Why Steam isn't a big hit in Japan

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#1 Posted by lordlors (5785 posts) -

I'm a game development student here in Tokyo. I've been living here for 2 years now and am actually thinking of going for US instead. Anyway, although this is just an anecdote and not from a source with statistical evidence (since I just asked my Japanese classmates), I would just like to share what they said.

The Steam store itself is too dark. They said the Japanese love colorful stuff and that the Steam store is too dark for them. I guess if you compare Steam to other DD services it is dark but I just like the way it is because it seems elegant.

The prices aren't in Japanese Yen. They have to bother calculating the US dollar to Yen. I agree with this. Other stores like Play-Asia have the options of seeing prices in different currencies. Steam should do the same.

It isn't in Japanese. Most of them they say take a while to read English and it would have been great if it were in Japanese. I have no problem with English since it's my second language but I understood what they felt when I opened Origins here in Japan and it was in Japanese. I still wasn't as good as I am right now in Japanese back then.

And lastly, they said Western games tend to revolve around killing people and destroying stuff. This, I wholeheartedly disagree. I just think they are ignorant of the numerous games on Steam that don't revolve around killing and destroying stuff. They just aren't familiar to indie games too. So I made a list of games mostly indies and gave it to this one guy. I wonder though if he really will research those games or just throw that paper away.

I think it all boils down to familiarity. Battlefield series is pretty known within my class. There's this one classmate who liked Skyrim too. I wonder if Western companies try to advertise their games more aggressively with proper Japanese localization, maybe Western games would become bigger and hell even PC gaming in Japan.

What do you think?

#2 Posted by PannicAtack (21040 posts) -

Sounds like it makes sense. Most of the games on Steam are western games, or if they are Japanese, they tend to be Japanese games that are pointedly marketed at western audiences. Though there is a growing niche of visual novel games on Steam, like To the Moon and Analogue.

#3 Posted by magicalclick (24306 posts) -

The simple answer is, Japanese PC gamers only play PC98 games (aka dating games).

#5 Edited by PS4hasNOgames (2502 posts) -

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy.

smh...and by the way, pc gaming is boring. snore.

#6 Posted by BattleSpectre (7575 posts) -

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy.

smh...and by the way, pc gaming is boring. snore.

Whatever the case, you know that the second part of my post is true (yeah the one you chose to ignore).

#7 Posted by GoldenElementXL (4121 posts) -

The handheld market is what rules Japan. PC gaming isn't exactly commute friendly. I think that's as far as we need to look.

#8 Posted by Blabadon (28995 posts) -

Okay, mostly valid points, but if it's not in Japanese, I don't know why the topic is being looked at in the first place.

#9 Edited by ButDuuude (608 posts) -

The Japanese are getting old have other more important things to worry about than games, like nuclear radiation and Godzilla.

#10 Posted by melonfarmerz (1294 posts) -

Japan's strange to me. Its asian buddies, China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, ect, are all very very deeply routed into PC gaming and are hubs of DOTA, Starcraft and Counter Strike.

For some reason, Japan sits in the middle of all this and the biggest games there are like cutesy cartoon games (Pokemon/Animal Crossing), anime orientated games, and fantasy dating games. Seriously. I lived there. Those are all the rage. To sound slightly less racist than BattleSpectre, the things you see about cuddling cafe's and guys preferring virtual girlfriends on their DS to real girlfriends actually do exist. It's not like a national thing but there is a very active minority that we would consider "weird as fuck"

@ButDuuude said:

The Japanese are getting old have other more important things to worry about than games, like nuclear radiation and Godzilla.

Lived in Japan for awhile, Godzilla can be a real bitch sometimes.

#11 Posted by Kaze_no_Mirai (11690 posts) -

Wait what? Western games revolve around killing and destroying? Umm.. DMC? Final Fantasy? Ninja Gaiden? Bayonetta? Metal Gear? Mad World? Resident Evil?

I'm assuming they were thinking of things like military shooters?

#12 Posted by PS4hasNOgames (2502 posts) -

@BattleSpectre said:

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy.

smh...and by the way, pc gaming is boring. snore.

Whatever the case, you know that the second part of my post is true (yeah the one you chose to ignore).

i was shaking my head to the second part of your post, as an american you embarrass me.

#13 Edited by BattleSpectre (7575 posts) -

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy.

smh...and by the way, pc gaming is boring. snore.

Whatever the case, you know that the second part of my post is true (yeah the one you chose to ignore).

i was shaking my head to the second part of your post, as an american you embarrass me.

Only one problem with your theory. I'm not American, I'm Australian.

#14 Edited by Shadowchronicle (26054 posts) -

Are you talking about japanese language support for games or the interface itself?

