Yakuza 3 and Resonance Of Fate are two games that have had a substantial amount of money and development time expended upon them. Both games were released, either around, or the same week as Final Fantasy XIII. Bayonetta was released after the holiday season and just before Mass Effect 2 during a time where gamers either had their interest occupied or had no money. To Sega's credit, the aforementioned games are interesting enough for critical debate and function as a window as to what the Japanese games market contributes to the community. However, when Sega isn't churning out a game featuring a rodent their larger more experimental titles are put in a no win scenario. Is it the market? Is it the game itself? Does the blame train begin and end with Sega's [mis]management structure?
So when did big budget games all go to pot for Sega? Since making the transition from console and first-party studio producer, Sega has made a small fortune as a budget title developer and has seen moderate-to-good success on the Wii. Re-issuing classic 80's titles as downloadible games has proven lucrative on the PSN and Xbox Live services. Its only when a Viking or Madworld comes a long -- which seem to have a considerably larger budget and larger risk of failure -- when Sega completely balks on marketing strategies. Anyone whose played Madworld knows that game needed either more time or a third-person involved in the creative process.
Fans of the Yakuza series are fully aware of the difficulties of bringing a game so niche over to the States. Anyone with half a salesman's brain is aware of how Yakuza 3 was going to sell, but further handicapping a game by releasing it on the same day as one of the biggest games of the year makes me think Sega could really give a damn. Think about how much time and money goes into producing a game like Yakuza 3 just for the Japanese fans. Now couple this effort with the localization and advertising efforts [if any] and scratch your head and wonder why Sega would throw all of that away. Divide that point by Sega enforcing cutting more than hostess clubs and a trivia show for the sake of dumb Americans digesting the game easier. Really guys? Really?
Asking for games to be of a better quality prior to release is a pointless and pretty darn pretentious question. Claiming the reason games published by Sega aren't well received by the gaming public solely based on the date of release is grasping at straws. Regardless of quality, Japanese games deserve a fair[er] shot than they've been getting by Sega. It's great that Sega cares about digital distribution -- though its rare to see a Sega game on Steam -- and the budget gaming market will continue being the company's automatic source of funds. Because of Sega's focus on the smaller titles, their talent for supporting larger titles has made me question the direction this once well respected Japanese game publishing powerhouse.
So what gives? Is Sega planning on releasing a new console? Are they throwing out titles with the hopes of being bought by a much larger gaming entity? Maybe Sega's Quality Assurance department knows these games aren't that high of a quality and refuse to treat them as such. Who knows, but it shouldn't be used as an excuse for treating the games their publishing like crap.
***Compliments From The Brog***