It's not hard for someone like me to turn a blind eye to what's happening outside North America as far as gamers go. I haven't really been keeping my eye on any major gaming blogs until a week ago, so it used to be that I just thought that Europe got the short end of the stick whenever it came down to releases. Running a small forum that was made up of probably just as many European gamers as there were American ones, that was the only complaint I heard from them.
Reading DTOID in the past week opened me up to the reality that is European gaming: Europe is the proverbial toilet of game manufacturers it is, and that was confirmed by three stories, as reported by DTOID in the past 24 hours. I thought I'd recap the three and put them all together:
First, we had Jim Sterling's story about Nintendo bullshitting their way through the delay in the European release for Brawl.
Because a translation is hard? Heck, I've seen them release big RPGs only about two or three months after their American counterpart. For all the different languages spoken in Europe that's quite a job, but for Brawl? I think what Jim said in his article really hits on a point:
"Nintendo's Laurent Fischer explained [the "difficult" translation] was the reason why Brawl was taking so long, despite the fact that it takes most Japanese developers about a month to do (rather than Nintendo's six) and despite the fact that most studios can handle near-worldwide release dates these days. Games like GTA IV and MGS4 must simply be easier to localize than Smash Bros. It all makes sense now!"
Honestly, I've noticed Nintendo doing a similar thing between Japanese and NA releases as well. Why does
it take them so long when there are other development studios that can release these games in every region within a week of each other? It just doesn't make sense at all. I know, Nintendo is not just a developer but a console manufacturer, but you think that means that they would have more experience, right? Right now, I can only think of two companies that take about as long or longer for outside Japan releases: Namco Bandai (Mainly with Tales games, IF said tales games come out outside of Japan at all) and Square Enix.
Sure, maybe they have to go through a few hundred trophies and translate them into five or six different languages, but still, what's to be translated past the trophies? Menu screens? That's it. How big is Nintendo of Europe's localization team; one guy? Half a guy? What a joke.
Then, we have another Story from Jim about the European MGS4 PS3 bundle.
Not much of an explanation needed here, just the gaming industry shitting on Europe as they've been prone on doing it seems. As if not getting the limited edition PS3 as part of the bundle on that, they're not getting dualshock 3's either? Heck, at least give me the controllers! I sure hope Europe realizes this and just... stays away from this.
And, last, but definitely not least, Jim had one last article for us with Microsof... er... Micro$
oft as most tech geeks like me have come to see them as, pulling the stinker to best all stinkers with the 360.
...Not that we didn't expect MS to make the biggest stinker of them all.
Out of all three of these, this one pisses me off the most. Why? Well... it's obvious; Microsoft isn't just lying about what's inside each 360 box in Europe, it can pretty much be considered a scam. Usually, you know if you're buying new or refurbished. If this rumor is true, MS is tricking all of Europe
into thinking they're buying new systems, when really they've just been fixed up and repackaged. Heck, the story about the one with blood stains on it? Yea. All the commenters on that article are calling it the AIDSBOX360 with good reason. Heck, I certainly hope that if someone were to contract AIDS by coming in contact with a blood stain on a refurbished Euro 360 (which, from what I have heard, is impossible anyway, so there's no harm there.) that MS gets shut down. We need everyone's least favorite computer monopoly outta here. Seriously. Hearing stuff likes this makes me mad that developers only make games compatible with a shitty bloatware OS with security holes everywhere that we all like to call Windows.
Now, as I have obviously made clear at the beginning, I'm no European. Heck, I'm closer to Asia than I am to Europe. All I know is that if this was happening here, I wouldn't be able to live with it. Europeans certainly don't deserve to have to put up with it either.
Will the gaming industry realize soon that they actually have money to be made in Europe? I sure hope so, but until then I think it's time that Europeans give them a good reminder that they are not the industry's toilet.