[MUD-Dev] Cultural impact on Muds (was: Star Wars Galaxies)

P S ps733 at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 4 01:39:44 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


On Tue, 2003-01-28 at 00:36, Eric Hu wrote:

> Frankly, I was shocked when I read this "...USA currently doesn't
> to seem actually need to know that much about the cultures it
> exports to" by the creative director of the most expectant
> MMOG. Now, I cound understand why Japan videogames could seep into
> USA but Xbox failed into Japan...

When I see that I just think "Great, someone stereotyping Americans
as stereotyping others"

First of all, the Xbox failed to succeed in Japan only because the
PS2 was launched there so far in advance.  The very idea that a
piece of hardware like that one has to be 'culturally sensitized' to
appeal to a marketplace is silly.. it's the marketting that has to
be sensitized, and undoubtably MS uses Japanese ad firms to market
the X-box in Japan.

The second, is that, Lineage, while being a huge success in Korea,
is a huge failure in America.  If other cultures are so much more
sensitive to ours, and tailor their big products to us sooo much
better, why would NCSoft have failed to inspire a following in this
country?  Korea still plays numerous American titles, the cult
following of say, Star Craft, being a good example.

I think it is far more likely that, given a marketplace, a homegrown
product will usually enjoy an advantage, not just because of the
supposed 'cultural' problems, but also because of the elimination of
localization costs and the adoption of local (not cultural, but
local) icons.  For instance, Lineage is based on a Korean fantasy
comic book series.  While no doubt it has it's own twists and humor
unique to Korea, noone can say that fantasy comic books in Korea,
being hack and slash epics, are any different from similar products
in say, Japan, ruler of the manga market.

And lets not forget nationalistic bias.. in the US, there's a "Buy
USA" ad campaign that gets trotted out now and again.  It doesn't
work well, because the US is such a big economy and importer that
it's impossible to avoid at least partially foreign made, assembled,
or owned firms.  I have absolutely NO doubt that there are such
campaigns in South Korea, and given the anti-American sentiment,
especially in youth culture, over there (yes, I read the
international news) I'm sure it's more successful.

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