Over the past few years, Ubisoft has made a considerable push in Japan, carving itself a niche in the difficult local market thanks to intense promotion geared to speak to the local customer in a bespoke way.
It’s quite rare to see western games on the giant billboard on the front of Sofmap in Akihabara, but Ubisoft’s games have been there multiple times, fo instance with For Honor and currently with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (as you can see at the bottom of the post).
The brand is opening a themed cafe in Tokyo and even brought in a popular idol to do the honors.
DualShockers had a chat with Ubisoft Asia General Manager Steve Miller, and we asked him if he thinks that Odissey has good chances to be successful in Japan.
“Assassin’s Creed has a core following in Japan, and it is one of the most successful Western series in Japan. There are many fans who like the historical settings, the fashion, detail in the buildings, and also they appreciate the full localization that goes into the Japanese version. And this time we have a playable heroine as well as a playable hero, so I think Odyssey will appeal to the core fan base.
At the same time, Odyssey is more RPG-like than any previous Assassin’s Creed, so we think the appeal of this game will reach beyond the core fans and will be very interesting for RPG fans, which we know there are many of in Japan. Together with the ever-increasing installed base of the various consoles, we think Odyssey has a good chance of being the most successful Assassin’s Creed title ever in Japan.”
We also asked Miller about the reasons behind the solid marketing push in Japan, and he explained that it’s important to talk to the local fanbase in ways appropriate to the specific market.
“Ubisoft still has room to grow in Japan as well as in other countries in this region. It makes sense for Ubisoft to invest in all the markets of Asia to increase market share and to establish our brands. I don’t think we could be as successful as we are if we just relied on western marketing campaigns and strategies to push our products.
Japan, and all of Asia, has different marketing channels, different marketing calendars, different ways of presenting the games to the consumers, and of course the explosion of social media means you have to be present locally to talk to your fans and your influencers. It is also extremely important to us to listen to our local consumers and to try to voice their concerns to the studios and developers who are making the games. All of this requires a local PR and Marketing team, and a commitment to the local markets.”
The game will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 5th, with two days of early access if you purchase one of the special editions.
Assassn’s Creed Odyssey is already available for pre-order on Amazon.
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