Japan Is Missing Out On A Lot Of Xbox 360 Games

By Spencer . May 31, 2013 . 5:33pm

injustice Aside from the occasional shooter or visual novel, the Xbox 360 is mostly neglected in Japan. It wasn’t always this way, Microsoft courted Japan by making publishing deals with Japanese developers for the console’s launch. Ninety-Nine Nights from Q Entertainment, Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon from Mistwalker, Ninja Blade from From Software (an Otogi-like game released before Demon’s Souls made them popular), and Infinite Undiscovery was originally a Microsoft signed game.


Things have changed with Xbox 360 owners in Japan missing out on multiplatform games. Take Injustice: Gods Among Us. Warner Bros. will release publish the DC Universe fighting game in Japan, but only for PlayStation 3 and Wii U. Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara appears to be PS3-only in the region too and it will be released as a retail game in Japan. We mentioned before how Japanese Xbox 360 owners missed out on Metal Gear Rising: Revengance (remember how that was an Xbox 360 press conference highlight?), Silent Hill: Downpour, and Dynasty Warriors 8 also skipped the 360.


On top of that, even digitally distributed Xbox Live Arcade games are skipping Japan. Skullgirls, which might do decently in the region, is PlayStation 3 only and it has Cyberfront as the publisher. Here’s a list of Xbox Live Arcade titles from this year that Japan didn’t get:


Retro City Rampage

The Cave

Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale


Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Decade Duels Plus

Serious Sam Double D XXL

Serious Sam 3: BFE

Dollar Dash

Alien Spidey

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams

Terraria – Xbox 360 Edition

God Mode

Poker Night 2

Hunter’s Trophy 2 – America

Sanctum 2

Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine


image BattleBlock Theater was released in Japan and that makes sense since the Behemoth has a decent presence in the region since they attend Tokyo Game Show. Sacred Citadel and oddly enough Way of the Dogg found their way to Japan even though Terraria, which was picked up by Spike Chunsoft, didn’t.


Japan has a few Xbox Live Arcade exclusives like Virtual On and Virtua Striker from Sega, but support for Japan is scarce. The question is can Microsoft ramp that up developers to sell their games in Japan for the Xbox One?

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  • sunK1D

    The Japanese public only have themselves to blame. (Assuming they still care about these games not being released for the X360 there.)

    • Ferrick

      i don’t think they would care though, because the 360 isn’t exactly the choice of technology for them

      • Kevadu

        Exactly. Thee games aren’t getting releases there on 360 precisely because nobody there has 360s. So what does it even matter to them?

  • baha

    Xbox 360 – The PSP of the East

    • PSP of the West would sum it up better, Japan still develops games on the PSP console

      • LynxAmali

        I think they’re referring to how the PSP succeeded in the East, while the Xbox failed.

        The Xbox did well in the west, the PSP…not so much.

        • WyattEpp

          I wouldn’t call the PSP a failure in the West, certainly not at the level of the 360 in Japan.

          Now, the PSP Go, on the other hand…

          • Kevadu

            The Go is just a type of PSP, it’s not a different platform. Why even bring it up?

          • Vesperion

            Yeah the games on the PSP really started to roll out near the end of it’s cycle, but the ridiculous amout of pirating is what made those sales not mean much.

            Also what Kevadu said about the Go

  • WyattEpp

    “The question is can Microsoft ramp that up developers to sell their games in Japan for the Xbox One?”

    Parse error. Also, no, because they don’t care.

  • Herok♞

    I read The 360 has sold around a million units in Japan, so the wiiu is going to overtake it next time a game is released. The question is why it never caught on its not like the 360 is the Xbone.

    • Suicunesol

      Wasn’t it a combination of bad press, cultural misunderstandings, and hardware design differences? I wager the fact that it was a console from Westerners was also a factor. Many Japanese prefer Japanese consoles?

      1. Microsoft tried to set up relations with Japanese companies, but did business the American way rather than the Japanese way, which rubbed them the wrong way. Also, they laid off 100+ employees from Japan without notice, and that made headlines.

      2. Controller design was too chunky to the Japanese who prefer things to be smaller, which made it unpopular and ugly to the Japanese.

      3. Xbox obtained some nice exclusives early on like Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, but poor sales discouraged other studios from further involvement.

      I read this in an article once. Too lazy to look for it now.

      EDIT: Here we go http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-12-13-why-xbox-failed-in-japan

      • I think you’re mixing up a lot of the decisions they made with the original Xbox. Mainly the larger controller and the american business way. There was a massive article online somewhere about how they completely screwed themselves with the original system.

