It's debate time!!! Gather 'round, everyone,
For many years now, gaming articles, publications, and game development have been repeating this "breaking into China" thing, this "growing market" thing so on and so forth.
When World of Warcraft hit its peak, China shut it down in its territory and . . . after Blizzard made all sorts of concessions and bent over backwards to get it published there, followed it up with a full on no holds barred China themed expansion - MoP.
While it's true that the game's age (and many other things) did it no favors, the blatant bend over-spread-cheeks-wide cater to enter the Chinese market that was MoP did take it off focus, and I'm convinced it's one major (taboo topic) reason why they've tumbled so precipitously during that expansion.
TERA is now getting ready to go live in China in a few months. Dragonette, (which by the way came out just as the Taiwan version was launched) will probably be but the first of these inexplicable efforts to tailor a product away from what it is to cater to a perceived local taste. Given the - perplexing - lapse in judgement BHS overlords demonstrate time and again with the directions they're taking their game, I think it's safe to expect a year - if not the remainder of the game's life expectancy, to be all about China.
Frankly, I believe this is very silly of outsiders to do.
I myself - am not quite culturally "American" per se. And so to me, even to this day, when I travel to some city in the Midwest I want to get the experience of visiting that city in the Midwest. I'd find it odd, and pretty laughable, to see that given town transform itself in order to make me feel more "welcome."
Would you go to Paris and expect to find your home country cultural colors, flags and restaurants in every corner? The character of the city changed to tailor to your taste? Doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of your traveling overseas?
If I go to the Nordic Fjords I better bloody find some bleeping Fjords, not the frikin' Mojave desert, OK?
So FFS if I was from Never-never land and living in a relatively closed society, I will guarantee you my people and I would be starving for the exoticism of the different, non insular product outsiders have to offer? Seriously, it's like going to sell ice to Eskimos. WTF?
Or is it that Western companies have to kneel and pay homage to the Chinese state censors that limit what can enter in their culture to avoid its getting western cooties? Is that it? Frankly, it's a safe bet that it is so. Well then, is entering that market worth alienating your existing one? It must be if they're willing to take that risk.
But FFS I have yet to see a single example in the gaming or MMO scene where that has been the case.
"But Diver! Isn't that what they did by westernizing TERA?!"
Not quite. If you followed this game's early marketing, BHS, as a studio, was launched from the bottom up to be a leading MMO maker and designed to take on not just the Korean market, but also the western market on from the very inception of the game. That they created BlueHole Interactive as a BlueHole subsidiary (shortly thereafter renamed En Masse Entertainment) in Seattle to be it's publisher to the Western market was part of that goal.
TERA was from inception a Korea-Japa-'neaster hybrid. Not fully Korean, not fully western, but something weird, interesting (and very often disturbing) in between.
So let's get back away from TERA and get back to this whole let's change our three year old MMO to tailor to a closed culture (at the expense of its current market) and see if those efforts have paid off in dividends. Have they?
Has it paid off for other MMO companies to do so?
I'm curious. Really.
. . . my head . . . everything's spinning . . . oh no! It's happening again . . !
It's DIVER'S TOTALLY UNRELIABLE VAGUE VISIONS OF THE FUTURE1!!!!
I see . . . I see an Elin . . . at the top of a high mountain . . .
what is it doing?! It's it's moving it's hands and stuff. Now it's raising it's kee . . . is that Tai-Chi?
It . . it's wielding a staff . . . A rattan stick? Oh - no . . .
It knows Kung-Fu!!!!!
Edited by: Diver
3 months ago