#16 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19058 posts) -

I think Portal 2 is the Only Valve Game that doesn't revolve around Killing People.

Killing Sucks !

#17 Posted by PS4hasNOgames (2502 posts) -

@BattleSpectre said:

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy.

smh...and by the way, pc gaming is boring. snore.

Whatever the case, you know that the second part of my post is true (yeah the one you chose to ignore).

i was shaking my head to the second part of your post, as an american you embarrass me.

Only one problem with your theory. I'm not American, I'm Australian.

And here I thought you people were smarter than that.

#18 Posted by BattleSpectre (7575 posts) -

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy.

smh...and by the way, pc gaming is boring. snore.

Whatever the case, you know that the second part of my post is true (yeah the one you chose to ignore).

i was shaking my head to the second part of your post, as an american you embarrass me.

Only one problem with your theory. I'm not American, I'm Australian.

And here I thought you people were smarter than that.

Sorry to disappoint... alright fine maybe I was a little harsh with my comment I'll admit that, and I don't personally have anything against Japan so no hard feelings.

#19 Posted by Gaming-Planet (14685 posts) -

Make they should make a Japanese Only Steam client that is more colorful and embraces the Japanese culture.

#20 Edited by wis3boi (32078 posts) -

@Gaming-Planet said:

Make they should make a Japanese Only Steam client that is more colorful and embraces the Japanese culture.

k

#21 Posted by clyde46 (47840 posts) -

@Kaze_no_Mirai said:

Wait what? Western games revolve around killing and destroying? Umm.. DMC? Final Fantasy? Ninja Gaiden? Bayonetta? Metal Gear? Mad World? Resident Evil?

I'm assuming they were thinking of things like military shooters?

Designed for Western audiences.....

#22 Edited by Kaze_no_Mirai (11690 posts) -

@clyde46: what are you talking about? TC wrote "And lastly, they said Western games tend to revolve around killing people and destroying stuff"

Regardless of the audience it's a Japanese game that includes those elements.

If I misinterpreted what TC wrote or what you said, please explain, because I'd really like to know.

#23 Posted by stationplay_4 (444 posts) -

racist

#24 Posted by Heirren (19373 posts) -

Now I could be completely wrong but I believe the japanese culture typically has a minimalistic approach in the home.

#25 Posted by edwardecl (2239 posts) -

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy. I mean which country has a vending machine where you pay money, and dirty panties come out with a picture of a school girl.

Disgusting country, a bunch of sickos.

Got any links/pics of this vending machine?

#26 Posted by BattleSpectre (7575 posts) -

@edwardecl said:

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy. I mean which country has a vending machine where you pay money, and dirty panties come out with a picture of a school girl.

Disgusting country, a bunch of sickos.

Got any links/pics of this vending machine?

You just want me to get banned, ain't it?

#27 Posted by ghostwarrior786 (5811 posts) -

steam are not even going after the japenese market though are they? the points u made are solid though. with more japanese publishers like capcom/konami now releasing games on steam or showing interest to maybe gabe will go after the land of rising sun

#28 Posted by blue_hazy_basic (28794 posts) -

@lordlors said:

And lastly, they said Western games tend to revolve around killing people and destroying stuff. This, I wholeheartedly disagree. I just think they are ignorant of the numerous games on Steam that don't revolve around killing and destroying stuff. They just aren't familiar to indie games too. So I made a list of games mostly indies and gave it to this one guy. I wonder though if he really will research those games or just throw that paper away.

On consoles its largely true. The big blockbusters tend to be geared around that, but I think it displays their ignorance of steam as a platform and what is on offer there when they say that.

#29 Posted by zeeshanhaider (2958 posts) -

Steam and handheld oriented Japanese market don't mingle.

#30 Posted by Heil68 (48440 posts) -

Some good points, but the main one is the games just dont appeal to them, or at least a majority of them.

#31 Posted by donalbane (16379 posts) -

This is an easy one... people don't play a lot of PC games in Japan. That's really all you need to know. It's the land of handhelds.

#33 Posted by freedomfreak (44546 posts) -

Is it true that you have vending machines with panties in them?

It's stuff you hear about, but I want to know if it's legit.

#34 Posted by lbjkurono23 (12544 posts) -

Clearly it needs more girly pink, and less dark gritty badasses.

#35 Posted by MBirdy88 (9211 posts) -

To be fair, they have a point/ the steam U.I is INCREDIBLY ugly... like a young teenage boys sort of art-style.... its not even that great to use.

Hideous.... just like Xfire... who designs this crap? honestly?

