While western games typically struggle to do as well in Japan as Japanese games do, there are some exceptions. Said exceptions are headlined by Ubisoft games, which, true to their performance in the rest of the world, do extremely well in Japan, especially for western games.
This is something the publisher expects to continue with the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Speaking to DualShockers, Ubisoft Asia General Manager Steve Miller said that he feels that the new game, owing to its RPG elements (a genre very popular in the country), could end up being the most successful one there yet.
“Assassin’s Creed has a core following in Japan, and it is one of the most successful Western series in Japan,” he said. “There are many fans who like the historical settings, the fashion, detail in the buildings, and also they appreciate the full localization that goes into the Japanese version. And this time we have a playable heroine as well as a playable hero, so I think Odyssey will appeal to the core fan base.
“At the same time, Odyssey is more RPG-like than any previous Assassin’s Creed, so we think the appeal of this game will reach beyond the core fans and will be very interesting for RPG fans, which we know there are many of in Japan. Together with the ever-increasing installed base of the various consoles, we think Odyssey has a good chance of being the most successful Assassin’s Creed title ever in Japan.”
Ubisoft is certainly making efforts to ensure that happens, including a Japan-only release of a Switch version of the game, which uses streaming to run on Nintendo’s hybrid console. Whether or not their gambit pays off remains to be seen, but it is refreshing to see a western publisher take the Japanese market seriously like this.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launches October 5 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and an additional Nintendo Switch version in Japan.