Japanese publishers struggle in US gaming market

Business Week reports that third-party Japanese game publishers struggle in the burgeoning Western video game market when compared to the dominant third-party American publishers such as Electronic Arts and Activision.

"In the last two years, Sega has climbed from 11th to sixth place among third-party publishers in terms of games sold," writes Christopher Megerian of Business Week. "But it is still far behind the market leaders in terms of revenue."

The article, which examines Sega's upcoming game lineup, says American publishers dwarf the success of Japanese game makers here in the US and abroad with exception to native Japan.

"The central problem is that the Big Five Electronic Arts (U.S.), Activision (US), Ubisoft (France), THQ (U.S.), and Take Two Interactive (U.S.) have dominated the fast-growing Western market while Japanese companies have struggled to gain acceptance outside of their stagnant home market."

Cultural game differences aside, it wasn't long ago that Japanese companies dominated both hardware and software sales in the U.S. at a time when Japan was credited for revitalizing the video game industry in the early Eighties.

The Japanese still dominate video game hardware, however. Microsoft, which in turn struggles in Japan, is the only American company still manufacturing consoles.

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