Red Dead Redemption Sees Surprising Success in Japan

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Red Dead Redemption Sees Surprising Success in Japan



Apparently, the Japanese really like pretending to be cowboys.

It seems to be a widely-held axiom in the games industry that while Japanese-made games and hardware can succeed in the West, the reverse is far from true. The Xbox 360 has faced notorious difficulty gaining traction in Japan, and last winter Square-Enix boss-man Yoichi "Imperial Hot" Wada publicly lambasted gamers alike [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/97346-Yoichi-Wada-Blasts-Japanese-Retailers-for-Anti-Western-Bias] for their anti-Western bias.

Anti-Western bias, perhaps - but that doesn't mean Japanese gamers can't enjoy pretending to be cowboys. Following its recent debut, Red Dead Redemption entered the Japanese all-format retail charts at #4 (PS3) and #7 (Xbox 360), selling 70,599 and 25,673 copies, respectively. It may not sound like much, and it doesn't quite match Grand Theft Auto IV's November 2008 high-mark of 160,000 copies, but it's a damn nice showing for a Western-made title.

The other new releases on the chart were Square-Enix's DS title Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded, which entered the list at #3, and F1 2010 (PS3) that debuted at #8. The number one spot, of course, was still Nintendo's Pokemon Black & White, which has moved a phenomenal 3,992,855 units since its launch last month.

As impressive as this showing is for a Western title in Japan, it's really a drop in the bucket overall - Rockstar says that Red Dead Redemption has sold 6.9 million copies around the world.

(Eurogamer [http://uk.ds.ign.com/articles/112/1127799p1.html])

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Korten12

Now I want ma...!
Aug 26, 2009
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Wow, thats rare, the only other western game shooter that I know that was a sucesss in japan was Killzone 2. For some reason they REALLY liked it, I did too but I was surpised none the less.
 

boholikeu

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Aug 18, 2008
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Rockstar games are actually really big over here in Japan, further smashing the stereotype that they don't like open-world games and "bland Western art".

The idea that Japanese people don't like FPS games seems to be true though.
 

Korten12

Now I want ma...!
Aug 26, 2009
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boholikeu said:
Rockstar games are actually really big over here in Japan, further smashing the stereotype that they don't like open-world games and "bland Western art".

The idea that Japanese people don't like FPS games seems to be true though.
actually, Killzone 2 fared quite well in Japan.
 

icyneesan

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Feb 28, 2010
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Its Cowboys! Everyone likes cowboy. My real guess is that everyone just wanted to relive Samurai Gunman.

 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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With how often they nick Western themes in their media, it's surprising that Western (as in the genre, not the region) still meet that level of bias normally.
 

boholikeu

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Aug 18, 2008
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Korten12 said:
boholikeu said:
Rockstar games are actually really big over here in Japan, further smashing the stereotype that they don't like open-world games and "bland Western art".

The idea that Japanese people don't like FPS games seems to be true though.
actually, Killzone 2 fared quite well in Japan.
True, but that's the only FPS I can think of that did well whereas pretty much every Rockstar game is instant gold over here.
 

cobrausn

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Dec 10, 2008
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Who in the world has never wanted to be a cowboy, at least for a little while?

Hell, considering how many animes are very 'wild west' influenced, I'm not surprised.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Im not surprised really, japan loves the idea of the lone swordsman, or gun slinger
 

Jamash

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Jun 25, 2008
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It's not really that surprising, Capcom were the original developers of Red Dead Revolver before they sold it to Rockstar.

Also, if you've ever played the Way of the Samurai spin-off, Samurai Western, you'd know the Wild West genre has quite a lot of popular appeal in Japan, since there are quite a few similarities between a the ideals of the lone swordsman and the lone gun-slinger.

Let's not forget that quite a few Samurai epics are remade as Westerns, like Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven for example.