#36 Posted by glez13 (9065 posts) -

In Japan computers only run visual novels and MMO's, true story.

#37 Posted by uninspiredcup (13635 posts) -

Why does it need to be?

#38 Posted by magicalclick (24306 posts) -

In Japan:

Console/handheld = lots of games.

PC = western games that they don't care and Japanese R rated games ONLY.

In China and Taiwan:

Console/handheld = lots of games, but not localized.

PC = all Chinese games made in Taiwan/China/Hong Kong, especially the legendary Chinese RPGs started by Taiwan and Hong Kong back in the DOS era. Western games are nice addition, great localization effort and they don't need much language anyway. Western competitive online gaming is always addictive for individual's alter ego. But, the foundation reside with the Chinese games. Western games are not essential.

Korean, don't know much about it except knowing they are crazed with Diablo and StarCraft back in the days.

In short, forget about PC gaming in Japan. They don't have such culture and the industry is center around console too heavily, there is no room for PC gaming.

#39 Posted by LJS9502_basic (152991 posts) -

Not everything is global. If it's not cost effective then markets are ignored.

#40 Edited by WallofTruth (2308 posts) -

@edwardecl said:

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy. I mean which country has a vending machine where you pay money, and dirty panties come out with a picture of a school girl.

Disgusting country, a bunch of sickos.

Got any links/pics of this vending machine?

No idea if that's actually real though or if anyone actually uses them...not sure I wanna know.

#41 Edited by jsmoke03 (13363 posts) -

simple, the device doesnt which steam runs on doesnt fit in their pocket

#42 Posted by lordlors (5785 posts) -

@freedomfreak said:

Is it true that you have vending machines with panties in them?

It's stuff you hear about, but I want to know if it's legit.

I haven't seen any vending machine that sells panties. When I researched about it, it really existed although in "small amount" at only a few places in the past before the 21st century I think. Then it got banned. So if you come here planning to find those, you're gonna get disappointed.

#43 Posted by freedomfreak (44546 posts) -
@lordlors said:

I haven't seen any vending machine that sells panties. When I researched about it, it really existed although in "small amount" at only a few places in the past before the 21st century I think. Then it got banned. So if you come here planning to find those, you're gonna get disappointed.

That just sucks.

#44 Posted by PS4hasNOgames (2502 posts) -

@MBirdy88 said:

@BattleSpectre said:

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy.

smh...and by the way, pc gaming is boring. snore.

Whatever the case, you know that the second part of my post is true (yeah the one you chose to ignore).

oh noes, they are not dominated by a pathetic Christian religion where violence is idolised yet sexual expression is TEH DEVIL.... that vendor is a joke... nothing more.

shut up idiot, Christianity saved the world. don't eve n try to get into this.

#45 Edited by CrownKingArthur (5262 posts) -

haha

there is no god

#46 Edited by FoxbatAlpha (9485 posts) -

Steam Handheld version 1.1 coming to Japan soon.

#47 Edited by FoxbatAlpha (9485 posts) -

@CrownKingArthur said:

haha

there is no god

#48 Edited by gameofthering (10515 posts) -

@MBirdy88 said:

To be fair, they have a point/ the steam U.I is INCREDIBLY ugly... like a young teenage boys sort of art-style.... its not even that great to use.

Hideous.... just like Xfire... who designs this crap? honestly?

I use a skin called Pixelvision for Steam. Looks very good :)

#49 Posted by MBirdy88 (9211 posts) -

@ps4hasnogames said:

@MBirdy88 said:

@BattleSpectre said:

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy.

smh...and by the way, pc gaming is boring. snore.

Whatever the case, you know that the second part of my post is true (yeah the one you chose to ignore).

oh noes, they are not dominated by a pathetic Christian religion where violence is idolised yet sexual expression is TEH DEVIL.... that vendor is a joke... nothing more.

shut up idiot, Christianity saved the world. don't eve n try to get into this.

lmfao.... are you serious?

#50 Posted by inb4uall (6550 posts) -

@ps4hasnogames said:

@MBirdy88 said:

@BattleSpectre said:

@ps4hasnogames said:

@BattleSpectre said:

Japan doesn't deserve a gaming PC, they're all a bunch of casuals that marry their 3DS and handhelds because they can't get pussy.

smh...and by the way, pc gaming is boring. snore.

Whatever the case, you know that the second part of my post is true (yeah the one you chose to ignore).

oh noes, they are not dominated by a pathetic Christian religion where violence is idolised yet sexual expression is TEH DEVIL.... that vendor is a joke... nothing more.

shut up idiot, Christianity saved the world. don't eve n try to get into this.

Hmm name calling and hate. The christian way, Jesus would approve.