Can a western RPG find a substantial audience in Square Enix's backyard? Bethesda producer Ashley Chang has high hopes for his game Oblivion (the Xbox 360 version came out today in Japan). It marks the first time an Elder Scrolls title has come to the region.

"Now I'm no industry analyst," he writes on the company's blog, "but [in my opinion], Oblivion will be a breakout hit in Japan ... it has the potential to drive 360 sales much like Blue Dragon did." Cheng also pointed to data from preorders and an impressive 38 out of 40 Famitsu, adding later that "I think Oblivion is going to be one of the biggest RPGs of the year for the Japanese market."

We're not industry analysts, either, but Blue Dragon had some high-profile Japanese names behind it, including the creator of the Final Fantasy series. The Xbox 360 version has a steep uphill battle, despite the Famitsu review. Since Trusty Bell (known elsewhere as Eternal Sonata) has just come out, perhaps Oblivion will be helped by a surge in the console's interest thanks to tri-Crescendo's title.

As the post describes, a lot of work went into translating the text into Japanese -- and yes, all the books received translation. Both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions ship with the Knights of the Nine expansion included; the PlayStation 3 version "will be out in the coming months," said Cheng.

[Thanks, ESfan]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.