Japanese Games Off To A Great Start This Year

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Nearly 10 Major Release In First 3 Months!

Story Highlight
  • At the start of 2024, Japanese games dominated the entire industry.
  • In the first quarter alone, Palworld broke multiple records.
  • Games like Dragon’s Dogma 2, Tekken 8, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, and more were equally impressive.
  • Major releases like Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree are still coming up this year.

2024 hasn’t been a fair month for gaming and, of course, the overall industry. There have been layoffs constantly, sparking major concerns. Even giants like Microsoft and Sony didn’t escape unscathed, leading to the cancellations of various games from high-profile studios.

However, this brutal year didn’t stop Japanese games from developing a strong identity from the beginning. While I remain concerned regarding the industry, I am sincerely happy about the state of the Japanese titles this year.

Why it matters: 2023 had great Japanese releases, but this year has exceeded my expectations, and this is only the beginning.

Palworld Puts Japan on Top

Palworld
Palworld Proved That Creativity Matters The Most In A Video Game

The Japanese side of gaming is firing on all cylinders, and I couldn’t be happier for them.

It would be a crime to start this topic without discussing Palworld. The game was an instant hit on launch, broke records daily, and made billions in profit. It even beat Counter-Strike 2 to become Steam’s second-biggest title.

Trying out such a title after hearing about the industry’s situation was a breath of fresh air for me. While I prefer playing different games now, it was surely a fun experience. Palworld alone made history on PC by creating an unforgettable moment, but it didn’t really end there.

Developers Going All Out

Sega exceeded expectations with Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth, as it sold 1 million copies in the first week. This accomplishment made it the IP’s fastest-selling game. Also, Ichiban Kasuga and Kazuma Kiryu teamed up for a mainline game, adding further reason to celebrate the entry.

Then there was Persona 3 Reload, which was also Atlus’ fastest-selling game.

Tekken 8
Tekken 8 Instantly Became Popular Among Critics And Fans

However, Japanese developers kept on going with no signs of pumping the brakes.

Tekken 8 was released within the first two months, and it surpassed Bandai Namco’s projections by selling over 2 million copies in less than a month. I found it a massive improvement over its predecessor, which is why it surpasses Street Fighter 6 and Mortal Kombat 1 for me.

If you thought that was it, we’re just getting started. Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth joined the group in late February, and Square Enix went all out with this one. Fans and critics showered it with love, and it is probably the best Final Fantasy title in years.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Is The Perfect Game For RPG Fanatics

The next two Japanese games that continued the hype train were Dragon’s Dogma 2 and Rise of the Ronin. While both had their ups and downs, they contributed to the sheer variety offered by developers from Japan.

The former is also Capcom’s biggest Steam launch now.

Something For Everyone

Sony Kojima Productions Sega From Soft Square Capcom
Japanese Studios Managed To Dominate Early 2024 With Ease

Capcom, Bandai Namco, Sega, Team Ninja, Square Enix, and Atlus have already had something to offer three months into 2024.

Whether Souls-likes, fighting games, JRPGs, or Western-style RPGs, the Japanese industry has had it all this year. Perhaps the most surprising part about the slate of games is that all of this came out in just the first quarter of 2024.

Looking at the rest of the year, Japanese developers are still not done, especially with FromSoftware preparing to launch Shadow of the Erdtree after it shook the world with Elden Ring.

Elden Ring
Elden Ring Is Set To Deliver Another Exciting Adventure

Japanese Games For The Rest of 2024

FromSoftware and Konami are the two big studios to look out for. The former is all but guaranteed to impress with Shadow of the Erdtree, but Konami is hell-bent on reviving two of its biggest IPs.

Silent Hill 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 are both considered pioneers of their respective genres. If done right, their remakes could be considered Game of the Year contenders, continuing the streak of major wins for Japanese studios.

If this wasn’t enough, Suda 51 aims to release Lollipop Chainsaw: RePOP later this year. Bandai Namco may also unleash Dragon Ball Sparking Zero by the end of 2024.

In my opinion, the West could learn a thing or two from these studios. Today, these teams are examples of passionate developers doing their best to deliver creative and fun experiences for the industry.

As far as I’m concerned, their strategy is working, and they should keep at it.

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