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  1. #1
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    America is no longer the biggest market for games

    .....but big budget games are still made for America.

    (paraphrased the title since it wouldn't fit)

    http://www.digitallydownloaded.net/2...for-games.html

    Here's a fascinating little fact I've come across; according to data from Newzoo, North America is no longer the biggest market for games.

    The USA is still the largest single market for games, reporting $20.5 billion in revenue from games, but looking at game revenue from a regional perspective, the North American market, worth $22.2 billion, is now smaller than the Asia Pacific market, which is worth $36.8 billion.


    In Asia Pacific, China is now the largest market for games, with $17.9 billion in revenue, followed closely by Japan, at $12.2 billion. China, Japan and the US are an order of magnitude larger than than any other individual games market, with Germany being a distant fourth at $3.5 billion, but Asia Pacific has a couple of other significant games markets, including Korea ($3.4 billion), Australia ($1.1 billion, with is huge for a tiny population), Taiwan ($643 million, and another tiny population), and India ($583 million with massive growth potential given that the nation is rapidly modernising).

    You can see the list of top 100 nations by game revenue here.

    This interests me so much because the games industry, especially in terms of the big budget AAA-games, is still heavily (heavily) focused on America and selling to the American culture and interests. Franchises such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, and the Tom Clancy games are all franchises which are either outright patriotic, or at the very least told from a heavily "Western" perspective, which when it comes to military matters does mean "America."

    Meanwhile, over in Japan, developers and publishers are also falling over themselves to try to appeal to "the West." So many Japanese franchises, from Silent Hill to Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania have been farmed out to Western developers to try to better appeal to the American market. Some of them work (Retro's work with Metroid being the perfect example), but often these "Western" attempts at Japanese franchises lose the cultural flavour that made them so appealing in the first place. Things get even worse when publishers such as Capcom (Resident Evil), Square Enix (Mindjack) and Tecmo Koei (Quantum Theory) decide to try and make "Western" games from within Japan. These games are almost universally panned for missing the point on what makes these kinds of games popular for Americans, and with good reason. Japan is a very different culture to America, and it has a very different view on the world.

    Ask anyone in the industry which market they want to be successful in, and the answer is going to be "America" nine times out of ten. America dictates the kind of sports games that the likes of EA produce (it's not a coincidence that Football, Grid Iron, Ice Hockey, UFC and Basketball are on the EA sports label and cricket, or Rugby Union are not, for instance). America determines the narrative of our shooters and so on and so forth.

    I have, for a very long time now, argued that this is harmful to the development of the games industry. As an art form, games have the capacity to represent a wealth of different ideas and cultures, and it's that variety that would ultimately be to everyone's benefit. For a comparison, the global film industry is such a powerful artistic medium because it's possible to create a film about a local culture, and have it succeed on the world stage. As a recent example, the uniquely Japanese story Battle Royale was a film that spoke to Japanese culture and society, and America's film industry is able to take the concept and localise to its own population (The Hunger Games). But the Japanese film makers understand that they're able to make films for their own culture and they will find commercial success. An even more extreme example is Bollywood in India - a massive film industry worth billions that holds almost no interest to anyone outside of India.

    The point here is that the games industry has now matured to the point where, as a commercial opportunity, it is ready to start sharing ideas beyond "what would work in America." And with a greater diversity of ideas we will also have a greater range of gameplay experiences and a more rounded industry for everyone to enjoy. This has been something that we've observed happen in the indie space in recent years, but now the big budget developers can look at and say "you know what? We can make a game that speaks to the Asian cultures and it can be a big-budget blockbuster, and it won't sell well in America, and that's OK."

