Japanese Fallout Ads; Ingenious or Just Desperate?

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Aug 4, 2010 in Videogames |

Japanese Fallout New Vegas Ad

Japan has always had a very structured and linear approach to game development, especially in regards to the role playing genre. Stereotypical Japanese roleplaying titles, or JRPGs as they’ve become known, often follow set storylines, limiting replayability and the freedom that’s usually associated with western titles. While I’ve personally found those titles to be enjoyable, it’s easy for some to liken them to reading a book, or watching a movie — a simple interactive, yet aesthetically pleasing script.

Western developers like Bethesda, on the other hand, often boast about the freedom of choice and replayability. Their games are instead geared more toward creating a unique experience for the gamer. Because this approach sacrifices the story-driven, structured environments for freeform gameplay, Japanese gamers have traditionally avoided these titles in favor of more familiar series like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. However, Bethesda hopes to change that with their latest ad campaign for their upcoming title, Fallout: New Vegas. Japanese gamers protesting the status quo — questioning everything that’s come before.

Several of the posters above read “A game where you just follow the scenario is like living life on rails,” and “When did games become something that you watch?” Others comment on replayability with “What’s the point of playing again if there’s no change to the story,” or “I think it would be nice if the main character had a mission aside from just wiping out evil.” Personally, I wonder just how effective these ads will be. Though I do find it a bit desperate to focus your entire campaign on selling Japanese gamers on Western ideals, I’m sure bringing these issues to light might also be a bit ingenious in and of itself. For their sake, I hope it pays off.

Tim is a pro-blogger and freelance writer out of San Diego, California. In addition to Fanboy.com, he contributes to the ModernMethod Network of sites as the Features and Reviews Editor for the Japanese culture and entertainment blog, Japanator. He’s also an Assocaite Editor for the collectible toy culture blog, Tomopop. For more information, follow him on twitter, or check out TimSheehy.com.

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