        • brian

          Did it happen to be on Eurogamer?

  • NightzeroAX

    Japan: No ****’s are given here.

    • ShawnOtakuSomething


  • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

    I don’t see them going out of their way to court to Japan any time soon. Sony and Nintendo really have it locked down, it would take them a lot of money/deals to make any real progress. But good luck to them if they want to try again. There has to be some place for them in the Land of the Rising Sun.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Funny you should say that. Per an article I read the other day, MS apparently has a new development studio in Japan that’s working on something for Xbox One. Round 3, I guess? lol

      • ShadowDivz

        Alot of people/non japanese don’t even like the Xbox One.
        The 360,which was actually good, flopped in japan. And yet they expect a fail tastic version of it to flourish? DAT LOGIC.

    • Aoshi00

      It’s really sad that the 360 hasn’t caught on in Jpn, because god knows MS did try, and try hard (I’m not sure if many commenters here are happy they failed, personally I want all systems to thrive and have great games).

      Early JRPG exclusives, tons of interesting and zany ads, promotion, custom faceplates, tailor made videos regularly aired on Jpn Inside Xbox, updated twice a week (interviews and demo play w/ creators like Suda51, Asada of Cave, Takeuchi from Capcom, Shikura of 5pb/Mages, w/ hot and cute gamer girls too, which I have watched for several years), even Jpn PSN was nowhere as colorful. But now it’s all abandoned. I still love both my US & Jpn 360s though, got me into shmups and VNs (the amazing Steins;Gate started on the 360 way before ported to other platforms and anime adaptation).. so I’m not sure where people get the impression MS did not try to cater Jpn aggressively.

      Even though Jpn gamers in general are more open to Western games and see how good they are now (Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, etc w/ strong story narratives), the stigma “the Box” (hako) from the original Xbox just can’t be shaken off. And let’s be frank here, it being a non-Jpn console has a great part to do w/ it. And I always like to cheer for the underdog..

      As annoying as some of the restrictions are w/ Xbox One, I hope it would continue to do well in the US and have unique games coming from the Jpn side too (too bad it would likely be region locked again, I’m not sure if I’m up for having consoles for both regions either). I was not a fan of the original Xbox aside from a handful of games like Panzer Dragoon Orta, Shemmue 2, Jet Set Radio, but the 360 has won me over.. and now Xbox One, we will see…

      • Happy Gamer

        i actually got the 360 before I got the ps3 precisely because of this phase. when i got it, alot of JRPGs were announce, particularly from mistwalker. which was kind of ironic, at the time the ps3’s rpgs were not as attractive to me. Then it slowly started the steam out.

        • Aoshi00

          Same here, I actually imported the Blue Dragon Jpn bundle, knowing that Lost Odyssey would be the next to come, and then Cry On which unfortunately got canned. I liked Vesperia, Last Remnant, Infinite Undiscovery, and Magna Carta 2 though (and Eternal Sonata PS3 has no trophies).. and after that I just got all the multiplatform games on the 360 somehow because I liked the controller and achievement more.. and I ended up playing less JRPGs actually since they’re too time consuming..

          PS3 I just get the exclusives, and since I watch tons of bluray movies and Netflix, I like to play games on the 360 more (it’s quieter if you install the whole game which PS3 can’t).. also VN and shmup, and the XBLA titles.. I like the slim PS3.. my Phat one’s fan started to be very loud 5 mins after turning it on after a while, very distracting to watch movies..

          Point is MS did care and do a lot of stuffs for the 360 in Jpn for a long time until recent months. It’s saddening to see a console w/ quality games fail there. Other than an American console not being accepted there, the word “hako” (box) is used in a negative way, I don’t know what else it could be. Others mention Apple’s iPod or iPhone, but it’s different because it’s a famous brand and a trend, like Nike shoes.

          • Happy Gamer

            you almost always replied to my mist walker comments from years ago till now! :) Especially when I mention how much i loved Lost Odyssey. Cry on was such a shame…I had so much expectations for it.

            All the games you listed, yup, pretty much why I got a 360 especially THEN when I was just transitioning from last generation and an RPG (and most RPGs I played then were “J”RPGs).

            I find this extremely ironic in japan’s case.

            I play less and less RPGs as time passes due to personal priorities as well. I did make time for Xenoblade however during summer, which was NOT enough time.

          • Aoshi00

            Yeah, Lost Odyssey was so good :) I thought I wouldn’t be able to hear much more Uematsu, but now he’s working w/ Lvl 5 on Fantasy Life and that new cellphone game (and there was one day/night RPG on iphone or something, hate cellphone games, argh *.*;;), I want him to compose for big console games though.

