East vs. West: Differences in MMOs

From the Austin Game Conference Asia Track:

  • Anime and realist art are the most popular in Asia; realist art hasn’t done as well in the US.
  • Individualism matters more in the US; community interactions (trading, graphical embraces, etc) matter more in Asia. (My two cents: it is dangerous to underplay community functionality in any region — it always matters.)
  • Simple game controls are more important in Asia, due to habit of gamers in Asia to play with one hand while doing other things (such as eating, text messaging, etc).
  • One Asian company reported that 60% of its customers were unemployed (living off unemployment checks). Some player’s wives wrote in thanks, preferring this to the possibility of gambling.
  • Game companies are big buyers of advertising time in Asia — benefits of such spending are currently unclear.
  • In China, companies pay fees to put up game posters in Internet cafes. Other companies can pay to have them removed. *grin*

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