Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Breaking News! MS Xbox Japan Interview Hints at LOST ODYSSEY Sequels!


Based on this article here:
http://trendy.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/special/20080222/1007372/

It's in Japanese....based on a translation from NEOGAF by Agent Icebeezy, it says that the Microsoft Home and Entertainment division in Japan is quite happy with the 100K sales of Lost Odyssey in Japan, and they're growing the series for the long term---in other words, sequels for Lost Odyssey are coming.

I don't know Japanese but a friend of mine gave me a link to a pretty good Japanese/English online translator. I just ran this through those auto translators so this may not be accurate. I hope people here who understand Japanese can verify my interpretation of the translation.

Original Japanese Text:
――『ロストオデッセイ』のセールスは推定で約10万本と、当初の期待値からすると、少し物足りない結果だったでしょうか。

泉水氏:いえ、セールスについては、まだまだこれからだと思っています。RPGシリーズの初回モノはメガヒットにつながらない傾向が過去にもありますからね。『ロストオデッセイ』はユーザーの評判もいいですし、まずはいいスタートが切れたと評価しています。
 マイクロソフトにとって、『ロストオデッセイ』は非常に重要なコンテンツですので、このタイトルを大事に育てていかなければなりません。欧米でのリリースが始まりましたので、そちらで大きな反響となれば、日本でも再度、話題を提供することができると期待しています。
Our 'interpretation' of the translation:

Q: Was the sales performance of 'Lost Odyssey' not satisfactory considering it sold about 100,000 copies in Japan?

Sensui: It is not possible to say that the sales are bad since we cannot predict the future sales of the title. But Lost Odyssey has its similarities with to a megahit RPG series. The reputation of the team is also very good. Lost Odyssey has a pretty good start.

But because 'Lost Odyssey' is an important title for Microsoft, it is necessary to raise the awareness of this title. The game is only being released in Europe and America, it is expected that Japan can offer the title again if the reception in those areas is pretty good.

I looked through the whole article and that was the only mention of Lost Odyssey there. I think we can be a little certain that MSKK (MS Japan) will continue the 'Lost Odyssey' series if Europe and America has a positive response to the game.

Other interesting things being discussed is that MS says that the 2007 software sales in Japan has surpassed the 2006 sales and they are happy that the response has been positive for 2007. Idol Master is the new 'face' of XBOX 360 Japan and the series has done exceptionally well for both the title and its XBOX Live merchandise.

There were also a lot of hard questions that were thrown in. MS is aware that the XBOX fans in Japan are posting suggestion and comments on how to improve their strategy. Among the biggest complaints are the lack of marketing support for the 360 and not being able to connect to the casual/core user base in Japan. While I can't make complete sense of Sensui's response, it seems like MSKK is targetting the hard core Japanese market and that strategy seemed to have worked in their favor. XBOX Live has also seen pretty good growth in Japan and the number of paying membership and sales have increased, although Sensui could not disclose the figures. Other than that, the Japanese are beginning to see that there are a lot of quality games being released by western developers particularly Call of Duty 4 and Assasin's Creed. At the same time, Sensui is proud that Capcom and Namco Bandai titles are flourishing in the west for the XBOX 360.

Nice interview all in all. The interview always makes it apparent that the 360 has dismal hardware sales in Japan (a point that has been repeated over and over throughout the whole article). Sensui believes that despite their low hardware sales they are offering quality software titles to the Japanese gamers and that they are quite pleased that they are slowly making some headway in Japan.

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