Is Japan now completely irrelevant? (48 votes)
Now that Nintendo is declining along with other Japanese developers with an aging Japanese society and slow adaptation of digital distribution (lack of interest with Steam and PC gaming), is Japan now completely irrelevant to the video game industry as a whole? Although there are indeed Japanese indie devs, the indie scene in Japan is basically invisible that it doesn't really make an impact to the industry. I also heard it's mostly littered with bullet shooters and visual novels, not exactly the type of genres geared for a wide audience and wide impact.
I've been here in Tokyo, Japan for 2 years studying Japanese language to learn game development since I also like Japanese games and have an interest in their culture. Unlike the Philippines where I came from, I am surprised that it's harder to be a gamer here than back home because Japanese PC games that are not visual novels and Japanese version of Western games are hard to find especially recent ones. The same goes for imported games and the prices are outrageous. In Philippines, there's a Gamestop-like store that sells original games (English versions of course) and they are usually up to date with only a few days difference from US release date. Not to mention the prices aren't that different from those in the US.
And so when buying a Western game here I really have to go online. Japan has its own Amazon but apparently they have a very lackluster inventory of imported games. Steam Japan is just a carbon copy of Steam but with restrictions on some games due to regional locking. I had to go to the Steam US store to get Rome 2 when it launched last year. I don't get why they restrict games here which is very ironic. Rayman Legends is still unavailable on Steam Japan. I only have a gaming laptop and a 3DS that can only play NA versions of games. I plan to buy a Japanese 3DS when I have the money so that I can immerse myself with Japanese 3ds games.
It seems Western games and Western stuff still don't have that much of a strong presence in Japan and the foundation for it to develop isn't there yet. Even Western movies take a freaking long time to come and the theaters are severely overpriced. I get the feeling they are not that much interested with Western stuff.