By Spencer . July 18, 2011 . 2:11am
For years, Microsoft has tried to popularize Western games in Japan. With the original Xbox, Microsoft sold games like Tony Hawk’s Underground, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds, and The Simpsons Hit & Run under their Xbox World Collection label. Adding diversity to Japan’s market was a good idea… except they left all the in game text in English. While the games were unlocalized, the Xbox World Collection titles included a Japanese control sheet.
West to East localization efforts have improved significantly since then with Japanese versions of popular titles and third party publishers like Spike scooping up text heavy games such as Dragon Age II.
Aside from publishing Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time as a first party game in Japan, Sony has sat on the sidelines when it came to overseas releases. Most of their first party Western games were picked up by third parties. Sega, for example, brought over the first Killzone and Capcom handled the God of War series.
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan changed their stance with the World Game Project. On July 23, Akihabara 85 will be home to a World Game Project event with hands-on demos of Resistance 3, inFamous 2, Shadows of the Damned, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Since the event is titled "World Game Project Fes Vol.1" it sounds like Sony has plans for more of these, which makes business sense for Sony since many of their first party games are developed in the West.