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Moore "delighted" by FIFA 10 in Japan

Shares his thoughts on market difficulties.

Peter Moore has aired his frustration about Western games not doing very well in Japan, and promised to keep pushing EA Sports games there after FIFA 10 did the unthinkable and pierced the top 10.

"One of the frustrations of being an American company attempting to do business in Japan is the insularity of the industry that defends locally-made content and looks down on games from abroad," Moore wrote on his blog this week.

"I appreciate this is a unique culture that has very different tastes in entertainment. But while western movies and music can be extremely popular with younger consumers, foreign-developed games have an extremely difficult time breaking through with Japanese gamers. This has frustrated American and European publishers for decades."

Not least Mr Moore, of course, who experienced the phenomenon in his roles as presidents of SEGA of America and head of Microsoft's Xbox and Xbox 360 businesses between 2003 and 2007.

"In the past, we've pointed to things like genre preferences, gameplay mechanics and character art as issues in breaking through in this culture," he continued. "But with simulation sports games, these issues would seem much less relevant - it's typically about the gameplay." As such, he wrote, he was delighted to see FIFA 10 picking up high scores in the Japanese press and delighted again by its chart placement.

"Having said all of that, it is clear we still have work to do in Japan to more fully understand what drives that gamers attraction to sports titles. Let me be clear on this. I recognise that there are many factors that contribute to a gamer's decision to purchase (or not) a particular game, I'd just hate for the gamers in Japan to not get as much enjoyment as the rest of the world out of the best sports game of this console generation.

"Also, we'll continue to do our part to try to better understand the Japanese consumer - with market research, focus groups with gamers of all ages, and feedback sessions with journalists - and continue to improve on the best soccer game in the world."

The latter is a tactic that EA shares with its main football game competition, Konami, and it's not just Japanese journalists with whom the duo speak. Konami publicly sought input from press at an event in France ahead of PES 2010's launch in late October, while EA has contacted European journalists (including Eurogamer) for direct feedback on FIFA 10 in recent weeks.