Famitsu: 'Core gamers' seen as vital to video game industry as economy slows


Here's a fascinating interview with Hirokazu Hamamura (pictured), Enterbrain's president and Famitsu's executive editor:

"The software situation in Japan is not so bad," Hamamura said, pointing to four games--Mario Kart Wii, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G, Pocket Monster Platinum, and Dragon Quest V--that have sold more than 1 million copies each so far this year, compared to eight to hit that mark in all of last year.

With Wii Music and other highly anticipated titles still to come in 2008, "this half is going to be very good for software," he said.

Hamamura said that thanks to the popularity of Monster Hunter, "PSP [PlayStation Portable game hardware] sales in Japan took off dramatically."

"I think the phenomenon is very similar to what happened with Game Boy many many years ago...I think Game Boy had almost died out at that time, and Pocket Monster basically rescued this hardware. I think it's similar to what's happening with Monster Hunter and PSPs," Hamamura said.

He said the game, played through a network by four people, often in separate locations, is "the beginning of a new trend." Another of the year's top games is the multiplayer Phantasy Star Portable, which sold 606,480 copies in the first half, about triple the number expected. Hamamura attributed this to Monster Hunter having changed the gaming environment.

Despite such success stories, Kamide said the 100-day trend in software sales in Japan has been angling downward for the last year and a half.

Read the entire article HERE.


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