Too Late to Score?

This is a link to an article by Keiji Inafune, the only person who agreed with 1UP in my previous post.

To late to score?

Unfortunately you have to pay to read the article, so I don’t know whether he actually said this or if it was a lazy summary by some editor.  Either way I just want to consider it for a moment.  Probably there is a lot of opportunity in China, but I want to talk about the other part:

“It may be too late for Japan to score in the US market for computer games.”

How can someone say that when they’ve been scoring goals for decades?  Regardless of what you think the current state of Japanese video games is, or how well they are selling in the US, I think everyone agrees that they dominated the US throughout the 1980s and 90s and well into the 2000s.  My first console was a Sega Master System, but I mostly grew up with a Sega Genesis.  I was definitely in the minority though, as most of my friends had Super Nintendos.  But that was it.  You either had a Sega, a Nintendo, or nothing.  Those are both Japanese companies, and most of the major games for those systems were Japanese as well (though even if they weren’t Sega and Nintendo would still have profited from the licenses).

Back then I spent basically all of my allowance on video games, over the years personally transferring hundreds of dollars from the States to Japan.  Even when I got older and started working in high school I still spent loads of money on Sega Dreamcast stuff.  To my dismay the Dreamcast was discontinued, but this was primarily due to competition from the Playstation 2, from Sony, another Japanese company.

My point is that due to its video game industry Japan reaped huge profits in the US.  Millions of American children, like myself, helped build skyscrapers in Tokyo, kept factory workers employed, and paid for hip replacements for the elderly.  Even if there was literally no video game industry at all left in Japan, it has to be said that they already scored.  Otherwise it’s like saying, “It may be too late for Rome to have an empire.”

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