    Just like John Woo is at his best when producing films such as Red Cliff; a film with almost no relevance to the American audience, rather than nonsense such as Windtalkers, a film he did make for America, so too can game developers point to this Newzoo data as proof that there is more than one game market in the world worth targeting.
    Top 100 Countries by Game Revenues
    http://www.newzoo.com/free/rankings/...game-revenues/
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  2. #2
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    that's good thing, it means there's growth in other countries for games. that's what we want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sufi View Post
    that's good thing, it means there's growth in other countries for games. that's what we want.
    It also means more types of games that don't involve the first person point of view and warfare themes of the COD and Battlefield variety. I personally, would like to see games centered more on other cultures and ways of life, not just another, "America is great; best military because $#@! yeah" shooter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morganator View Post
    It also means more types of games that don't involve the first person point of view and warfare themes of the COD and Battlefield variety. I personally, would like to see games centered more on other cultures and ways of life, not just another, "America is great; best military because $#@! yeah" shooter.
    I would certainly welcome non-American-centric games. The film industry has had little issues branching out into other cultures, but it seems, for the most part, the gaming industry is limited to America and Japan, and most of what is made in Japan....stays in Japan. Seems the video game industry just likes to play it safe. Sucks, imo.
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    Just because China is willing to put money down on mobile games doesn't mean they will for home consoles, especially when they're coming from Japan.
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDug13
    I want Naughty Dog to explore new game genres, not regurgitate cinematic corridor shooters for another generation.

  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronSOLDIER View Post
    Just because China is willing to put money down on mobile games doesn't mean they will for home consoles, especially when they're coming from Japan.
    Hmmm, that is an interesting point. I don't know much about the Chinese-Japanese relationship except that many Chinese do not have a favorable opinion of Japan. But considering the huge population, one would think there would be a significant market for consoles. Now that consoles are no longer banned in China, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
    Last edited by Christopher; 3 Weeks Ago at 17:36.
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    being Chinese-american here, I never bought into the "hate" that my grandparents and parents have for Japanese from WW2. But WHen it comes to purchasing items, they still value quality over what countries they are made from. For example, we've owned mostly Japanese or European cars over American cars for the past 20 years (last 10 years have seen increase in quality from American cars tho). I doubt much of the hate is passed down to the younger generation in China. and I believe Sony will gain a lot of new buyers from China. Even last gen, 90% of my oversea relatives and friends own either a Sony or Nintendo console.
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    ^Anti-Merican.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    I would certainly welcome non-American-centric games. The film industry has had little issues branching out into other cultures, but it seems, for the most part, the gaming industry is limited to America and Japan, and most of what is made in Japan....stays in Japan. Seems the video game industry just likes to play it safe. Sucks, imo.
    Europe's market is pretty hefty imo and there is a lot of culture and varieties of the same. It would seem to me that there should be more of a focus on creating games with Europeans in mind and marketing them around the world as well. It's just a thought though and I don't expect anyone to agree with me.

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    Even though we aren't the biggest market, majority of other countries want to play games that we play from my personal experience when traveling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by funkybudda View Post
    being Chinese-american here, I never bought into the "hate" that my grandparents and parents have for Japanese from WW2. But WHen it comes to purchasing items, they still value quality over what countries they are made from. For example, we've owned mostly Japanese or European cars over American cars for the past 20 years (last 10 years have seen increase in quality from American cars tho). I doubt much of the hate is passed down to the younger generation in China. and I believe Sony will gain a lot of new buyers from China. Even last gen, 90% of my oversea relatives and friends own either a Sony or Nintendo console.
    My Grandma was shocked when I said I wanted to visit JApan, she asked me why and I tolde er all the cool stuff is made there including your television.

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    America is no longer the biggest market for games
    The USA is still the largest single market for games

  17. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitbydeath View Post
    Lol

  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitbydeath View Post
    America (NA specifically) is more than just the US.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    America (NA specifically) is more than just the US.
    Be that as it may, the article title is poorly worded:

    "America Isn't The Biggest Market For Games... So Why Are All The Big Budget Games Still Made For Americans?"

    Not trying to be nitpicky, but usually when one says "Americans," they are referring to citizens of the United States of America. Nobody calls Canadians "Americans," even though that's technically what they are.

    They essentially answered their own question in the first paragraph... which is because the U.S. is still the single largest market for games.

    The article is a little on the retarded side.
    "The biggest adversary in our life is ourselves. We are what we are, in a sense, because of the dominating thoughts we allow to gather in our head. All concepts of self-improvement, all actions and paths we take, relate solely to our abstract image of ourselves. Life is limited only by how we really see ourselves and feel about our being. A great deal of pure self-knowledge and inner understanding allows us to lay an all-important foundation for the structure of our life from which we can perceive and take the right avenues.

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