Something About Japan: Wii U’s Tokyo launch, and Square Enix on Lightning Returns Final Fantasy XIII


I’ve got a little information about Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII to share, and don’t get too excited, but I have two words for you: time management. I know! Before that, though, let’s turn our attention to Nintendo, whose Wii U console finally launched in Japan this week. It’s odd, given that Wii enjoyed much more goodwill from eastern critics and press than from those in the west, that Japan should be the last of the major territories in which Wii U is released. After a fairly tepid western start, then, how has the console been received in Nintendo’s home country?

Exploring Rice Digital – Japan’s indie game wonderland


Localisation specialist Zen United and publisher PQube’s indie portal venture, Rice Digital, launched last week. It offers up a variety show of Japanese indie, or ‘doujin’ PC games, a segment of the game industry both relatively unknown to international audiences and unfairly maligned. As our look at the first fully localised titles released through Rice Digital reveals, the doujin scene is one well worth your time and attention.

Rice Digital: a new portal to promote and sell Japanese indie games

Rice Digital

Rice Digital, a new website dedicated to the promotion and sale of Japanese indie, or ‘doujin’ games, has launched today, with an initial, fully localised library of eight games.

The website is the brainchild of localisation specialist Zen United and publisher PQube. In addition to selling games, Rice Digital will also report on news from the Japanese indie scene as it seeks to set straight some common misconceptions.

Inside Platinum Games: we chart the history and future of the studio behind Bayonetta


One of the world’s most magical stories gets underway when Charlie Bucket finds a golden ticket. This slip of paper contains the promise of secrets and wonders untold: a visit to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Charlie’s thrill of anticipation at what lies behind those gates is palpable. We’re in Osaka, about to enter the Umeda Sky Building, and it feels like we’re holding a platinum ticket. This is the home of Platinum Games, a studio that in just five short years has made some truly spectacular titles.

Platinum Games on the east-west divide: “To lump studios together in great masses misses the point”


Atsushi Inaba has had enough. For several years, a picture has emerged of the Japanese games industry as insular, retrospective and unable to compete against western behemoths like Modern Warfare, Elder Scrolls and Gears Of War. Japanese developers are stuck in the age of arcade conversions, traditional RPGs and third-person brawlers. They’re just not competing on the world stage anymore; they don’t know how.

Vita sales quadruple in Japan

PS VITA Launch In Japan

Sony’s PlayStation Vita saw a dramatic sales spike in Japan this week, more than quadrupling from 9,751 units the week prior to 46,877. The surge was driven by the release of Sega’s rhythm action game Hatsune Miku Project Diva F, which shifted 158,009 units and topped the all-formats software chart.

Japanese games aren’t gibberish – just different

Japanese games aren't gibberish - just different

Last week, Assassin's Creed III creative director Alex Hutchinson accused western game journalists of "subtle racism" by giving bad Japanese games an easy ride. Our story drew plenty of comments, and one in particular caught our eye. We asked Slaktus – real name Erlend Grefsrud, co-founder of London studio Strongman Games – to expand his comments to a full piece.