The Art Of Outselling Skyrim (…in Japan)

The Art Of Outselling Skyrim (…in Japan)

Western games are getting increasingly popular in Japan. But they’re still a small slice of the pie. Just ask ZeniMax Asia’s Tetsu Takahashi.

ZeniMax Media, of course, owns American developers id Software (Doom) and Bethesda Softworks (The Elder Scrolls) as well as new Japanese studio, Tango Gameworks, with Shinji Mikami (above).

Mikami, best known for creating Resident Evil and wearing trucker hats, is spearheading Tango Gameworks; he and his staff are hard at work on a new title, and Takahashi thinks they’ll only outsell games like Skyrim and Fallout 3 in Japan, but release a smash hit.

Tango is using an existing engine for its first game; however, it is a heavily customised version to suit its needs. Mikami is assembling a core team to work on the new title. From what Japanese industry insiders have told me, Mikami is brilliant at motivating his staff and conveying his vision. He also looks nice in plaid.

According to Takahashi, Skyrim, which sold extremely well abroad, *only* sold between 200,000 and 300,000 copies in Japan. However, those numbers are better than past Western game successes. For Takahashi, he thinks Tango’s debut game can sell between 500,000 and a million copies in Japan.

Mikami, who liked Skyrim very much, has recognition among Japanese gamers. What’s more, he can back that up with a strong track record. While his last two titles, Vanquish and Shadows of the Damned, were met with tepid sales in Japan, a new title with a big international publisher like ZeniMax could definitely change that.

ゼニマックス・アジアは,国産ゲームを世界に向けて発信する重要な役割を! [4Gamer]


  • I’m happy for him but… uh… how is this relevant to Australia? Shouldn’t this be only appearing in Kotaku japan? Then again, I suppose Kotaku AU mostly has arcticles about Japan. Who knows….

    • you do know that because this is kotaku australia doesn’t mean that everything here is related to australia right?

      personally i liked this article, because it is about shinji mikami, who is one of the best minds in gaming ever, and the games he is making that will be published by a company that also did skyrim, and talks about how he may not be able to compete with skyrim sales in the western world, but is confident he can do better in Japan.

      also, waffle, using an “arrow in the knee” joke makes you worse than ashcraft… seriously…

  • What a fickle community. So even when Ashcraft comes out with a decent article that is 100% gaming related people still complain? Perhaps before turning up your nose realise that it is not a coincidence that Kotaku is just otaku with a K.

    “Why is it called Kotaku?

    Because Matt didn’t get his way. Otaku is a Japanese word meaning unhealthily obsessed. In Japan, otaku are further sub-classed into being creepy crazy for either video games, anime, manga, or idol singers. In the U.S. it’s been mostly associated with fans of anime and manga. We are told that using “ko-” at the beginning of the word instead of “o-” adds an additional connotation of small, but Matt is 5″10″, which in Japan is lavishly vertical. So you see, it all makes sense.”

    This article, while not mind blowing did contain information that should excite anyone who is a fan of Mikami’s work or has an interest in sales figures for Japan, I fall into both and enjoyed reading this piece.

    Please publish 100% of Ashcraft’s articles, the continuous complaints and criticism over such a non-issue is sometimes one of the most entertaining parts.

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