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Sony's Kobayashi: better ICO box art could have boosted sales


At DICE Summit Asia, Sony Japan Studio VP Yasuhide Kobayashi gave a speech about appealing to a global audience with games, which he identified as increasingly important as the Japanese market contracts. He mentioned The Last Guardian, which was given that particular title to appeal to Western markets.

As an example of Western-focused marketing that didn't work, Kobayashi presented the Japanese and North American boxes for ICO, the game that brought the Last Guardian developers to prominence. "If the packaging was designed differently, we think it would have sold more," he said. "In fact on the internet many people have said that the Japanese version was better." Because it is.

Kobayashi then finished by highlighting what he saw as a different perception of what makes a "new" game in the West and Japan. He said that a "new" game in the US or Europe could be "something similar to something that's come before, because they think it is easier for people to understand."

"But actually we don't like this - it's like you're simulating, following suit, combining two titles into one," he continued. "It seems the definition of a new title is different in the US and Europe to Japan. It means a new genre, that's what we call a new game."

Japan has just as many iterative sequels as anywhere else, but we guess they aren't considered as new?

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