Retailers Not Keen On Cutesy Games Either

By Spencer . August 3, 2010 . 3:30pm

imageXseed has been shining light on what stores want or better put don’t want to stock on Facebook.

 

Anime games and games with “cutesy graphics” are turn-offs for retailers, according to an Xseed employee(s?). Responding to a request for Zwei, another Falcom title, a staffer at Xseed wrote “Zwei is a well-made charming game, but the retailers aren’t too crazy about the cutesy graphics, which makes our job a little more difficult.”

 

Games with “cutesy graphics” seem to be commonplace with titles like Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light and Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Maybe Xseed meant games with cutesy graphics that aren’t tied to an established franchise.

 

These tidbits on what retailers believe will sell or not sell are interesting since they affect which games get localized and to some extent the style/setting of titles in development.


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  • MizuMikomi

    I hate how retailers “THINK” they know what we like, have they ever thought that most gamers really don’t care about graphics anymore?

    Developers and retailers alike disgust me, with thoughts like this, its no wonder RPGs and anime styled games sale like crap here nowadays!

    • http://twitter.com/retroagehippy Bill DeMont

      No offense, but I think retailers have empirical data that shows what sells and what doesn’t in their stores.

      • ThunderGod_Cid

        Riiiightttt……if that were true my local Best Buy wouldn’t have piles of UFC 2010, Modern Warfare 2, Tony Hawk Ride, Mass Effect 2, Avatar and New Moon collecting dust on the shelves.

        • http://waxingerratic.tumblr.com/ ECM

          The problem with your logic is that retails have limited shelf space and though they may be choked w/ the above titles, you seem to assume that if they were, instead, choked with Zwei, that they’d be flying off the shelves?

          In other words, the point is that they do have empirical data for what does/does not sell, and clearly if stuff like Zwei sold a fraction as well as UFC or Ride, they’d stock that instead–it doesn’t, so they don’t.

          (And I say all this as someone that would rather see Zwei than MW2 on shelves but, as usual, supercore gamers don’t understand, by and large, that we are in a tiny, tiny minority of gamers and that does not, on the whole, make us terribly profitable.)

        • Hraesvelgr

          Given that all of those have sold ridiculously (and unnecessarily) well, that’s not doing much to help your point. The thing about really popular stuff like that is they have a “flavor of the month” effect, in that they are popular for a bit, then people move on to the next popular thing.

          Well, except for THR, I don’t think anyone ever really cared much about that one.

          • ThunderGod_Cid

            I don’t think you get my point. You guys seem to believe that retailers have some kind of crystal ball that tells them what will definitely sell and what won’t. They don’t.Retailers ride the same hype train just like as everyone else.The more attention a game or movie gets = more shelf space it gets. Simple as that. Whether or not more attention = more sales, that’s different a story.Point is if these “cutesy” games had the the same marketing or name recognition as those other titles they might have a spot on that shelf. (i.e. Pokemon, Harvest Moon)

            And another thing: all the games and movies I listed didn’t have enough legs to carry it beyond the first 4-6 weeks of release, which is why they’re collecting dust on the shelves. If retailers had any REAL Empirical data to work with, then they would have stopped excessively replenishing those titles after week 4, and they also wouldn’t have 30-50% off sales every other week just to get rid of those titles.

          • http://waxingerratic.tumblr.com/ ECM

            It has nothing to do with a crystal ball–they have empirical evidence that shows what does and does not sell based on a host of factors:

            *Past performance of a given publisher.
            *Planned marketing spend.
            *Stength of the IP.
            *General trends for certain genres, themes, etc. (Thus the comment about anime and “cutesy”.)

            As for why there are excessive copies, as with all other things, they buy them in BULK–they more they buy, the lower the per copy cost and the margin on those games is much, much better than something like Zwei so they’d be sacrificing shell space to stock a game a tiny handful of people would end up buying which is just bad business.

