believes there is a lot of growth opportunity within the Japanese market however.
Matsubara believes gamers tastes in Japan have changed over the past 10 years, pointing out how Japanese RPGs were the preferred choice for gamers, while now they are more focused on Online oriented services and performance. Matsubara believes that once developers and publishers cater for the expectations of Japanese gamers then the Japanese gaming market will grow again. [Kikizo]
Fez Hitting XBLA In 2010
Games like Braid and World of Goo are proof you don’t need buckets full of cash, the best graphics and celebrity endorsement (remember how much Jamie Redknapp and Ronan Keating loved the DS?) to make a popular game. Both games were nominated for several 'Game of the Year' awards and both developed by small indie developers.
Polytron’s upcoming platformer Fez is being anticipated as the next indie hit, coming out on the Xbox Live Arcade and released sometime in 2010. Fez plays as a 2D platformer, but adds a third dimension allowing the game world to rotate around Gomez, the star of the game. Polytron’s addition of a retro edge in the form of a 8-bit pixel art style and a retro soundtrack will surely further add to the game’s appeal. [Gamespot]
Left 4 Dead 2 Doing Twice As Well As Original
Valve has reported that Left 4 Dead 2 has received twice as much pre-orders as they did at this stage for the original Left 4 Dead. Valve initially promised additional content for the original Left 4 Dead, and upon announcing Left 4 Dead 2 enourmous backlash ensued, with accusations claiming Valve were instead going to use the idea’s created for the first game to make a quick sequel instead.
Valve marketer Doug Lombardi insists this is not the case; “I think there was a little bit of confusion that we created unintentionally, by announcing a sequel and not having the complete story ready”, further going on to explain additional content will also be provided for the original Left 4 Dead, and the mod tools will work with both games. Left 4 Dead, was awarded the best multiplayer game of E3 by much press, and retailers are very euthuastic about the sequel according to Lombardi - casting doubt over the amount of ‘outraged’ fans planning to boycott the game. [Eurogamer]
Big Bird Loves Games
The Joan Ganz Clooney Centre from the Sesame Workshop, issued a report titled ‘game changer’ suggesting to the government, the healthcare industry and schools, that rather than focusing on the negative aspects of gaming, they should study and embrace the positive effects. Previous studies into gaming have indicated that it can educate children effectively, as well as improving hand-eye coordination and reflexes. The Joan Ganz Clooney Centre’s aim is to "foster innovation in children's learning through digital media", with gaming being a form of digital media, of course they're going to say this. [Kotaku]