I’ve been thinking a lot about the Japanese arcade scene lately, brought on by this bit from Kevin Gifford.
Looking at the statistics, there are almost half the arcades there were in Japan now than there were when I lived there in 2002-2003.
The irony is that people who are the most vocal (and, generally, non-Japanese) supporters of Japanese arcade culture are the ones advocating the same mentality that’s killing it: lack of accessibility, catering only to the hardcore. Why do you think Cave games add all of that moe window dressing? It’s to get the eyes of people who don’t normally play traditional shooting games. Why do certain fighting games offer simplified control schemes when they’re not tournament-legal and actually restrict what you can do? Same thing.
One looks like a fool when one slags off the UFO catchers and prize machines as “not the real arcade experience” when those are essentially subsidizing your precious hardcore games.
I love Japanese arcades. Playing VF4Evo every night my junior year of college was, weird as it sounds, a formative life experience for me. So I can’t pretend that nothing’s wrong, that everything will be okay. The introduction of internet-connected arcades that VF4 ushered in was a shot in the arm at the time, but it wouldn’t last forever. If we want game centers to thrive, we need to take new approaches to bring in players of all stripes, the way classic arcade games were able to. If that means catering to newbies, or even - GOD FORBID! - the fujoshi crowd, so be it. The scene we love simply cannot survive on the backs of the most devoted alone.
(P.S. I’d love to see what sort of profits Guilty Gear XXAC+ is taking in versus Guilty Gear XX#R ten years ago. I bet the former is just a fraction of the latter.)
In-jokey, but if you get it you are snickering so hard right now.
…I feel like I suck at tumblr :(
Gosh, I totally wonder what the gender and ethnicity of two individuals who would create a “shonen manga” with characters like “Big Lips Dorothy The Trailer Park Ho” could be?
Flying Get image of the SMT4 3DSXL model. The game and the LE with the system release in May.
Seriously, how great is this design? SO GREAT.