Regarding Japanese games and the Epic Games Store

Jan 23, 2020
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Yeah, i'm mostly making this thread because Kingdom Hearts 3, though from my experience with the PC gaming scene in Japan, it's apparent to me that there's a very high chance that the Epic Games Store exclusivity deal is the only thing that's telling Square-Enix to even develop games for the PC platform at all.

I figured this is as good of a place as any regarding to ask this question. What is the lesser evil between Square-Enix's unholy alliance with Tim Sweeney and the rest of Japan's insistence that they should treat the PC platform like absolute garbage? Yes, I know that we have gotten a lot more PC games from Japan in the past few years compared to the first half of the previous decade. However, it's apparent to me that Japan's disposition towards the PC platform hasn't changed at all since 2012: Steam's too big to ignore, but we're still a bunch of whiny manchildren in the eyes of the guys actually making the games. Do so much as to get on the developers' bad sides and suddenly, we're just too whiny to have their games no matter how right we are.

With this in mind, would it be within our best interests to hope that Epic Games gets a stranglehold on most Japanese developers knowing that EGS exclusivity deals will be the only thing telling them to even make PC games at all or is the Epic Games Store so repulsive that PC gamers would rather be slowly but surely be pushed into a position where even the likes of SEGA decides that PC gaming isn't worth their continued investment despite having ported the Yakuza series in its entirety along with Valkyria Chronicles 4?

As you can tell, the PC gaming scene in Japan has been a major source of annoyance for me.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
...it's apparent to me that there's a very high chance that the Epic Games Store exclusivity deal is the only thing that's telling Square-Enix to even develop games for the PC platform at all.
Huh? Where does that come from!? Square/Enix just released an updated Dragonquest 9 on Steam in December. Final Fantasy 15 showed up after they converted tons of older FF games to PC and sold them on Steam. A huge number of games S/E published for development studios have been showing up.

However, it's apparent to me that Japan's disposition towards the PC platform hasn't changed at all since 2012: Steam's too big to ignore, but we're still a bunch of whiny manchildren in the eyes of the guys actually making the games. Do so much as to get on the developers' bad sides and suddenly, we're just too whiny to have their games no matter how right we are.
Again, what is this!?

With this in mind, would it be within our best interests to hope that Epic Games gets a stranglehold on most Japanese developers knowing that EGS exclusivity deals will be the only thing telling them to even make PC games at all or is the Epic Games Store so repulsive that PC gamers would rather be slowly but surely be pushed into a position where even the likes of SEGA decides that PC gaming isn't worth their continued investment despite having ported the Yakuza series in its entirety along with Valkyria Chronicles 4?
And Trails in the Sky, and Trails of Cold Steel, and Persona 4, and Sega Frontier, and Soul Calibur, and Dead or Alive, and Dragon Ball Fighter, and Dark Souls, and Monster Hunter World, and Resident Evil....

I've got no love for Epic. They're simply taking the massive piles of money Fortnite generates and using that cash to bribe developers into releasing on Epic exclusively as well as bribing customers by giving away games for free. I presume the hope is that they can get another solid revenue stream in before the Fortnite cash cow dies off. I expect all the exclusivity deals and most of the free games to vanish at that point... which will make me a lot more interested in the store.
 
Jan 23, 2020
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Huh? Where does that come from!? Square/Enix just released an updated Dragonquest 9 on Steam in December. Final Fantasy 15 showed up after they converted tons of older FF games to PC and sold them on Steam. A huge number of games S/E published for development studios have been showing up.
Looking at Trials of Mana at the time it hit a "1000000 units sold milestone", it seems to only have sold approx. 15% based on the estimates you can find on SteamDB. Additionally, Square-Enix (developer)'s track record regarding their PC releases has more holes than you'd find in a block of swiss cheese that I wonder if they aren't being satisfied with how their PC ports are doing.

Again, what is this!?
Star Ocean 5 is staying on PC because the devs are likely unsatisfied with how well the Resonance of Fate re-release did, our whining about Ace Combat 7 and Code Vein costed us Gundam Extreme VS MAXI BOOST ON and I don't know what the hell kind of game Nippon Ichi Software is playing when they're the reason why IDOLM@STER: Starlit Season is the Tales of Arise PC petition. We are also not getting Rune Factory 5 if the sales numbers on Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town are of any indication.


And Trails in the Sky, and Trails of Cold Steel, and Persona 4, and Sega Frontier, and Soul Calibur, and Dead or Alive, and Dragon Ball Fighter, and Dark Souls, and Monster Hunter World, and Resident Evil....

I've got no love for Epic. They're simply taking the massive piles of money Fortnite generates and using that cash to bribe developers into releasing on Epic exclusively as well as bribing customers by giving away games for free. I presume the hope is that they can get another solid revenue stream in before the Fortnite cash cow dies off. I expect all the exclusivity deals and most of the free games to vanish at that point... which will make me a lot more interested in the store.
PC gamers will have to confront the reality that Japanese game developers won't ever take PC gaming seriously. While we have definitely gotten a lot more Japanese ports as of recent, the developers' disposition towards the platform has remained the same. It's ultimately in our hands to decide whether or not Square-Enix's unholy alliance with Epic Games is the lesser evil compared to most of Japan's insistence on treating PC gamers like garbage.