            Furthermore, outside of Wii games, there are very few games PERIOD that have legs past 4-6 weeks, but let’s think about this for a second (again): the potential customer base for Zwei is microscopic compared to the userbase for MW2, and that would only get worse as you move beyond week one. I can promise you that if Zwei actually did get published here, MW2 woudl still sell more copies of it at week 52 than Zwei would during week one.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tommy-Lee/518924335 Tommy Lee

        They do, but I assume the data would be categorized by system, publisher, developer, ESRB rating, and genre. Note I’m just saying what the empirical data would contain, not what other factors retailers consider in what goes up on store shelves.

    • Jellybit

      Most gamers may not care about particle effects and polygon counts, but most gamers definitely do care about art style. Some may not actively condemn or praise it, but they certainly do pass over box covers/screenshots that have an art style/presentation that doesn’t appeal to them (or vice versa). It’s very silly to think art/presentation style doesn’t affect gamers. We have thoughts. We have our personal tastes. I think you’re mistaking technology (which the article doesn’t mention at all, and is fleeting) with visual design (which is the factor mentioned, and is timeless in its value when done well).

    • Joanna

      I agree with everyone who said there is a reason why retailers do this, and I just want to add, your anger is directed at the wrong place. If you are really want to blame someone, blame gamers. Retailers and developers respond to market trends. So if these game aesthetics are unpopular, it’s because the majority of gamers don’t give a crap about games with cutesy looks, even if the gameplay is amazing and the game really fun.

      I myself don’t really like realist aesthetics (seems too uninspired to me, personally), I prefer something striking/unique, anime-asethetic, or cutesy, so I’m in the same boat as you….but I still think you’re getting angry at the wrong group of people.

      • malek86

        Getting angry at gamers is still a bit wrong though. People do what they like. Everyone has preferences… and after all, the fact that you like cutesy games is a preference in itself.

        For example, that would be like chastising people for seeing Avatar. I didn’t like Avatar (real bad movie in my opinion), but I wouldn’t go around telling people who liked the movie that they suck.

        • Joanna

          fair enough, but one could get angry at gamers judging a book by it’s cover, you know? I mean, I don’t like realism in games, but that won’t stop me from considering a game with realistic graphics so long as it’s a game genre I like (which usually does not happen, last time it did was Folklore I think…which I did buy).

  • http://www.nisamerica.com NickyD

    I’ve noticed this as well. It has a lot to do with the box art, I think. Cutesy or anime box art doesn’t seem to get front retail shelf space any more.

    • Pichi

      If changing the box art to something that will “please” them, than so be it. I rather have crappy box art than no game at all.

      Online retail can be good if they don’t mind such things. In the future, they may very well be the only places to stock these types of games with no strong franchise.

    • Kris

      It’s a shame, too.
      Out of sheer curiosity (and if you’re allowed to answer this), was this part of the reason for the new Atelier Rorona box art?

      • http://www.nisamerica.com NickyD

        You are correct in that I cannot answer this.

        But I suppose people will draw their own conclusions!

        • endaround

          I doubt you can answer about stocking fees that various big box stores charge either?

  • MrRobbyM

    Little Big Planet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tommy-Lee/518924335 Tommy Lee

      Sony Computer Entertainment.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jstack Jon Stachewicz

        Oh yeah I forgot that Sony doesn’t mind 2D games or games that are ‘too Japanese’

        Oh wait

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tommy-Lee/518924335 Tommy Lee

          Sony is the publisher for Little Big Planet. That’s why it get shelf space even though it looks “cutesy.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/jstack Jon Stachewicz

            True, but even then, they didn’t develop it themselves, they just gave MM the green light to put it on the PS3.

            And besides, LBP is a different, more marketable brand of cutesy than something like the Zwei! games the article references.

      • http://www.facebook.com/HenshinJayce Jason Kinnison-Holmes

        Ironically enough, SCEE are a bit more flexible when it comes to Japanese games (after all, we got Agarest on the PS3 on disc here in Europe) as well as games like Tales of Eternia and Breath of Fire III for PSP (I still can’t forgive them though for preventing companies like Play-Asia and YesAsia for selling anything Sony-related to people in Europe including anything PS-related) as well as NOE and various publishers like Nobilis because we got certain Japanese games released for the DS/Wii like Into the Abyss, Spectral Force Genesis and Another Code:R here.

        • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

          Yikes, is it just Sony related? Wasn’t there a shop that was apparently shut down in part by Sony, if I’m not mistaken? The shop started with an “A”. I never tried it, but I never completely understood why?
          Yeah, I wouldn’t forgive them, either, especially since “cute games” are getting the boot now, it seems. I need my sugar n’ sweet fix, and importing is the only antidote sometimes.

        • landlock

          Far as I know of SCEE pretty much let almost anything through things like Glass Rose (PS2) and Gregory Horror Show (PS2) that were rejected by SCEA were released fine in EU.

          Let’s face it if Midas Interactive managed to get Battle Contruction Vechicles released on the PS2 virtually anything must be OK.

  • andref

    Don’t you sometimes wish if there could be a website that offers a store to by english versions of games that stores don’t want to carry so you can buy all the games you will never see in stores?

    • ragolslayer

      Digital distribution?

      • andref

        That and hard copy distribution. I would like to see something like play-asia.com but instead of offering raw games offer maybe translated versions……. Though the fact some systems or games have region protection, it could be a potential stumbling block

    • MizuMikomi

      Thats never going to happen..

      But in all honesty, I’d prefer to see more companies like Nippon Ichi, who really don’t care about attracting new fans, though they would like to it doesn’t affect what gets localized. They just want to please their current ones, and possibly pull in new people in the process.

      • malek86

        Doesn’t mean it’s a good plan. Their last fiscal report wasn’t exactly hot…

        • MizuMikomi

          And yet they are still following that plan, thats what I meant by what I said.

          • malek86

            Oh, I’m not saying I don’t like that myself as a game player. But technically speaking, I don’t think that’s how you make money.For example, I would really like Sting to keep on making the games they do now, but it’s easy to see it’s not a very profitable method, so perhaps it’s best for them if they change a bit and try with something different.

        • Joanna

          Maybe I’m mistaken….but I thought NISA turned a profit while only NIS was having a hard time….again, I might be off…but I swear there was an siliconera article like that a couple weeks/months ago.

    • http://denpanosekai.blogspot.com denpanosekai

      Amazon

  • http://honorless.net honorless

    The one thought I had after reading that was “Well, that wouldn’t be an obstacle for Brandish!” Haha, I’m both overly optimistic and a big jerk. :’)

    • http://denpanosekai.blogspot.com denpanosekai

      They’ll probably need to put it in the R18 section.

  • http://ofurotaimu.dreamwidth.org shirokiryuu

    This is why I only use online retailers now. Most of the games I buy are in this category, and I’m sick and tired of having to go to multiple Gamestops just to find that one game in stock.

    • DlanorKnox

      This is what I do. I pre-order most titles I know I’ll want on Amazon. I try hard to support niche titles and to buy them when they first come out when ever I’m able to afford it.

      It’s depressing to see that there’s not much interest out there for the kind of games that I want to play. At least a decent amount of titles are still being brought over here.

    • RupanIII

      Same here, I even gave in to temptation and bought an Amazon Prime membership after it wouldn’t give me any more free trials lol

      I used to love to going to brick and mortar shops to buy stuff though, and to the local rental shop before it closed down. Babbages, Software Etc. EB, CompUSA for PC stuff, it was super exciting for me to go to these places. They had lots of magazines and guides (GameFan, GameGo (well the 1 ish anyway), Gamer’s Republic, and all the more common ones of course), stuff like Action Replay and GameShark, NeoGeo Pocket Color section, Saturn imports, cool PC stuff, etc.

      EB had good pre-order bonuses too- Ghaleon boxing puppet, my FFVIII cloth world map, etc. The EB wasn’t a big location but it seemed like they really packed it full of stuff. Then they moved to a new location that was bigger with more walking space, but it seemed like they had less games and less of the not-as-commonplace stuff, and the staff changed to these guys who seemed like the only games they knew about were Call of Duty and GTA. The people going there seemed to change too, it wasn’t like you could just pick up a convo with someone else there or the staff, which actually happened sometimes at the old shop- one time something I wanted wasn’t in stock and the guy suggested NCS, I was surprised he even knew about it

      This was before broadband mind you, so these stores offered a glimpse to something you couldn’t just look up online. But I think they used to have more variety and in general be better and more personal too. Now all the games stores consolidated to generic LameStop and CompUSA closed down.

