Team Ico's eagerly anticipated upcoming PS3 title The Last Guardian has an English title. There must be a reason for that. Turns out, there is.
Yasuhide Kobayashi, the VP of Sony's Japan Studio, said at the DICE Summit Asia that the game was given an English title so it would appeal to the US and European markets, reports game site Games Industry.
"There are so many issues we have to solve, and the biggest challenge is that the market in Japan is shrinking—the key is gaining success in the US and Europe," stated the exec. "At the time of the original PlayStation the Japanese market was one third of the global market, and production costs weren't that high—so we were able to generate profit from that market alone.
"But now we're in the era of the PlayStation 3, and the Japanese market is only one fifth of the global market—when it comes to production costs, those are swelling, so it means that unless we gain success in the overseas market our studio will go bankrupt," said Kobayashi. "It's a crisis we recognize."
For previously released Team Ico title ICO, Sony experimented with different ways of promoting the game and packaging the title, and the game did sell 270,000 in the US. Kobayashi thinks the game could have done even better: "If the packaging was designed differently, we think it would have sold more—in fact on the internet many people have said that the Japanese version was better." That last comment should get Team Ico fans hope and comfort. The Last Guardian, it sounds, is in good hands.
Last Guardian game 'named for US, Europe' - Kobayashi [Games Industry]