            It was just getting tougher and tougher to spend dozens of hours in an RPG, I did like 13-2 of course and the last one I finished was the Last Story. Xenoblade I only put in about 20hrs into the Jpn ver (felt like forever) and didn’t touch the US ver yet, just too big *.*.. and Pandora’s Tower’s just sitting there.. also more RPGs are on handhelds and my eyes really can’t handle staring at handheld for long period of time, unless it’s for Phoenix Wright 5 or something :)

            You got Infinite for PS3 huh, I got it for 360 to match 1&2. Actually I imported both Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider (gore censored, boo :P), on my second playthru in Jpn now. Still need to play MG Rising (& PW on HD collection), just no time these days. That’s why I prefer just playing shmups or reading VNs occasionally (actually VNs take long too..), and playing the shorter XBLA titles that I could manage to finish :). Yep for PS3, I would get exclusives like Beyond Two Souls and the Last of Us later :)

          • Happy Gamer

            I can almost ay same about PS3. Almost every game I have it are exclusives except bioshock infinite.

    • J_Joestar

      They got Monster Hunter Frontier released on the 360, and even that hasn’t really helped much.

  • AkuLord3

    Sure are missing out on games…that they already playing on their Ps3s : P

  • laurenhiya21

    Honestly I doubt there is much that Microsoft could do to get the Japanese interested in the XboxOne… Now I’m pretty sure the 360’s failure is partially due to Microsoft being an American company, but other than that I’m not quite sure why it failed… (if it is mostly due to being American then there isn’t anything they can do :/)

    And now that I think about it… I wonder what most Japanese would think about the TV thing? Somehow I’m thinking Microsoft is aiming that feature more towards Americans… but I really have no clue on this *shrug* (or the used game thing for that matter…)

    • Kevadu

      Plenty of American companies have succeeded in Japan. Apple, for instance, is crazy popular there. The 360 just failed to do anything to really distinguish itself from its competition or cater to Japanese tastes.

      As far as the One’s TV features go, MS has said they won’t even work in other regions at launch.

    • Scipio

      Please tell me how Microsoft being an American company made them failed, not their total incompetence of failing to appealing to their Japanese players. Never mind the fact that many American-made products have been quite successful in Japan.

      • laurenhiya21

        Ah, I probably worded that incorrectly…
        I wasn’t too aware of this issue until recently (I knew that 360 wasn’t a hit in Japan, but I didn’t think much of it), and so it really was only an incorrect guess, as I really don’t know too much about what is and what isn’t successful in Japan…
        I did read a few things about this beforehand, and they seemed to think it was because of Microsoft being American, but I guess they were probably incorrect as well ><; (or I misinterpreted them). Sorry for misunderstanding.

      • Yuta Takemoto

        Because Japan has a strong sense of nationalistic pride. There were even studies and interviews done a few years ago where random consumers when faced with the choice of (for example) a Japanese product for $40 and the same product but American for $35, the consumers were more likely to still pick the more expensive product because it was Japanese. There’s loads of this information on Google.

        • kevin

          What I find funny is that people accept the whole pride from such culture , but yet when individuals here in the states try to do something similar by buying American made products they are belittled insulted & even called un American which I don’t understand why this occurs. Feels like a double standard.

          • Yuta Takemoto

            I hear ya on that. I don’t want to get too into the subject or else it may count as straying off topic, but

            I argue a similar point all the time when people bring up jobs in America. I tell them that maybe if companies weren’t overly greedy and outsource EVERYTHING to other countries to save money, we’d have jobs for people actually in America. Plus, for example, if someone wants to call tech support or customer service, not everyone wants to talk to a rep with a super heavy accent. I’m not 100% against it, I just sometimes have troubles and my call ends up being a waste of time due to language barrier issues.

            Plus, my 360 always had loads more issues than my Playstation 3. I finally got my 360 replaced after it being broken the past 5-6 years. And i’ve barely touched it since. Not a fan of having to pay for Gold to do anything with it. I don’t mind subs, but at least on PS3 I have access to almost everything for free. The extra stuff you can pay for is truly optional.

    • kevin

      So why is it that garbage like apple sale a ton it being a American company.

  • Guest

    I don’t think Japan gives any types of f***s though…they have the best games in the world.

