Not every Western game is subtitled. Remember the irritation from Japanese gamers over the dubbing Modern Warfare 2 got? Japanese gamers wanted to play the game with its original voices. But do all Japanese gamers want that?
From April 2007 to December 2009, Japanese game company Spike polled over 6000 users via postcards included with Spike titles. Here are the results:
Which do you want to play — Western games with subtitles or dubbing? • Subtitles — 49 percent (3,277 votes) • Dubbing — 47 percent (3,139 votes) • Other — 4 percent (240 votes)
The breakdown by genre is especially interesting. For FPS games, 31.9 per cent of players want subtitles, 59 per cent want dubbing and 9.1 per cent want "other" or "no preference". For action games, 37.4 per cent want subtitles, 46.5 percent want dubbing and 16.1 per cent want "other". For role-playing games, 54.4 per cent want subtitles, while 45.6 per cent want dubbing.
Hardware-wise, 54.4 per cent of Xbox 360 owners want subtitles, 45.6 per cent want dubbing and 1 per cent want "other". Regarding the PS3, 45 per cent want subtitles, 52 per cent want dubbing and 3 per cent want "other".