      Pretty similar pattern with my DVD and anime buying. Somewhere along the line I stopped liking the mall :P

    • gatotsu911

      If there’s an upcoming Atlus/Xseed game that I know I want, I just make sure to preorder it from Gamestop. That usually does the trick.

    • Joanna

      yeah, I’ve found myself using online retailers more and more, but I’m still lucky in that the EB Games near my house haven’t fully succumb to this and still stock a fair amount of niche titles, or games with cutesy box art and of course they preorder anything I want….but preorder bonuses are really hit or miss (sometimes I get them, sometimes I don’t), so I’m basically only preordering stuff without bonuses from them now.

  • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

    One word, Noobz

  • http://twitter.com/cocainexplosion Doctor_Rabbit

    Apparently shovelware is OK to literally FILL shelves with, but if it’s too cute and not shovelware, forget about it.

    I understand though: even shovelware sells more than games like Zwei would.

    Quality doesn’t equal popularity and vice-versa.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jstack Jon Stachewicz

    I mean honestly you’re not even missing out on much by not playing the first Zwei!, but in an industry that essentially sells toys(despite said toys’ merits as a legitimate form of entertainment or art, that is what they are generally classified as) you think they would be a bit more lenient about this. I mean, look what Nippon Ichi and Atlus are able to get away with putting on store shelves >_>

  • Day2Day

    Makes perfect sense. That’s why Wind Waker was so popular right?

    • cowcow

      Thats riding in the Zelda household name so its totally different. Nintendo fans worldwide are fierce loyal buyers

  • MrBushido

    This is another poor, shambolic excuse from Xseed. If they were a decent company, they wouldn’t have any problems selling these games. Are you telling me that Trinity Universe, Eternal Sonata, Persona et all don’t have anime graphics and are not being sold at all? Sure as hell are; I even saw multiple copies of Trinity Universe on my local Best-Buy, who also coincidentally sell lots of anime DVDs and BluRays. So rather than these invisible “retailers” not wanting to sell them, it’s Xseed who are afraid to associate themselves with anime publishing and are afraid anime-themed games might not sell – they are the ones living in the past, not “retailers”, who will feed on ANYTHING that they’re given. They are a horrible, shitty excuse for a company, anyways; Nippon Ichi are an AAA company compared to them. Man up and admit the truth already, Xcrap.

    • http://honorless.net honorless

      They said “cutesy”, not “anime”. Persona is not cutesy like Zwei. Moreover, as a well-established and critically acclaimed franchise in the US, Persona can afford to be one of the exceptions.I can’t speak for Eternal Sonata given its age, but since you’re giving anecdotal evidence: Trinity Universe is only available at ONE of the 5+ Gamestops in my area. One of those locations was large enough to host one of the DQ events last weekend (it isn’t the one with the game in stock). I haven’t seen TU anywhere else.By the way, it seems interesting that—as mentioned above—the regular edition of Atelier Rorona won’t have the cute drawing of Rorona on the cover. P3 FES did the same thing, opting out of the anime box art in favor of a generic Aigis silhouette—remember? Maybe there is some truth to these comments. XSEED isn’t exactly the only company making them, IIRC. Either way, they’re the ones actually selling the games; we’re just armchair salespeople, armed with mostly speculation.As for calling XSEED a “horrible, shitty excuse for a company”…I really can’t see any justification for this hyperbole at all, and I’d love to hear your reasoning. (Seriously, not trolling.)Perhaps you’ve gotten them mixed up with Ignition? As Ignition has swiped a number of XSEED’s projects out from under them only to halfass localizations left and right, I can understand thinking this if you haven’t been paying much attention.