    • DCBlackbird

      I gotta disagree have you played any of the bioshocks? or the new tomb raider and don’t forget the Walking Dead

      • Link

        Tomb Raider is from Square Enix which is a Japanese Company…

        • DCBlackbird

          developed by Crystal Dynamics an American company

      • Guest

        I have not but thank you for the recommendations. XOXOXO

  • Well, with the way the Xbox One is looking right now after the conference, I think Microsoft should just give up with Japan. 9 times out of 10, they won’t like where the Xbox brand is headed either, especially in a region where it always struggles.

  • xXDGFXx



    • Testsubject909

      Terraria is on PS3 as well.

      The console version has more content, new bosses, new armors, new weapons, new pets, etc.

      It works quite well actually. It might take you some adjusting if you’re used to the PC version but it’s smartly done with using the R3 to switch between General aim and Precise aim.

      • xXDGFXx

        That’s not the issue…

  • ShadowDivz

    I wonder how the japanese reacted when their AMERICAN consoles got the Red Ring of Death.

    • TheExile285


  • Hollowkoopa

    Its just like trying to sell a very Japanese game here. The only ones that buy it are people already familiar with the culture or series.

    The Xbox One is already grim since even in the US there’s no hype for the system.

  • Tee Niitris

    I read (I can’t believe read is actually the past tense) an article on this
    EDIT: which someone posted already.


    Can it be fixed? Considering past history and recent events, it’s a shade away from impossible. Also, Microsoft seems adamant to try to bring their culture to have influence internationally, making a comparison to how anime has influence the western world. It’s not the medium that international audience has a issue with, it’s how they’re being introduced to it (at least referring to Japan).

    … Here’s a interesting find: The PS3 is only at 8-9 million (Xbox360 at 1.6M) sold in Japan so it’s not as if Microsoft has no chance at doing anything that would close the gap. Likewise, Microsoft doesn’t have a complete stranglehold on the other markets even though the mass public likes to suggest otherwise.

    • Strid

      I have to read [pronounced: reed] this book.
      I have already read [pronounced: red] that book.

      One of the many reasons why English is a pain.

      • Shariest

        Bwah, try Swedish…

    • Bunzi

      … Horrible. I’m sure it’s more elaborate than that, but the way the article (and many others I’ve read) seems to present it, xenophobia and pre-conceived notions are why the Xbox wasn’t successful. I’ve never been a fan of the system, but it frustrates and makes me sad to see a such an earnest effort to appeal to a market fail due to prejudice.

      “It can’t be black because black is the color of death.”
      “But the Playstation 2 is black!”
      “The Playstation is Japanese.”

  • KuchikiSentou

    The Xbox did a stellar job in the early days of the 360 in Japan. I would be surprised if they replicate it. I do think that the console market is shrinking in general, but we’ll see how WiiU picks up and further, when PS4 and XBoxJuan are released there. I do foresee a very weak launch week in htat region though. Launch month, even.

    Otherwise, I feel that Japanese gamers are fine with PSP VITA and 3DS

  • eilegz

    onechanbara its another i would add on the list

  • I don’t know if releasing these games on 360 would’ve help them even to this day, a lot of these games that get released on PS3 would do better then their 360 counterpart. So it would make sense why they would skipped out the 360 release, the PS3 version would outsell the 360 version.

  • kevin

    I say keep resources at bay stop selling the console there , they can always order it from store or website . Just keep selling the other MS items.invest that money in Europe & America Markets.

  • Aristides

    Didn’t microsoft say before that Japan doesn’t matter to them anymore, that the growing markets are South America and that Japan’s industry is shrinking in their eyes.

  • Testsubject909

    So they didn’t get Giana Sisters? Eesh… (That said, people, go on Steam and go get it? It’s really a fun platformer. ALSO if you want to support the developer behind it. Steam will provide them a better and more immediate profit).

    Edit: I cannot stress how much XBLA screws over the indies.

  • Ixbran

    Japan doesnt care about the Xbox. Its an uninteresting game system, like the Wii is over in the west.

    they dont care about it, and chances are they aren’t even going to bother with the new xbox system either.

    • CirnoLakes

      The Wii is an uninteresting game system in the West?

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

      The Wii uninteresting in the west? What? Tell me, have you heard the cry of Operation Rainfall?

  • Pope The Rev XXVIII

    And there are multi platform games in Japan that when released here are PS3 exclusive. No More Heroes Hero’s Paradise, Arcana Heart 3, Under Defeat HD.


    JAPAN only needs PLAYSTATION

  • lordsofskulls

    Big reason why i go with Playstation over Xbox …. i get more goodies/exclusives on my PS3. than i ever did from Xbox

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