Steam must address a few barriers if the digital distribution service wants to properly support the Japanese developer community, according to Marvelous AQL’s Esteban Salazar.
The producer of Half-Minute Hero spoke to Gamasutra on what Valve can do to encourage Japan’s game makers to take the leap into the PC downloadable market – adding that the two could utilize one another to stay relevant.
"My personal opinion is that Steam is one of the ways that Japan can still compete, as far as putting their games in front of users, and not having to spend huge mega-budgets,” said Salazar. It can help them compete with Western publishers.”
However, Salazar added, language barriers and tentativeness through lack of understanding the PC digital download market currently stand in the way.
There are a couple things that are barriers. One, Japanese developers are like, ‘PC? We don’t really know anything about that market if it’s not browser.’
The second is the language barrier. Steam doesn’t really have any support in Japanese. So you kind of need someone who’s bilingual to run things, and act as an intermediary.
Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have Japanese branches, and have plenty of Japanese speakers, and full Japanese support. But Steam really doesn’t. If you’re a smaller company, you might not even have someone who can speak English that well. So how are you going to contact Valve?"