      • http://twitter.com/Rebochan Rebecca Richards

        He could just be an Ireland-worshipping Lunar fan. Ireland was trash talking XSEED left and right when the PSP version was coming out. I couldn’t believe a grown man, let alone an industry professional, could be that childish.

    • Zefiro Torna

      Examples pertaining to Best Buy are kind of an exception, since they are aware that products possessing an anime visual appeal do attract an audience to their store, even it it’s a limited one. Compared to Target or Wal-Mart who tried having dedicated anime DVD sections in their store only to completely get rid of them quickly, whereas Best Buy’s own dedicated anime DVD shelves still remain to this day, only reduced in size of course.

      Based on that history, there’s no doubt that certain retailers will adjust their overall game plan to their successes and failures (be it anime styled products or otherwise). Either way it means more outlets are lost to publishers and they find themselves very limited in options to reach an audience.

      This is certainly no Xseed excuse, as retailers (especially the “WM” folks) have a long history of being fickle and controlling. From shrinking down box sizes for PC games (remember how huge and stuffed they used to be) to freaking out over something like title logo placement on boxart, there’s no doubt that if you were to look at the closest game package near you I could name around 10 aspects of it that the retailer was responsible for deciding. There’s signs that Xseed, as well as many other pubs, struggle to appease the retail camp while doing whatever they can to please the people who really matter the most (see the Sky Crawlers boxart and the reversible side for a tiny, yet clearly visible example).

      Issues regarding retailers are rarely discussed by publishers for good reason, as it risks harming their relationship with the retailers which is vital to uphold for the sake of staying in business. One unfortunate side effect has occurred which is that people blame either the ESRB or the publishers as being responsible for everything and anything that goes wrong, not to say that all those in the two aforementioned categories don’t make their fair share of unlikeable actions from time to time on their own, but more people ought to be aware of how STRONGLY retail influences the products they buy.

  • ForeverFidelis

    I feel like I’ve just been punched in the belly

  • Hours

    I think that is a cop out and a (knowingly) false statement. Stores are packed full of legitimate and shovelware games with “cutesy” graphics. And there are tons of successful franchises that feature this style.
    C’mon XSEED, what’s the point of acting defeated before you’ve begun, do you think your customers are going to just be like “Okay, if XSEED says it won’t sell, then I don’t want it anymore.” Publishers need to show retailers and consumers why the game is worth looking at, not just fall back on the same old excuses.

    • Joanna

      I don’t know…most critically acclaimed games aren’t successful. Even if you make it known that the game is worth your time, that does not guarantee sales.

      As for shovelware, me thinks it have more to do with the price than with the cutesy graphics. Parents tend to be cheapos and buy an Imagine title for 20 (I’ve even seen them around 10) rather than shell out for another cutesy game going for 30-40.

      But yeah, I do hope XSEED doesn’t shy away. There are lots of awesome cutesy games.

  • mikedo2007

    Anybody can find out if the retailer are not anime haters or people that don’t like moe.

  • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2012

    Their loss.

  • gatotsu911

    Understandable. Western males, and Americans in particular, are not big on the whole “cute” aesthetic (hell, I’m not big on it myself) and anime has retreated back into the realm of ultra-geekdom after a brief stint at becoming almost-mainstream in the early-to-mid-2000′s. The trick here, I think, is finding a way to market these kinds of games to Westerners based on quality and content, while downplaying appearances. For instance, look at Nintendo’s ad campaign for Dragon Quest IX, which plays up the customization elements of the game while not being overbearing about the Toriyama art and technicolor, cutesy appearance. We’ll have to see how successful that game is, but I think that’s the way to go when promoting these kinds of Japanese games in America.

  • http://www.siliconera.com Melinda

    I’m surprised that no one touched in the comments the elephant in the room which everyone in the US is scared of.

    … Then again, it’s probably cause it’s that scary topic no one likes to talk about.

    There’s been a subsection that suspect that ‘Japanese cutesy’ is in some way perverted or porn in some manner. You know, adorable little girl, and apparently the fact you can see her knees is enough to go ‘Uh, is that really a good idea?’ and if you see anything above the knee it’s almost relegated to the CP category.

