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How many Japanese gamers read English?

02-22-2012, 01:20 PM
#1
Joined: May 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 306
How many Japanese gamers read English?

I'm thinking of localizing my game to Japanese, does anyone who lives in Japan have an estimate of how many gamers you think read English? Not just able to kludge through some menus, but read a whole RPG type story in English and fully understand it. My thought is most are able to get through basic menus but I have no idea how many fluently read English.

Developer of RTS Machines at War 3 for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows.
RTS Land Air Sea Warfare for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows.
02-22-2012, 04:39 PM
#2
Joined: May 2011
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 245
It's funny you should mention this because I have a word game that's in English (Stacword - Shameless plug) and don't do any language conversions or localizations for it at the moment. It'll be interesting to see what impact this has for you in Japan. I find that with my game I get a small spread all around the world. Countries such as Singapore, Japan and China I think are all interested in developing their English language skills.

Fantasy Adventure eBook set on a magical writer's desk available for DOWNLOAD @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H9K3KTW

02-22-2012, 04:47 PM
#3
Joined: May 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 306
That's why I wonder, the Chinese market is big enough to do the translation for, the Japanese market is not very big though, but even so they have a lot of gamers for how many people they have so I figured it may be worth it.

Developer of RTS Machines at War 3 for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows.
RTS Land Air Sea Warfare for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows.
02-23-2012, 03:54 AM
#4
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasterman View Post
I'm thinking of localizing my game to Japanese, does anyone who lives in Japan have an estimate of how many gamers you think read English? Not just able to kludge through some menus, but read a whole RPG type story in English and fully understand it. My thought is most are able to get through basic menus but I have no idea how many fluently read English.
They teach English in grade school. They are not totally illiterate as you might believe.

And how fluent do you expect them to be to read a simple word on a menu button?

And storylines are just fillers. Even English users will blow past them, and not read them in detail.

Last edited by Devcade; 02-23-2012 at 04:00 AM.
02-23-2012, 09:06 AM
#5
Joined: May 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devcade View Post
They teach English in grade school. They are not totally illiterate as you might believe.

And how fluent do you expect them to be to read a simple word on a menu button?

And storylines are just fillers. Even English users will blow past them, and not read them in detail.
As stated in my question my concern is not a simple word on a button, but being able to understand (and enjoy!) a full blown RPG story. I also think you vastly underestimate the importance and appreciation for a good story as well.

Developer of RTS Machines at War 3 for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows.
RTS Land Air Sea Warfare for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows.
02-23-2012, 09:37 AM
#6
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 281
I live in Japan and my wife is Japanese. The average Japanese person can understand written English well enough, but they are very poor at speaking and listening.
I would say that the average Japanese gamer could certainly muddle through an English RPG, presumably with a dictionary at hand.
Now, I dont mean to be rude here, but consider this: why on earth would they want to do that? There are a gazillion JRPGs that are suited to their tastes that they can read easily.

Game source code for PC, Mac, Linux and iOS here.
02-23-2012, 11:08 AM
#7
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Posts: 21
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I visited Tokyo for a week and all the young people spoke great English, the middle aged people had enough to get by, and older people spoke none.

Creator of Demolicious and Demolicious HD
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02-23-2012, 05:40 PM
#8
Joined: May 2011
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 245
I was surprised (and pleased) where my game got downloaded. I think the main issue would be for Japanese review sites and promotion. I believe quite a few of them or more happier with games that overcome the language barrier.

Fantasy Adventure eBook set on a magical writer's desk available for DOWNLOAD @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H9K3KTW