Waiting For The Japanese Blockbusters, By The Numbers

The next Pokemon games will be released in the US six month after it comes in Japan. Nintendo's still not doing simultaneous worldwide Pokemon releases. Let's see how trans-Pacific delays affect other games.

These are some of the biggest Japanese games from the past year that were set for Japanese and U.S. release...

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver: Released in Japan in September 2009; in the US in March 2010. 6-month wait for Americans

Final Fantasy XIII: Released in Japan in December 2009; in the US in March 2010. 3-month wait for Americans

Dragon Quest IX: Released in Japan in July 2009; in the US in July 2010. 12-month wait for Americans

Super Mario Galaxy 2: Released in Japan May 2010; in the US in May 2010. no wait for Americans (came out in the US a few days earlier)

Notice above that all the script-heavy games had long trans-Pacific waits. Mario did not. Let's try some slightly lower profile games....

Resonance of Fate: Released in Japan in January in January 2010; in the US in March 2010. 2- month wait for Americans

Yakuza 3: Released in Japan in February 2009; in the US in March 2010. 13-month wait for Americans

Lost Planet 2: Released in Japan in May 2010; in the US in May 2010 . no wait for Americans (came out in the US a few days earlier)

Super Street Fighter IV: Released in Japan in April 2010; in the US in April 2010. no wait for Americans

Ace Attorney Investigations: Released in Japan in May 2009; in the US in February 2010. 9-month wait for Americans.

That batch of games also shows the script-heavy games taking the slowest path to US release.

But then there's this one:

Nier: Released in Japan in April 2010; in the US in April 2010. no wait for Americans.

A ha! Nier had a lot of story. But a nearly simultaneous US and Japanese release. Let us all celebrate this exception as we wonder... why can't other big Japanese games with lots of story get this treatment?

BONUS! For Pokemon fans, here is the gap between Japan and US Pokemon releases, courtesy of our brand-new intern, Aulistar Mark. (click the chart to enlarge)


Comments

    And what about the delays to get to Australia?

    We had to wait many long months behind the US for games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl. And Galaxy 2 doesn't come out until July in Aus.
    And we *still* don't have Rock Band 2.
    Why the AU hate? Especially from Nintendo?

    Neir was fairly low profile (at least, compared to the other big hitters like Pokemon and FF)

    But i agree that it doesn't make any sense that some games take longer than others. I'd hazard a guess to say it's something with wanting to prevent spoilers by holding off giving the game to their American teams.

    What Japan really needs to do is hire translators in JAPAN to work on the game simultaneously.

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