Japanese developers back on horseback


Do you want a riddle? Guess the average user score on a single-player Metacritic game sold at full price with microtransactions and pay-to-run elements. This is actually when the public is waiting for the slightest chance of hoping to grab the pitchfork and run into battle against the brutalized publisher. 2 points? 3? 4? 5? About 9 points out of ten! Not much less than the modern icon of the appropriate business The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Devil May Cry V. was lucky enough: the average score per user of the PC version is still 9.1 / 10 (448 votes), the PS4 version is 8.4 (518 votes) and the Xbox One edition is 8.8 (446 evaluations). On Steam, the game has more than 6.6 thousand user reviews and 92% of them are positive. Not only did the project find its audience, it also avoided the negative hype. Even the famous fighters with the gluttonous societies Jim Sterling and YongYea in the game reviews didn't criticize her strongly for monetization. Yes, a lot of truth is occupied by Anthem, the return of Devil May Cry has not become a deafening success, and the microtransactions do not break the mechanics, but the situation for modern industry is unusual.

What is the secret? In a good and favorite publisher!

Devil May Cry V – another Capcom game, warmly received by the public and critics. But a couple of years ago the company was called Crapcom (Crap – sucks). She was remembered for the terrible launch of Street Fighter V with a handful of content and aggressive monetization, Umbrella Corps was a nightmare for Resident Evil and Dead Rising 4 fans from an already closed unit in Vancouver, which was too different from the Japanese original.

The beginning of 2017 marked a cardinal change in Capcom's policy. The company returned to the roots of Resident Evil and the seventh part appeared as a remarkable battle horror. A year later, Monster Hunter, after a long pause, returned to the home consoles and broke the sales charts with rags. Monster Hunter World is the most successful game in the entire history of Capcom with sales of 11.9 million copies at December 31, 2018. The not-too-strong return of Mega Man to Mega Man 11 in October 2018 there satisfied with good decisions. The triumph continued this year with the release of Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry V.

Capcom loves what Capcom already uses, but other publishers of the Land of the Rising Sun cannot be ignored. Thus, in January of this year, Bandai Namco perfectly restarted Ace Combat, and more than 500 thousand copies were sold in the Asian region in a month – a good indicator for a not very popular series. The company also released Soul Calibur VI and, as stated in the financial report, is satisfied with the project's performance, and previously reported the sale of 3 million copies of Tekken 7. Square Enix can register as a resource for Kingdom Hearts 3 and Dragon Quest XI: Yes, and on Nier Automata don't forget. Sega develops the Yakuza series and promotes it in the West, while Yakuza 6 sales outside Japan are comparable to those of the franchise's homeland, which had not previously been observed.

Of course, all companies are easy to find in the event of failure, whether it's Left Alive, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, Jump Force or Sonic Forces, but when evaluating successful projects, it is easy to see several reasons why the works of oriental masters once again receive recognition and popular love.

A quick review of reviews and opinions on good games lets you see that they adhere to the traditions, or return to them, or correctly update the concept of the series without trying to break it all. Several developers of the Land of the Rising Sun, in a sense, have turned 180 degrees. If they first tried to grab the edge of Western fashion, they are now reviving the ideas of the times of almost the PlayStation 2, in which, as it turned out, there is nothing wrong. They did not participate in the madness of "real battles", they do not force the creators of plot role-playing games to clone Destiny and do not offer an alternative to Call of Duty. They stopped doing "their Gears of War", although in the era of PS3 and Xbox 360 the number of "Japanese answers" to the Epic Games shooter exceeded all imaginable limits. Instead, the Japanese started making their games and promoting the not-so-famous series in the West.

It turned out that in the segment of singles or network projects not characteristic of Western companies, there remained a public ready to spend time and money on such entertainment. Impressed by the lack of significant competition in a number of genres. For example, the horror of the battle has almost disappeared at the end of the past generation of consoles, including Capcom's efforts. For years, nobody has heard of arcade flight simulators. Bayonetta and the outside of the first part remained from the breed slashes – a Nintendo exclusive. Also, in fighting games, life doesn't end with an excessively bloody Mortal Kombat, and Japanese role-playing games don't have to follow the feet of Final Fantasy XV.

Another point is that several Western publishers have hit open worlds in singles. Ubisoft's "sandboxes" already look suspiciously like simulators to strip infinite spaces to strip endless expanses.

The Japanese have recalled the incentives for re-passing and have not always dragged the campaign, which is particularly evident in the first three most recent games: Ace Combat 7, Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry V. These adventures are not trying to become your second job, get 10-15 credits, but able to fascinate thanks to refined mechanics and various levels of complexity that influence the game. There are reasons to repeat the journey. Among other things, thanks to the possibility of suffering from amusing nonsense (and all the known mods), Resident Evil 2 can still be found on the list of popular games in the Twitch broadcast service – the atypical survivability of a single project.

As for the worthy of mentioning games with duration modes, in this case the Japanese find a compromise and do not spend astronomical sums on numerous production videos. Sometimes the emphasis is on mechanics, as in Monster Hunter World, sometimes, as in Yakuza 6 or Persona 5, the supply of secondary material is frankly inexpensive, sometimes, as in Nier Automata and in the positions it saves . This adds gaps to the games, but it is easier for them to repay, which means that they have a chance for further development. Better that way, than the pursuit not always justified of the reciting voice of all the dialogues, as the creator of Kingdom Come: Deliverance wants, Daniel Vavra.

Moreover, many Japanese companies have discovered the first half of the year and, as a rule, ignore the period from October to early December, when a great caliber of Activision, EA, Ubisoft and Nintendo enter the battle. They don't come up with "brilliant" ideas, like in Bethesda at that time, who released the action movie Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus in a day with Assassin's Creed Origins and Super Mario Galaxy. It is clear that the games are different, but the information space and customer portfolios are not rubber. In January, February and March, we must compete with less-promoted products.

In such conditions, an obvious focus works more effectively: the name. The oriental series is also remembered from the good side, their crazy popularity in the past is having an effect. At the same time, nostalgia is now in favor of a part of the public, especially if there is a qualitative restructuring of the facade. Publishers are not afraid to use it. Among the recent successful projects of the Japanese it is not easy to find work on new intellectual property.

Finally, Japan has not yet been struck by the virus of universal tolerance, and even in western-oriented games the beautiful girls flash. The item is not important in terms of sales and reputation, but adds a couple of points to resource developers.


Some Japanese publishers led by Capcom are on the rise, but for now they sell old-fashioned games in a new package, seasoning it with a famous name and exploiting the lack of competition. No one forbids leaving the closet franchise, but it will inevitably end. And not all once big series can be updated without problems and sell well today. Developers to develop ideas. I want to believe that we are not witnessing a temporary surge, followed by an immersion in the tantalizing thanks to the super profits of the gaming services, but to the revival of the Japanese industry, which once dictated the its own rules. Now he can repeat it, though not in all segments of the market.

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