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Capcom Comments on Mega Man's Popularity in Japan and North America

by Pedro Hernandez - May 3, 2011, 8:04 pm PDT
Total comments: 10 Source: (Siliconera), http://www.siliconera.com/2011/05/03/capcom-usa-on...

Capcom USA reveals some insight into why developers in Japan think Mega Man doesn't appeal to North America.  

A bit of commotion was started in the gaming world when Capcom community manager Seth Killian stated in a interview that Capcom Japan doesn't believe Mega Man is popular in North America. To seek answers why Japan has this view, a fan created a thread on Capcom's community forums concerning the subject. Capcom USA VP, Christian Svensson, posted the following in the thread to give his insight on the issue:

“Relative to Japan, North American sales of MM titles is historically lower (though MM9 and MM10 were significantly higher in NA than Japan). Another complicating factor is the fact that the demographic for MM there is much younger than it is here. My suspicion is that it’s due to the fact that for years, MM in Japan has been promoted in the weekly Kuro comics magazine, which is younger skewing and the Battle Network/Starforce series was also aimed as a much younger demo than Classic, X or Zero franchises, so we tend to get some mismatches across the brand.

“We know it’s a popular brand in NA, but perspective is all relative.”

Soon after, Seth Killian posted his thoughts as follows:

“As Sven mentioned, MM sales in Japan are typically higher, so there’s that.

“Beyond sales however, it’s largely a cultural impression issue. I think most CJ staff view MM as a fairly "Japanese" character (as opposed to, say, Frank West). I think Americans often assume that because something is popular in America, everyone else probably likes it too. In Japan, it’s usually the opposite — the more "Japanese" something might be, the less they would expect it to be popular elsewhere.

“It’s less to do with any reality and more to do with "this is a very Japanese thing, therefore foreigners won’t be as interested in it."  That’s true for some Japanese things (*cough* natto *cough*), but not true for other things, like the Blue Bomber.  It’s easy for everyone to love a cute, tenacious, and pure-hearted hero with such fun enemies.  Although just to make it even more complicated, MM is much less popular in Europe than he is in N. America. Of course Europe is just wrong about this [smiley face], but different strokes for different folks…”

The community outcry, along with the stronger sales of Mega Man 9 and 10 in North America, may help Capcom Japan realize that Mega Man's popularity extends around the globe. 

Talkback

OblivionMay 03, 2011

I always though MM was popular over here.

CericMay 04, 2011

Quote from: Oblivion

I always though MM was popular over here.

I always thought MM was more popular over here.

ArbokMay 04, 2011

This seems like a really odd comment to make... is this why they didn't include him in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 because their was an internal misconception on his popularity in the West?

Well they can always make amends, now hearing the outcry, and port it to the Wii2/Project Café with him as an added character. ;-)

OblivionMay 04, 2011

Quote from: Ceric

Quote from: Oblivion

I always though MM was popular over here.

I always thought MM was more popular over here.


There's no need to correct me. It was a simple mistake. No need to highlight it. I've been known to think faster than I can type.

CericMay 04, 2011

Quote from: Arbok

This seems like a really odd comment to make... is this why they didn't include him in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 because their was an internal misconception on his popularity in the West?

Well they can always make amends, now hearing the outcry, and port it to the Wii2/Project Café with him as an added character. ;-)

Wait he's not in MvC3....  I may now rethink my want of that game because that means Roll isn't in their as well or the Legends chick and Sevbots.

Quote from: Oblivion

Quote from: Ceric

Quote from: Oblivion

I always though MM was popular over here.

I always thought MM was more popular over here.


There's no need to correct me. It was a simple mistake. No need to highlight it. I've been known to think faster than I can type.

Wasn't correcting just stating my opinion.  Being Popular in two areas means equal popularity and like.  I always thought MM was much like Metroid and just had a bigger following here in the States.

pololmejorMay 04, 2011

I believe Megaman is pretty popular over here at Mexico too

broodwarsMay 04, 2011

I can't fathom why Capcom Japan thinks Mega Man's not popular over in NA.  We invested in this character for decades over many different incarnations.  He just needs better new games for us to play, as well as a return to retail gaming.

Ian SaneMay 04, 2011

Mega Man is an institution on the NES.  The Super Mario Bros. games might be the only NES titles that were more popular.  People see my NES game collection and immediately zone in on Mega Man 2.

The thing is Mega Man has got to be the most milked game series there is.  As a result Mega Man games are largely unessential.  You can pick up one or two and you're set.  It isn't like other series where each game is essential.  Plus Mega Man Battle Network was not really the sort of game that plays to American tastes and that is one of the most recent Mega Man series.  It also doesn't help the Mega Man's most recent console titles aren't very good.

There is a reason for MM9 and 10 being popular here - that is the Mega Man we want.  Mega Man was most successful on the NES so a game that harks back to those old titles was going to appeal to us the most.

Still regardless of how well any recent games have sold in the videogame world the Holy Trinity is Mario, Sonic and Mega Man, even with Sonic being the complete suck lately.  These are just iconic characters.  Were Sonic and Mega Man not the two most requested SSB characters?

CericMay 04, 2011

Quote from: Ian

Mega Man is an institution on the NES.  The Super Mario Bros. games might be the only NES titles that were more popular.  People see my NES game collection and immediately zone in on Mega Man 2.

The thing is Mega Man has got to be the most milked game series there is.  As a result Mega Man games are largely unessential.  You can pick up one or two and you're set.  It isn't like other series where each game is essential.  Plus Mega Man Battle Network was not really the sort of game that plays to American tastes and that is one of the most recent Mega Man series.  It also doesn't help the Mega Man's most recent console titles aren't very good.

There is a reason for MM9 and 10 being popular here - that is the Mega Man we want.  Mega Man was most successful on the NES so a game that harks back to those old titles was going to appeal to us the most.

Still regardless of how well any recent games have sold in the videogame world the Holy Trinity is Mario, Sonic and Mega Man, even with Sonic being the complete suck lately.  These are just iconic characters.  Were Sonic and Mega Man not the two most requested SSB characters?

And we got Snake.  Talk about a WTF moment.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)May 04, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

I can't fathom why Capcom Japan thinks Mega Man's not popular over in NA.  We invested in this character for decades over many different incarnations.  He just needs better new games for us to play, as well as a return to retail gaming.

Don't know if I agree with the idea that the series should return to the retail space. I like Mega Man, but it seems like the kind of experience that, in today's market, is better suited to the download services. All the originals, the Xs and Zeros (the conventional titles) are about 2 hours each in duration. Once upon a time, that was fine, but now? And the games that are longer and therefore more justifiable at a retail price are the spin-offs (the less popular ones).

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