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

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Wed Feb 5 10:38:50 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: P S [mailto:ps733 at hotmail.com] 

> 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.

Actually I think you are way off on this, the reason they have so
far failed is due to a lack of cultural sensitivity. Let me site
some reasons :

  - Unit too large+ugly. Japanese homes are small, the xbox takes up
  too much room.

  - Failure to build and maintain effective working relationships
  with Japanese developers. Just look at the hash made of Metal Gear
  Solid Substance. It has terrible lag problems on xbox's superior
  hardware. This has been attributed to the developer having a
  terrible working relationship with MS.

  - The controllers were atrocious. They fixed this for the Japanese
  launch but there was a lot of negative PR generated
  anyway. Microsoft really missed the mark world over on this
  one. I'm lumbered with 3 of the enormous controllers myself and
  they cause my Western hands to cramp too.

  - Launch/hero game was an FPS. They aren't exactly popular in
  Japan.

If that isn't a recipe to fluff a Japanese launch, I don't know what
is.  Coca-cola get it - 'think global, act local.'

> 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.

Well one could say the same things about the 'Deer Hunter' games
that seem to do very well in the US but appallingly outside. Some
things have universal appeal, some don't. To simply write off the
concept of tuning a product for a market is crass though.

Hopefully this hasn't strayed too far off topic.

Dan

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