Square Enix President Calls "Western Game" Label "Terribly Discriminatory"

Illustration for article titled Square Enix President Calls "Western Game" Label "Terribly Discriminatory"

Gotta give Square Enix credit. For an enormous (and still conservative) company, it sure is trying hard to expand its horizons. Just listen to company boss Yoichi Wada talk.


"Even now, there have been people in Japan using the label youge- (Western games) with a terribly discriminatory meaning," Wada said in a recent interview on Japanese TV in which he discussed Square Enix and Modern Warfare 2, which it published in Japan. "I'd like them to try it once. If they play it once, they'd realize how incorrect that label is."

The term "youge-" has been used to separate Japanese games from foreign titles, which, until recently, were believed to have little or no appeal to Japanese gamers. "Game" (ゲーム)refers to video games. "Youge-" (洋ゲー)means something else — these games are different, they are the other.

Continuing, Wada noted that Western developers really started to come into their own in 2005, but that there was a lag in importing these titles into Japan. "Japanese game makers have been overwhelming strong," Wada said. "Thus, perhaps it was not necessary to look outside." Times are changing, and so is Square Enix, it seems.

Wada Interview [YouTube]



2005 is an arbitrary number he picked based on when he recalled seeing Western game developers trying to gain a foothold in Japan.

It seems like a perfectly reasonable time frame, because it's only been in recent memory that I recall NA and EU developers trying to appeal and market to a Japanese market. Microsoft being the first company to really really push gaining a foothold in Japan and that's only as recently as the 360 the past two maybe three years.

I'm not sure why everyone's flipping out as if he is saying all Western games prior to 2005 are garbage.