American Complaints are Vain

I, the person writing this editorial, and you, the person reading this editorial: when it comes to RPGs, our opinions almost never matter, at least in the eyes of developers. The fact of the matter is, and the point of this editorial, is that unless you can speak Japanese, your opinion about an RPG doesn't matter. If you want to provide your own opinion and feedback about an RPG to its maker, you need to go directly to HQ. And a video game company's HQ is almost always in Japan, and is Japanese based.

So when you're sending a letter to Squaresoft or any other company, saying you didn't like such-and-such a game because of this or that, they probably couldn't give a rat's ass because they really can't do that much. It's the Japanese HQ that does all the production. You need to talk to THEM if you want your feedback to count. Once they have the game out in Japan, they probably wouldn't give a damn about how it does in the American or European market, that's their Sister/Daughter's company's job to deal with the game at that point. As an example, Squaresoft can't possibly have good communication with Square of Japan in they don't even know what the "Episode V" at the end of Xenogears means. That's right, The people in the US who SHOULD know the most about the game, don't seem to know a damn thing.

Of course there are exceptions to this. Working Designs (which is an independent publisher, it has no parent company in Japan) caters greatly to its fans and uses the feedback they get from them/us. And there is also Shiny Ent. and Crave, respectively based in the UK and US. The only thing we, the American public, can complain about is translation quality, when it comes to a game produced in Japan.

Although I'm making American daughter companies sound like the bad guys, they really aren't to blame, as reprogramming is very difficult. That's one of the reasons why Lunar took so damn long, because when you do reprogram, it usually conflicts with something else in the game, so the American counterparts really aren't the bad guys here.

So if you really hated FFVII's magic system, battle system, story, or characters, than you need to take it up with the Japanese HQ. That means learning Japanese, which will instantaneously discourage many of you from going ahead and trying to complain to them, which may not be such a bad thing, in light of the recent "Chrono Cross sucks" opinion of many Americans who haven't even PLAYED the game. Square would probably wonder what the hell was wrong with us Americans, possibly even become bitter enough to not even release it at all (and a company like Square would do it too).

So the next time you're preparing to flame Squaresoft about the storyline, it really won't make a difference, because you need to know Japanese to have your opinion even remotely count.

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