By the way, Bandai Namco Studios is region-locking their next PC game to only be sold in Japan, and we all know how much Japanese people LOVE PC gaming, right? It's not like Japanese gamers will default to the PS4 version while the PC version sells extremely poorly. Even if that happens, I'm sure we can trust the devs to not cherry-pick statistics to justify only developing their games for consoles just cuz they think a failed NIS game from 2012 is the best model to base their PC-specific business decisions on, right?
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
Looking at Trials of Mana at the time it hit a "1000000 units sold milestone", it seems to only have sold approx. 15% based on the estimates you can find on SteamDB. Additionally, Square-Enix (developer)'s track record regarding their PC releases has more holes than you'd find in a block of swiss cheese that I wonder if they aren't being satisfied with how their PC ports are doing.
S/E can't just snap their fingers and have every game they ever released show up on PC. They'll look at the catalog, try and pick out what makes economic sense to release on PC, weigh it against likely profits from other efforts (like releasing on iOS/Android), and follow the money. As I pointed out, that's led to them releasing quite a few games on PC.
Star Ocean 5 is staying on PC because the devs are likely unsatisfied with how well the Resonance of Fate re-release did, our whining about Ace Combat 7 and Code Vein costed us Gundam Extreme VS MAXI BOOST ON and I don't know what the hell kind of game Nippon Ichi Software is playing when they're the reason why IDOLM@STER: Starlit Season is the Tales of Arise PC petition. We are also not getting Rune Factory 5 if the sales numbers on Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town are of any indication.
Huh? Your Star Ocean 5 statement makes no sense. It came to PC because Resonance of Fate did poorly? I thought you might have just forgotten a "not" but Star Ocean: Last Hope, which is 5th in the series, is on Steam.

What evidence do you have that "whining" about Ace Combat 7 and Code Vein made it so PC hasn't gotten Gundam Extreme vs? The same company was fine releasing Little Nightmares 2 just last month.

PC gamers will have to confront the reality that Japanese game developers won't ever take PC gaming seriously. While we have definitely gotten a lot more Japanese ports as of recent, the developers' disposition towards the platform has remained the same. It's ultimately in our hands to decide whether or not Square-Enix's unholy alliance with Epic Games is the lesser evil compared to most of Japan's insistence on treating PC gamers like garbage.
You've got no evidence at all that Japanese developers somehow hate us. You just point out that they don't publish all the games they make on PC and assume the reason is because they think we're garbage. Well, PC games don't get translated to Vietnamese very much. By your logic, PC game developers think Vietnamese gamers are trash.
 
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S/E can't just snap their fingers and have every game they ever released show up on PC. They'll look at the catalog, try and pick out what makes economic sense to release on PC, weigh it against likely profits from other efforts (like releasing on iOS/Android), and follow the money. As I pointed out, that's led to them releasing quite a few games on PC.

Huh? Your Star Ocean 5 statement makes no sense. It came to PC because Resonance of Fate did poorly? I thought you might have just forgotten a "not" but Star Ocean: Last Hope, which is 5th in the series, is on Steam.
Yeah, i will admit that there are grammatical errors in my original post. The point i'm trying to make was that Star Ocean developer Tri-ace has lost what little faith they had in PC gaming over the two ports they released in their game development career.

What evidence do you have that "whining" about Ace Combat 7 and Code Vein made it so PC hasn't gotten Gundam Extreme vs? The same company was fine releasing Little Nightmares 2 just last month.

EXVSMBON isn't developed by the same studio that made Little Nightmares 2. Regarding Japanese games, I feel it is necessary to be incredibly careful with my wording so as to not confuse developer with publisher, and the creators of that Gundam game that i mentioned are also the creators of Ace Combat 7 and Code Vein. Like i said earlier, people complained to hell and back about those games I mentioned and now their next PC game is being region locked for sale only in Japan.

You've got no evidence at all that Japanese developers somehow hate us. You just point out that they don't publish all the games they make on PC and assume the reason is because they think we're garbage. Well, PC games don't get translated to Vietnamese very much. By your logic, PC game developers think Vietnamese gamers are trash.
To my knowledge, most Japanese game developers base their PC-specific business decisions on a failed Steam release from Nippon Ichi Software back in 2012 known as ClaDun X2. Game barely sold anything at all even with a 40% CHRISTMAS SALE discount and they stopped making PC games for a long time, only deciding to port Disgaea 1 to PC after seeing Hyperdimension Neptunia, the Ys series and Tales of Zestiria making their way to the PC platform. The alternative to them not putting a game on Steam was to look like the bad guys regarding Japanese PC ports rather than the people who complain about bad PC ports from Japan. God forbid that they admit their own wrongdoings so as to possibly allow the Japanese PC scene's wounds to heal rather than fester and rot for 8 years and still counting.