    From time to time, I’ve met people who think even playing a game with someone under the age of 18 is somehow a pedophile action. Sure, you can accuse them of being stupid, or another derogatory term of choice, but they’re buying people which affects retail behavior.

    They’re also influencing retailers because increasingly, they don’t like being non-PC, or at least, not unless they can get someone really big (Sony, Nintendo or someone that has mass market recognition) to set the record straight.

    In Australia, the politicians are playing up the CP ‘risk’ for about everything it’s worth (And quite incorrectly I might add) to the population, and as you can guess, retailers are reacting to protect themselves from lost sales.

    For me at least, I have to purchase directly from Japan, which isn’t expensive for me, since well, buying locally is just as bad. I shrug off the fact I can’t read Japanese though.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      The moe=porn subsection certainly describes that elephant.

      That the subsection is on the vocal side and not that willing to participate in discussion does not make things easier. I can note feelings engendered by ‘moe’ are meant to be opposite of sexual desire — a need to protect or care for the subject, not horrifically rape them — but if the mind is made up, things aren’t going to change.

      There is one thing anyone can do. RESERVE. Amazon, Gamestop and anyone else who makes these titles available, will get at least the number of copies already spoken for. In the case of retail locations, they will usually be stocked with a few past reserves too.

      Perhaps we need to remember those halcyon days of the PS1 RPGs when we could go in and have the conversations others have noted here. Remember them and remember something else — we were the only ones in the store. Our hobby is no longer just our hobby; it is other’s hobby now too, a cheap babysitter, or the cool thing you do with your family/friends on a Friday night, sometimes drunk, sometimes not. Our interests are not everyones interests and we just need to accept such. I don’t see these titles ever going completely away, hell in a down market, the industry needs the spending hobbyist.

      It’s just like before the days of street dates and known releases; we just may need to work a little bit to get our fun.

      • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

        Ah, I almost forgot about those days. It also reminds when companies would edit the game content to certain designs look like something else to cater to more Western taste – some mixed results.
        Not only that, but the covers, too. I wonder if things would be any different if they used the original Mega Man cover Japan had for the U.S…

      • http://www.siliconera.com Melinda

        I do apologise for the late reply – I’ve been busy with some interesting stuff we’ll see in the next couple of days.

        I’m used to hitting the ground on my own, because well it’s how the journalistic world works – we go out there and find stuff out to tell others.

        For most part though, I’m mostly concerned about the assumptions and the fact that well, we’re running into the point where ignorance is almost considered a good thing for the gaming and anime communities.

        Then again, I try to talk with them, and probe why they think that. The answers they give are interesting, and in a way I don’t blame them – it’s easier to make a blanket assumption since we’re often too busy for anything better.

    • Kibbitz

      Just digressing a bit, you’ve been doing Totori without the ability to read Japanese? I salute you for that!

      Otherwise, I suppose I’m fortunate that I’m not living in an area with concerns over japanese cutesy = pedophilia. Pretty much just buying from Japan either due to availabilty (or lack of), or for special goodies which the local parties seem to inflate or just not bring in.

      • http://www.siliconera.com Melinda

        It’s a bit of a silly admission – My Japanese skills are very poor or at the very least ‘very haphazard’ since I tend to get a lot of stuff wrong when I tried learning. If anything, it’s not really something to salute as opposed to a reason why I need to be summarily shot for.

        (Says the person playing Japanese imports for over 10 years. Yes, I know. I normally go through about 6-12 foreign language imports in a year, and yes, my aptitude is STILL scatter shot on a good day.)

        For me, I’m fine being in unknown territory, since it’s a challenge. It probably helps since I do journalistic work that I have no qualms in researching, discovery and just flat out asking more knowledgeable people than me, since it’s what keeps me going.

        I also find that I want to feel a game, instead of just playing it.

        For most part, I really do feel that retailers just don’t want cutesy (as opposed to kiddy) because of risk of sticking on various stigmas to the store, and consequently in western markets, we see lots of gritty ‘ultra realistic’ styles of games stocked to the rafters in retailers to avoid it.

