The key to a successful launch and increased market adoption for Japanese video games (starting w...

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The key to a successful launch and increased market adoption for Japanese video games (starting with France) by Mind Map: The key to a successful launch and increased market adoption for Japanese video games (starting with France)

1. French market

1.1. French players

1.1.1. Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs SELL says that research suggests that 75% of french residents play video games at least occasionally and 53% do so regularly. That is enormous.

1.2. France and the Japanese entertainment culture

1.2.1. Manga culture

1.2.2. Paris Games Week or even Japan Expo is a convention on Japanese popular culture - the largest of its kind in the world outside Japan - taking place in Paris, France

1.2.2.1. No other european country to my knowledge has a special every year Japanese Expo

1.2.2.1.1. France is your 3rd biggest market, do not doubt it

1.3. US vs EU vs Japanese sale numbers in France

1.3.1. Need more time to find these numbers

2. Successful games

2.1. Communication strategies

2.2. Communities

2.2.1. Huge community help by word of mouth and online experience

2.3. Twitch/Youtube

2.3.1. Huge amounts of western players playing the game and sharing positive feedback

2.4. Press appreciation and coverage

2.4.1. Good overall

2.5. Inherent features of games

2.5.1. Online mode available

2.5.2. 2-3 year development time

2.5.3. Sequel follow-up 2-3 years later

2.6. Examples

2.6.1. Metal Gear Solid 5

2.6.1.1. Global total sales = 4,830,000

2.6.1.1.1. Released last year

2.6.2. Bloodborne

2.6.2.1. global total sales = 2,180,000

2.6.2.1.1. Released last year

2.6.3. Dark Souls 3

2.6.3.1. Global total sales = 1,570,000

2.6.3.1.1. Released a few months ago

2.6.4. Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

2.6.4.1. Global total sales = 1,150,000

2.6.5. Super Smash Bros. Melee

2.6.5.1. Global total sales = 4,910,000

2.6.6. Street Fighter 5

2.6.6.1. Global total sales = 680,000

2.6.6.1.1. Released a few months ago

2.7. Distribution

2.7.1. Simultaneous shipment

2.7.1.1. sim-ship allows for more profit, more sales, less costs, because if you delay your release between different countries, people will have already had time to pirate the game, and the other people will have forgotten the game by the time it is released in their country, also they will be angry at you as a company

3. Unsuccessful games

3.1. Communication strategies

3.1.1. non-existent

3.2. Communities

3.2.1. lack of community, bcz not enough sales, too niche

3.3. Twitch/Youtube

3.3.1. People do play occasionally these kinds of games but even if the game is good it will still be unsuccessful bcz

3.4. Press appreciation and coverage

3.4.1. non-existent, and when existent, most often than not, bad...

3.5. Inherent features of games

3.5.1. No online mode

3.5.2. No PC or Steam game

3.5.3. Development costs were too high due to time it took and due to in-house game engine

3.6. Examples

3.6.1. Binary Domain

3.6.1.1. Global total sales = 520,000

3.6.1.1.1. released in 2012

3.6.2. BlazBlue : Calamity Trigger

3.6.2.1. Global total sales = 950,000

3.6.2.1.1. Released in 2009

3.6.3. Gundam Breaker

3.6.3.1. Global total sales = 260,000

3.6.3.1.1. Released in 2013

3.6.3.1.2. failed bcz all of sales came from Japan, why? Bcz the game was never released in the West

3.6.4. Yakuza Zero: The Place of Oath

3.6.4.1. Global total sales = 410,000

3.6.4.1.1. Released in 2015

3.6.4.1.2. failed bcz all of sales came from Japan, why? Bcz the game has officially been announced to come to Europe in 2017

3.6.5. Samurai Warrior

3.6.5.1. Global total sales = 490,000

3.6.5.1.1. Released in 2014

3.6.5.1.2. Failed because localization was level 2 only, meaning it was only box and documentation that was in french, nothing else.

3.6.5.1.3. Trop de derives

3.7. Distribution

3.7.1. Post-gold

3.7.1.1. When the game is 'gold' it means it is finished, but if you wait till the game is finished to give it to the translation firm or independent contractors, then your game will not release on time, or will release with poor translation

3.7.1.1.1. This method is still practiced by japanese studios, and this is why some games never come out outside Japan, or take months or years to do so

4. Why France is the best target audience for Japanese video games

5. From Japan to France : roadmap

5.1. Development techniques

5.1.1. Archaic

5.1.1.1. Funny because the west adopted SCRUM and Kanban for their development process a long time ago and both those project management frameworks were conceived in Japan by Japanese managers

5.1.2. PC ports are the most disastrous

5.1.2.1. Shame bcz if they were to hire a small team of western coders to make their pc ports they could sell thousands of units if not millions on Steam

5.2. Localization

5.2.1. If not a AAA title, then no localization for France is performed. And even sometimes we see rare cases of AAA titles that localize only for English and not French

5.3. Local distributors

5.3.1. Publishers ship units to Headquarters of retailers and grandes surfaces

5.4. Retailers

5.4.1. Biggest ones

5.4.1.1. Micromania

5.4.1.2. Fnac

5.4.1.3. Media Markt

6. French players' criteria for selecting a game

6.1. Not really any, just like everyone else, they go for the game they most think they will enjoy, and if it is Japanese then perfect. They have a sweet spot for Japanese games

7. The ideal launch

7.1. The ideal launch would look something like this :

7.1.1. Decide one one date for a worldwide sim-ship release in order to increase profits

7.1.2. Warn every single retailer of that date much beforehand

7.1.3. Release 5 or more gameplay trailers of the game 1 month prior to release and then once every week until launch

7.1.4. Use some sort of PLV (Publicité sur le Lieu de Vente), in english, Point of Sale Display

7.1.5. Launch on the Steam platform where you can reach 125 million active users, 2.4 million of which are Japanese

7.1.5.1. Valkyria Chronicles a game developed by Sega and published by Sega which is culturally speaking of non-interest to westerners, sold so well on Steam (810,436 copies priced at $19.99), that Japanese developers were shocked by the results and are only now realizing the potential of Steam and other digital distributors. Numbers courtesy of SteamSpy

7.1.6. Also launch on gog.com and humblebundle.com if possible, for increased visibility and sales

7.1.7. Add a collector's edition

7.1.8. Release in September because in October there is too much competition

8. The ideal follow-up

8.1. Customer service is really poor and should be a top priority if you are to have any long lasting market adoption again

8.2. Release updates frequently and pay attention to what customers are saying in forums and twitter

8.3. If online mode was a success, then release payed content a few months later so that you make sure people are still playing the game after the year has ended, that way they won't have time to forget your game when the sequel comes out 2 years later

9. Should Japanese Studios only target Japanophiles?

9.1. % of regular players vs japanophile players

9.2. No

9.2.1. My research indicates that although they should milk their base and core customers to the fullest, they have the potential to conquer market share away from other games, they just need to change tactics