With the mindset that Japanese devs employ when putting their stuff on Steam and anti-PC elitists outright demanding to see their ports fail, I think it's fair to say that the PC gaming scene won't ever be anything more than a series of glorified petitions for future ports
 
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Zloth

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Yeah, i will admit that there are grammatical errors in my original post. The point i'm trying to make was that Star Ocean developer Tri-ace has lost what little faith they had in PC gaming over the two ports they released in their game development career.
So what are they supposed to think about other developers, then? SEGA games have been doing really well. The Final Fantasy ports seemed to go over nicely, too. The Yakuza games are doing well despite not even getting an English translation! If their ports aren't selling while others from Japan are selling, I think they're going to want to know why. Was it the games? Was there just not enough marketing? (Star Ocean: Last Hope had some marketing but I sure didn't see much for Resonance of Fate.) Did the ports not work well? Are cultural differences just too jarring?

Once they answer that question, they'll have to decide if it's worth fixing. There's still plenty of money to be made just playing to Japan so it might be best to simply stick with what they know. Or maybe they can make some changes and it will all work out great.

Actually, I just looked up Tri-Ace and they aren't looking too healthy at all. The last new game they did was a Star Ocean game in 2016 for iOS/Android. Then they did an HD upgrade of Star Ocean: Last Hope. Then an HD upgrade of Resonance of Fate. Then an upgrade of the original Star Ocean. HD updates are nice but, when you're doing nothing but that for five years, I worry.

EXVSMBON isn't developed by the same studio that made Little Nightmares 2. Regarding Japanese games, I feel it is necessary to be incredibly careful with my wording so as to not confuse developer with publisher, and the creators of that Gundam game that i mentioned are also the creators of Ace Combat 7 and Code Vein. Like i said earlier, people complained to hell and back about those games I mentioned and now their next PC game is being region locked for sale only in Japan.
Yeah, publishers and developers have a really mixed history, too. Sometimes the developers are fully under the publisher's control while other times the publishers are just there to handle marketing, translations, and maybe help hunt bugs. Anything in between is fair game, too. You can sometimes throw in a third company that's doing the actual conversion from console to PC sometimes, too. Eeesh.

But just because one event follows another doesn't mean there's cause and effect. If you want to say the people complaining caused the other game's region lock, you're going to need some actual evidence that's why it happened. Otherwise, it could be some other cause or even just pure coincidence and the pattern will break with the very next game. And, in fact, Bandai Namco did those games and they're also releasing Scarlet Nexus, for both console and PC, later this year. Given the video is in English, it's pretty clear they aren't sticking to just Japan from here on out.

With the mindset that Japanese devs employ when putting their stuff on Steam and anti-PC elitists outright demanding to see their ports fail, I think it's fair to say that the PC gaming scene won't ever be anything more than a series of glorified petitions for future ports
So what's Scarlet Nexus doing there?
 
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Tales of Arise. the main reason is here!
They're still gonna use THE IDOLM@STER: Starlit Season's inevitable failure on Steam as an excuse to never make PC games ever again. At the time i made my thread, I don't think anyone would've guessed that Tales of Arise is arriving as soon as it would when taking Scarlet Nexus, Tekken 7 post-release support and iM@S into consideration. Development time invested in SoulCalibur VI's Season 2 is also development time not spent on Tales.

Oh yeah, another topic of consideration: I recall PlatinumGames saying that they want to put as many of their games on PC as they can, though their main focus still seems to be console-only game releases. It's likely that they were full of crap when they made that statement in a PC Gamer Magazine interview and because of their biases towards consoles, people who want to see more PC games from the creators of NieR Automata and Metal Gear Rising will likely have to purchase every PlatinumGames title that pops up on Steam just to send the message for them to keep making PC games. Yes, that includes the 2D shmup Sol Cresta. People who like 3D character action games might not necessarily like that type of game but PlatinumGames will likely expect their fans to like it all the same just because they chose to game on PC.

The argument i'm trying to make is that if Epic Games were to be more heavily involved with the PC gaming scene in Japan, then developers will find themselves being forced to make PC games so as to fulfill certain obligations laid out by a contract that they've signed with a third party. And that's the likely scenario for why we even have PC versions of Kingdom Hearts III and NEO: The World Ends With You. Meanwhile, the stuff I mentioned earlier with PlatinumGames and the Tekken dev team are things that give validation to Epic Games' exclusivity deals on Square-Enix's newer games.
 
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ZedClampet

Community Contributor
I'm not sure the Japanese think that poorly of PC gaming. I think they are quickly coming around because of the massive amount of money to be made. They were just slow to recognize it. It is true that Epic is helping to draw them in (in a few cases), and I think that's a good thing. They'll spend a year on the Epic Store then go to Steam and get basically double the money they were expecting (including the Epic 'bribe').
 

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