EA Sports exec has stated that the company is working to appeal to Japanese gamers. That work appears to have paid off: FIFA 10 is a hit in Japan. But could that be for a deeper reason?
A piece running on Yahoo! News Japan (translated by AltJapan) summed up the difference between Western and Japanese games: "There is a big difference in the way emotion is handled in Japan and abroad. Abroad, hero characters tend to be portrayed as powerful males, but in Japan squashed and cute little boys are the norm. The Japanese preference for see small-statured pretty-boys wielding big swords seems to be greeted abroad with a resounding 'no way.'"
This paradigm does not hold true to sports game, the article notes. So when Japanese developers depict real teams and real players, the only option is to depict them realistically — and the vast majority of professional athletes are not small pretty boys!
Thus, Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer franchise is a big hit in the West, and ditto for EA Sports title FIFA 10. Neither title carries the cultural baggage pervasive in other genre games.
Fantasy and Football [AltJapan]