EPIC Games’ President Mike Capps announced yesterday at TGS2009 that the company would be adding an office locally in Tokyo, Japan, which would concentrate on sales and support for the Asian region. Said Capps: “In our Tokyo office, I think the first step will be sales for the engine. We know that it’s important to have someone who speaks excellent Japanese to be involved in the process. Also support technicians who speak both English and Japanese.”
Currently, EPIC has an office in Seoul, Korea, which is strictly a support site, but with the popularity of their Gears of War franchise, EPIC has seen demand for its proprietary Unreal Engine increase in recent years. One of Japan’s (and the world’s) largest developers, Square-Enix, licensed the engine when making it’s title ‘The Last Remnant’, which was released in November 2008. One of the main reasons behind the Tokyo office from a support standpoint is the ease with which EPIC could send its employees on-site to Asian developers for hands-on training and support. Capps pointed out that Epic’s engine team’s small size makes it “difficult for us to send people to studios, so our idea is to send people from within Japan.”
I’m fully expecting this move to pay major dividends for EPIC because Japan is where the console gaming market was born with Nintendo and Sega back in the 80’s, and continuing today with Sony competing with Nintendo and Microsoft in today’s console and handheld gaming market. Japan has the richest history of console gaming development on the planet with companies like Sega, Capcom, and Square-Enix to name a few. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Japanese companies can do with the Unreal Engine.
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