Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dai Sato at AnimeFEST in Dallas

For anyone going to AnimeFEST in Dallas this weekend make sure you check the schedule for Dai Sato, and do your best to attend.

We see Sato speak every year, and I have to say it is always the highlight of attending anime conventions.  Not only has he worked on nearly every show that I hold dear (Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Eden of the East, Eureka Seven to name a few), he always provides really good analysis and summery of the anime situation in Japan at any given time.  He states it like it is and doesn't hold back on his opinions, but he does so in an intelligent and thoughtful manner.  And also adds a good deal of humor to his lectures.

If you can find a way to attend, I think you will find it well worth the admission of the con, without even stepping foot in the dealers room.

AnimeFEST is a con I hold near and dear to my heart.  I stumbled upon it by chance many moons ago when they were very small.  They have always managed to eclipse the guests and talent of bigger cons in the area (*cough* A-Kon *cough*) and have manged to keep things under control (also unlike other cons in the area).

Not to rag on A-Kon too much (seriously though, they get bigger every year and have less and less guests every year.  How does that happen??), but AnimeFEST has always seemed like the more mature con.  The age group tends to skew a little older.  More of a college crowd, and there seems to be a lot less Naruto and Bleach cosplay (not that there is anything wrong with that). But be warned it is much smaller in scale that A-Kon if you are use to the three massive stories of Con.

You can register here for AnimeFEST

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stop blaming the fans

It seems the new cool thing to do if you are head of marketing at a major entertainment company is to blame the fans of the product you are trying to shill, as to weather said product comes out or not.

For example, today Reggie Fils-Aime, the President of Nintendo of America said depending on the sales of Xenoblade Chronicles in Europe, determines if we get it in the States.

Now, being a big fan of Japanese games, I've seen my fair share of games that I have wanted here in America (North variety) that I knew would never make it stateside.  I've imported and struggled through translations just to enjoy the game as much as I can.

But now we have a game, that fans have been demanding Nintendo to bring stateside, which now has an English localization that has been shipped to Australia and Europe, and Fils-Aime is trying to tell me the game may or may not come to America.

Stop feeding me bullshit.

The game is coming to America, and I'm sure it's been a bulleted item on his marketing press sheet that he hands out to investors for the last quarter at least.  Xenoblade, and Last Story are two games fans have been clammoring for on the Wii and Nintendo has remained coy on the subject.  Why?

Because they want to throw a big press conference and act like they are really reaching out to the fans.  "Whoop! Whoop!" for them.  All of this would have been fine, if he hadn't said the equivalent of:

"Scream hard enough fanboys or we might not release it!"

Don't act like bringing the game over here has anything to do with how vocal fans are on message boards.  Nintendo has committees of old people in suits, and focus groups, analysts, and a whole bunch of other equally worthless jobs they pay people exorbitant money for what is basically just superstitious voodoo.

This scapegoating of the fanbase has reached a limit in my opinion.  The above example is ultimately fairly harmless, and is just another way to advertise.  In the end I'm happy Nintendo is bringing these games over here, so it is easy to look past the viral marketing.  However, it is when it goes the other way that this handling of the fanbase gets dangerous.
A few weeks ago, Capcom announced that the eagerly anticipated Megaman Legends 3 is getting canned, because fans weren't vocal enough on the forums about the game.

Yet, if you look at the chain of events leading up to the canning of Megaman Legends, you can easily see this was inevitable.  After Megaman creator and Capcom president Kenji Inafune left the company, slowly every Megaman game that was in development was getting canceled.  Even in the fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom, Megaman was never added to the roster.  It was a matter of time before Legends 3 was on that chopping block as well.

Having a highly anticipated title canceled is one thing, but to go the extra mile and blame the fans for it.  That takes a lot of balls on Capcom's part.

I've honestly tried to not get on board the Capcom hate train that every one seems to be on these days, but when decisions like this are made, it makes it hard to stay a fan.

Personally, and I have nothing to back this up with, but I think this line of thinking from corporate stooges goes back to the early days of MP3 downloads and Napster.

Once it became okay to sue the people they were too old and out of touch to figure out how to market to, they started down a slippery slope where they feel we should worship them and beg and plead to them for content, instead of them finding out what the consumer wants.

And for the record, I honestly don't give two craps about Xenoblade or Megaman Legends 3.  I've never played a Megaman Legends game, and I hated all the Xenosaga games.  It just irks me to no end when company's start down these pandering marketing paths. 

Last Story however, I'm all about.