        It’s almost like how some people swing wildly to the opposite to avoid being called something they don’t like, like being ridiculously musclebound macho to avoid being called pansy or something.

        • Kibbitz

          Eh, don’t be. I’m a Super Robot Taisen fan who has been buying PS2 and DS releases. My reading skills are pretty horrible, though they’ve been improving (VERY) slowly since I started buying more Japanese to read. However, for games, once the dialogue feels too draggy or difficult, I start skipping through to focus on playing the game mostly. I do have friends with varying levels of proficiency in Japanese, but I usually get where I need to with a bit of work with a dictionary.

          Apologies for being off-topic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/HenshinJayce Jason Kinnison-Holmes

    I say “F” the retailers! Why should they (in a way) decide what games come out from Japan and what don’t because not everybody is into shovelware crap (even if Japan has its own share of crap that comes out in the West) and 1st=person shooters!

    • Kibbitz

      Because it’s their business on the line? I cannot consider them at fault for choosing to protect their interests, though the wisdom of their decisions is another thing completely.

  • 9inchsamurai

    One of my best friends cannot stand the cutesy graphics and general sillyness of the Dragon Quest games, so I’d believe this similar claim about retailers too.

  • epy

    I haven’t shopped at brick and mortar stores for a while now cause I usually find that Amazon has better deals. But this one time I wanted Star Ocean The Last Hope International really bad and didnt want to wait for it, so I figured I would go to the closest Gamestop to pick it up since it was a relatively new title. Long story short, 3 Gamestops, nothing. Not even used. One dude even told me “we don’t really carry those cartoon games”.

    So like, I’m the nerd that can’t find his place in a GAMING store because they catter to the “jocks” (Madden, Halo, FPSs) and casual crowds and I like my games with anime in it? I found the irony too cruel.

    Now I’m sure someone will tell me how Gamestops have all sorts of craps and so on, just sharing my little anecdote.

    • http://www.youtube.com/B4ULoveShine Tim_at_where

      I feel that myself, to the point that I have noticed the notion that “Real is Brown” is selling more into gaming and retail stores…in America!

      It only gets worse, because of graphics whoring.

      • malek86

        Man, what’s with you and graphic whores? It seems you unconditionally hate everyone who has a HD console almost as much as Dragon Ball.

  • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

    Cuteness is righteous!

  • http://twitter.com/Alos88 Alos88

    It’s a fine line to tread, too cute and it’s insufferable, whilst attempting to be cute and failing can be just as bad. I think Okami succeeded in being a cute game without being overly saccharine.

  • cowcow

    I’m tired of the cutesy graphics. Personally I think its just developer laziness. Much like non moving pictures in Visual novels

  • Jaxx-Leviathan

    *shakes fist* Damn you retailers, Gamestop and your kin. Sigh… too tired to make a sensible comment regarding the issue. But I do wish on some naive level that any game I fancy would somehow be within my reach.

  • Exand

    Not sure why this is much of a surprise.

    First and foremost, there’s the bit about anime based games generally being crappy. Why stock something that won’t sell well?

    Second, manga / anime culture hasn’t translated well to North American culture because it’s still seen as an equivalent to Saturday morning cartoons by the general populace, INCLUDING a good majority of people who do read manga / anime. That’s a significant reason why anime / manga consumption in NA has dropped off, the generation that grew up with manga / anime in NA now view it as “embarrassing” to be seen reading or watching manga / anime.

    In Japan it’s part of culture from the young to the old, and manga / anime is tiered for different generations. While there are still some stigma’s attached to reading or watching manga / anime, it’s no where near the level that you experience in North America. So much like the Comic Book guy from the Simpsons, anime / manga / cutsey based games have a bad reputation.

    And that reputation leaves retailers wary of anime / manga based games. Unless social awareness somehow changes toward manga / anime in North America, I really doubt this trend will ever change.

  • http://twitter.com/Rebochan Rebecca Richards

    Damn dudebros ruining things for the rest of us.

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