The earthquake in Japan last month proved to be one of the greatest natural disasters in recent history, killing thousands of people. Many lost their homes, and the situation continues to worsen with growing concern over how Japan will control the radiation from the nuclear power plants. Everyone in Japan has been aﬀected by the earthquake in some way, including the Japanese video game industry.
Japan is home to some of the greatest game developers in the world: Nintendo, Sony, Sega and others. The good news is that, according to the video game website IGN, none were near the area destroyed by the earthquake. Famous game developers like Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid) and Fumito Ueda(Shadow of the Colossus) both tweeted that they were okay to concerned fans. Still, even though the Japanese video game industry escaped the physical impact of the earthquake, several titles have been delayed or outright cancelled for various reasons.
Disaster Report 4 Summer Memories (PS3) – This game revolved around a city damaged by an earthquake where characters must escape the wreckage.
Yakuza 5 of the End (PS3) – Had scenes containing an earthquake and other natural disasters.
Motorstorm Apocalypse (PS3) – A racing game that featured natural destruction integrated into its gameplay.
Steel Diver (Nintendo 3DS) – The release date has been pushed back despite the fact that no earthquakes or depictions of natural disasters
Since the earthquake, Apple delayed the release of the iPad 2 in Japan, and Microsoft canceled a tour for Kinect. A launch event for Yakuza 5 of the End and the 2011 Monster Hunter Festa (a festival where fans of the franchise can watch skilled players play online) were both canceled. And while the Tokyo Game Show is still on for this year, it will likely suﬀer some size reductions.Nintendo, Sega, Sony and other game developers’ stocks dropped following the earthquake. Capcom closed many of its arcades in Yohoku and Kanto.
Video game sales went down after the earthquake, including Dynasty Warriors 7, which dropped 75 percent in sales in the second week.With the notable exception of Motorstorm Apocalypse, most Japanese games won’t be delayed in the United States. According to video game analyst Michael Pachter at Wedbush Morgan, software shortages of Japanese games won’t aﬀect the U.S., but hardware shortages could. Japan produces 70 percent of the anisotropic conductive ﬁlm used in LCD production, Nintendo DS panels and the iPad. Relief eﬀorts.
Despite these challenges, many gaming companies have gotten involved in relief eﬀ orts. In an attempt to conserve electricity, Konami shut down their servers for Metal Gear Online, and Square Enix did the same for its Final Fantasy online games. Developers like Nintendo, Sony and Tecmo Koei donated to the Red Cross to aid earthquake victims. Sony has also set up a donation area in the PlayStation Store.If you are interested in contributing to relief eﬀorts in Japan, an obvious route is to donate money directly to the Red Cross. But you can also help by purchasing videogame-related goods.
For example, Capcom and Sega are discounting some of their games on the iPhone with 100 percent of the profits going to the Red Cross. If you go to Facebook and “Like” game developer Mastiﬀ(Space Invaders Revolution), the company will donate $100 for every 100 likes they get. If you buy in-game items from Farmville and Cityville, Zynga (the company that produces these games) will donate the proﬁts to Japan.Best of all, if you have some extra cash to throw around, many rare video games and merchandise are being auctioned on eBay.
Game Informer Journalist Meagan Marie sold her prized Nintendo DS signed by Shigeru Miyamoto (Super Mario Brothers creator), Koji Kondo (Zelda and Mario composer), Eiji Aonuma, (current Zelda director), Charles Martinet (the voice of Mario), and Martin Leung (talented pianist who can play the Super Mario Brothers theme blindfolded), for an astounding $4,050. Other items up for sale are signed copies of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty by Kojima, a 15th-anniversary statue of Sonic the Hedgehog, and Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka’s personal guitar and FX pedals. Many more auctions can are visible on playforjapan.org, a game industry relief eﬀort that, as of March 30, has raised over $50,000.
Check out the original article from the UWW Post here. http://issuu.com/theuwmpost/docs/final_issue