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Feature: 'GDC: The Localization of Counter-Strike in Japan'

In today's main Gamasutra feature, and continuing our coverage from last week's GDC, this session features Namco project manager Kouichirou Taninami, as he relates his ex...
In today's main Gamasutra feature, and continuing our coverage from last week's GDC, this session features Namco project manager Kouichirou Taninami, as he relates his experience and research into localizing Valve's Counter-Strike to better appeal to a Japanese audience. This part of the fascinating GDC lecture deals with the thinking behind Namco's introduction of Counter-Strike to Japanese LAN centers as Counter-Strike Neo: "Taninami, a thirteen-year veteran of Namco's arcade division, was assigned five years ago to find a solution to the Japanese "network game problem". Whereas the US has enjoyed about thirty-five years of network connectivity, online games have never really caught on in Japan; for some time, received wisdom placed the blame on a nonexistent or comparably obscure architecture. And yet, now that broadband is prevalent, the market still barely exists. So why is that, Taninami asked. Flipping the question around, he then asked what makes network games fun. He concluded that pleasure comes in part from the game itself – provided it's a good game – and in part from the company the player keeps. He called this situation a "relationship of multiplication": if the opponent fails to play fairly, then the game fails to be enjoyable. As far as Taninami was concerned, that social angle was the biggest problem." You can now read the full Gamasutra coverage on the matter, including detailed information on this extremely interesting lecture (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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