Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

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jacob
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Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

Post by jacob » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:18 pm

I apologize for the weird question, but we have enough gamers and enough world experience here for me to ask whether there's a distinct difference between which computer games are the most popular in Europe, the US, Russia, and Asia (mainly eastern Asia). And if so ... what? which games?

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bryan
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Re: Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

Post by bryan » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:46 pm

Do you mean computer games or videogames?

https://steamspy.com/country/ (though steam is not ubiquitous internationally like in the US; and obviously some games are not on Steam).

I'm out of the loop now.. but at least I know the big $$$ markets are Japan and USA (then UK, AUS, CAN, Korea).
Last edited by bryan on Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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distracted_at_work
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Re: Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

Post by distracted_at_work » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:48 pm

That'll depend on how you measure popularity and what your end goal of the question is. Money spent, streaming audience, concurrent players, longevity of a title (Starcraft 1 in South Korea) are all things to look at. Are we only talking online games? Mobile games? Personally, to measure popularity I would compare the most consistently watched games on twitch.tv (NA/EU), Azubu (Mixed) and Huya (Chinese).

League of Legends is the most popular game in the world on every continent as far as I am aware. Might be PUBG now.

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Re: Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

Post by jacob » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:54 pm

I'm talking all games.

The end goal is to find out whether certain cultures prefer certain types of games. I know that Starcraft is practically a religion in South Korea on par with the NFL in the US (at least until last year). So ... are there more Angry Birds players in Europe than anywhere else ... or more Counterstrike players in the US ... or ...

I'm not asking about e-sports or professional gamers ... but more what the "everyman" prefers to play.

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distracted_at_work
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Re: Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

Post by distracted_at_work » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:03 pm

My gut check, backed up with mild google research, is that the "West (EU/NA/RU)" prefers FPS and that the "East" (SK,CN,JP) prefers MOBAS/RTS. I think MMORPGS are universal in type but change in style/game-play based on region. An Eastern MMO will have heavy anime influence (Black Desert Online) while a Western MMO will be a cartoon or realistic style (Elder Scrolls Online).

FPS = First Person Shooter
MOBA = Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
RTS = Real Time Strategy
MMORPG = Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game*

*for the non-gamers.

If you need more specific info I'm afraid I can't help you. The steam charts Bryan linked would be your best bet.

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Re: Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

Post by jennypenny » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:58 pm

This is DD, not JP ...

East Asia tends to favor RPGs more, while the US tends to favor FPSs more.

Aside from that, one of the main differences I've noticed though with video games is that eastern games tend to be a lot more straightforward: you are the hero, they are the villain, defeat them, end ... almost reminiscent of a Disney movie. You usually don't have multiple endings. Even if "choices" are offered, they still only offer one ending based off of the choice they want you to make (ex. regardless of whether you pick "yes" or "no", the game still forces you to act as if you chose "yes"). Eastern games are also much brighter and more kid friendly.

In the west, video games frequently have a much darker tone and style. They force the players to make decisions (sometimes based on moral choices) and offer lots of branches and endings based on those choices. US FPSs also tend to have more social commentary built in, based on how the choices are made and presented, showing you the consequence of your decisions.

Also, another difference is esports. Competitive gaming for money is a lot more common in the East. While competitive gaming, tournaments and cash prizes do happen in the West, it is not nearly as popular and large scale as it is in the East. You can think of esport games like actual sports, anyone can play them, just few make a career off of them. Games popular as esports are also popular among casual gamers.

*Obviously, there are exceptions to everything but these are my observations.

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Re: Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

Post by George the original one » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:05 pm

In simracing, the world is Euro-centric. The only solid USA/Canada presence is on iRacing, which has a lock on North American tracks, IRL, NASCAR, & now dirt oval tracks... the world of simracing, however, does not revolve around oval tracks.

Outside of the greater European theater, there are solid communities in Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, & Japan. The Japanese tend not to participate internationally, but most other countries do.

Overall, simracing is just a niche product, like simflying. Proper hobbiest gear (a forcefeedback steering wheel and pedals hardmounted so they don't shift around) runs $500 and enthusiast gear can run $5000, so there's a significant barrier to entry. Racing with a joystick or gamepad is "arcade" and usually has controller or physics assists to make driving with such devices easier. Arcade racing has a significantly larger audience.

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Re: Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

Post by Salathor » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:52 pm

I haven't seen anyone mention yet that Asians are known for having a MUCH, MUCH higher tolerance (preference, even?) for games that are free and feature heavy Free-2-Play (even pay to win) mechanics than western gamers (although it's obviously a successful business model here now, too).

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Re: Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

Post by Campitor » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:35 pm

I've played WoW, COD (for a team with matches coordinated by CAL - Cyber Atheletic League (pfft - lol), Medal of Honor , Starcraft, Diablo 1 and 2. I never encountered any foreign players on any FPS game I played but I certainly encountered tons of foreigners including Asians playing MORPGs. Most Easterners tended to be "farmers" who were harvesting in-game items to be sold for real dollars online. Of the Eastern Folks who actually joined a "guild" to conquer in-game content, most of them tended to be Japanese or Indian in my experience - and most were either foreign students in the US or had recently relocated to the US for work. Most of the out-of-USA people I played with were from Australia, Europe, South America, or Russia.

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Re: Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

Post by Lucky C » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:47 am

Not really "computer" games, but America has pinball; Japan has pachinko.

In America, modern arcades have generally migrated to more ticket games than pure fun/skill games with no prize, unless the venue is a retro arcade. However, pinball machines have continued to be popular in not just the retro arcades but also the ones that have tons of newfangled ticket games, and pinball has avoided "ticketization" - you still just play for fun. There is that physical element to pinball that isn't present in other games, and it is also appealing to many skill levels. A kid can be dazzled by the lights and sounds and have fun just trying to get the ball to stop falling; an experienced pinball player enjoys figuring out how to get multiball and the highest combos.

Pachinko doesn't involve much skill because you just launch the ball and don't control any flippers. So it's random enough to be used for gambling and is one of the few forms of gambling legal in Japan. People will sit at pachinko machines all day instead of slot machines. Despite Japan's love of pachinko and almost any other type of video game, pinball just didn't catch on there.

While Americans play pinball for fun and Japanese play pinball for the prizes, the opposite is the case for American vs. Japanese game shows. There are many American game shows that aren't very interesting and rely on the potential for 6 or 7 figure winnings as part of the draw. Meanwhile from clips I've seen of Japanese game shows, there is little talk of high value prizes to be won. Instead it's all about the absurdity of the contest. The Japanese game shows hook you through funny situations and physical tension (can he make it up the slippery stairs?) whereas American game shows hook you with the amount of money at stake and playing along guessing the trivia answers before they're revealed.

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Re: Differences in Eastern/Western computer game preferences, if any?!

Post by chiliehead » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:02 am

Some German characteristics: (Point and Click) Adventures are really popular, old LucasArts and Sierra games as well as new ones by Daedalic. The same goes for simulations like Sims, SimCity. Also Counterstrike, Blizzard and Quake (in earlier times) have quite a fanbase, just like the new free stuff like LoL. And Minecraft. So many Youtubers/Streamers making a living of playing Minecraft. Pc Gaming has arguably more importance here than in most other countries.

Gambling is less focused on the slot-machine kind of money graves and more on sport bets, card games and the likes of CFD-Trading (so many high-risk derivatives are only to be found in Germany, thanks to lacking knowledge about investing).

On a different note, my impression of Japanese/Asian gaming (apart from Eroge) was the popularity of grinding. Like there are specific RPGs where you can sink 300+ hours into just to reach Lvl 999

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