Square Enix President Calls "Western Game" Label "Terribly Discriminatory"

Gotta give Square Enix credit. For an enormous (and still conservative) company, it sure is trying hard to expand its horizons. Just listen to company boss Yoichi Wada talk.

"Even now, there have been people in Japan using the label youge- (Western games) with a terribly discriminatory meaning," Wada said in a recent interview on Japanese TV in which he discussed Square Enix and Modern Warfare 2, which it published in Japan. "I'd like them to try it once. If they play it once, they'd realise how incorrect that label is."

The term "youge-" has been used to separate Japanese games from foreign titles, which, until recently, were believed to have little or no appeal to Japanese gamers. "Game" (ゲーム)refers to video games. "Youge-" (洋ゲー)means something else — these games are different, they are the other.

Continuing, Wada noted that Western developers really started to come into their own in 2005, but that there was a lag in importing these titles into Japan. "Japanese game makers have been overwhelming strong," Wada said. "Thus, perhaps it was not necessary to look outside." Times are changing, and so is Square Enix, it seems.

Wada Interview [YouTube]


    I despise Japanese games.

    Honestly I have been very disappointed with the quality of games coming from Japan. There is very little innovation and the mass of JRPG's are self-indulgent grinds. I think they really need to pick up their game but clearly I am in the minority because they are obviously doing well.

      I quite enjoy a self indulgent grind myself.

    Who gives a crap, Japanese gamers are casuals occassionally and Monster Hunter the rest of the time.

    @ Dilbert and Ashley, I hear you two, loud and clear!

    The last Japanese RPG I played is Star Ocean on the 360, and while I got it for a mere $19 at Kmart, I immediately jumped at the chance of procurring three more copies, after all, it was a BARGAIN But after the bitter disappointment on how contrived it all was and realizing why it was so cheap, I decided not to sell it to anyone, thus saving them from this self indulgent grind, as it were.

    I ended up refunding them all. Best decision I ever made. Japanese gams, especially RPG's, truly suck this generation.

      Because MW2 isn't contrived, at least J-RPGs don't directly use Michael Bay movies as source material.

        I actually don't play any of the MW/MW2 games, or any FPS games, and what I was referring to was very much a stab at the poor English dubbing, which IS CONTRIVED in most translated Japanese RPG games, no?

        So, to reiterate, I did not mean to offend anyone's personal tastes. Just expressing what I've been fed all these years... I used to play Japanese RPG's since the Famicom era, the disk system, and in Japanese text for crying out gently, that's how different they were to action games back then, and have stayed the same since...

    Dilbert, Ashley and Roberto Mancini,

    narrow minded much?

    yeh we all know there are a metric shitload of ordinary RPGs coming out of Japan but can the same not be said about the western market and FPS titles?

    just remember that Japan is reponsible for some pretty sweet (and often quirky, too) software.

    they may be lagging a little this gen and I completely understand your distaste for most stuff coming out of Japan, but come on we the industry needs stuff like the Katamari series and the Team Ico guys.


    * at the feast beware the dwarf, accept the crystal chalice.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly, I take it you mean original titles such as the awesome REZ, Bayonetta, and countless others, such as the legendary Panzer Dragoon Saga, which is my all time favourite!

      Those gems come once in a blue moon, but I do accept and value them though, Panzer Dragoon Saga especially. Square Enix hasn't come up with anything remotely close to these aforementioned and great titles apart from the Dragon Quest series on the DS, which are a total blast!

    Yea i prefer a mix of the two "types" of games myself.

    Plenty of japanese games are text based and can get pretty boring if not done correctly.

    On the flip side, western games are pretty much defined as FPS...which i am getting extremely sick of.

    Then you have the awesome far-sighted developers who want to integrate japanese and western games, Hideo Kojima comes to mind.

    The Japanese Video Game market is a very different market to the rest of the world, as with their music, movies and TV show markets also.

    To many who don't understand the culture, these games seem crap (and I agree, many of them are) but they reflect what Japanese people want to buy which can typically be a bit different to what the rest of the world wants to play.

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