Faith Not Want: Mirror’s Edge Marketing Failure?

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EA action adventure game Mirror’s Edge ignited much controversy when initially published due to the “Hollywood Oriental” character design, seen by many Japanese as being hard on the eyes. When 2channers redesigned her, they hurt the feelings of the sensitive Swedes who preferred the fanciful amazon look.

Here we see the end result: the game sits in one of Sofmap’s dreaded wagons (actually not a wagon in this case, but you get the point), a general sign of poor sales, for a rock bottom price of ¥2,000, and is still stacked high:

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Relying on one retailer is a little unwise; the game’s performance (PS3) on Amazon.co.jp is similarly lacklustre, barely piercing the top 1,000 games a few months after release. It does quite a bit better on Amazon.com, though not hugely so.

The roles are reversed on the Xbox 360, with a much better ranking on the Japanese version, but this version may be a little hard to compare as the platform still has hardly any traction in Japan.

Even in less deeply discounted retailers than the obviously overstocked Sofmap, you can pick up the game for quite a reduction.

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Since the game was actually well received gameplay wise, we have to wonder whether the scary amazon on the cover has anything to do with this somewhat disappointing performance, whether in Japan or elsewhere (it could hardly be called a complete failure though); perhaps they should have gone with the 2ch version after all…

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    Avatar of Cosplaying God
    Comment by Jashin
    21:42 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Kinda like the Mercenaries... As seen being sold with it... The main character in that game looks like some villain...

    Avatar of Aoshi_88
    Comment by Aoshi
    18:34 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    >2chan
    >vippers

    Riiiiiiiiight... and how many of them are there? Their opinions may matter a lot in Japan but what about the rest of the world?

    The rest of the world may not like the swimsuit and large moe eyes effect they've given her.

    Comment by Dorian Cornelius Jasper
    12:45 19/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    For some reason I find their straightforward chutzpah concerning blatant sex appeal a lot more admirable than the politically correct easy way out.

    Especially since there's an underlying snobbishness to the way people look down on the second picture.

    Avatar of mi
    Comment by carr0tz
    18:00 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol
    i can somehow understand why they chose not to buy

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    00:52 18/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    moe marketing = superior

    XDDD

    Avatar of Naga_Ten
    Comment by Naga_Ten
    01:14 18/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have the game since launch and i like it, though it feels kinda short and time trials are just too damn hard...

    Hopefully they'll do better in a second game.

    On the Faith thing... While i do like the character design, her mug could certainly be improved and she nees bigger boobs... So, in a rare occasion, i agree with 2chan's vision...

    Comment by RMilner
    05:27 18/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The publisher I work for routinely redesigns characters to fit the Japanese market. And it works.

    However I thought the gameplay in Mirror's Edge was rubbish, based on trying to play the demo and getting stuck halfway. Which was a shame, because I like that kind of running jumping exploring game.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:50 19/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    haha then you suck

    Comment by Dorian Cornelius Jasper
    12:46 19/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    And yet Mirror's Edge sales suck worse. EA's all but said "We're not gonna try that again."

    Avatar of Zippydsmlee
    Comment by ZippyDSMlee
    16:48 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Adventure??? Its a FP platformer.... and a mediocre one at that.............NEXT!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:46 19/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I bet you haven't even played the game and only watched some gameplay videos.

    Comment by oishi
    14:38 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    2ch is look better

    Comment by a nice boat
    13:51 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Im really disappointed in alot of the fans, especially those at 2ch

    i liked faith how she was, shes not a supermodel but do you expect a supermodel to do what she is doing in game

    i guess if it was just a big breasted bikini wearer running around it would sell well so thats what we have to do now?

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:00 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wish I could bump you.

    Comment by Aesshen
    Comment by Lambo27
    15:31 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    why should people diss mirrors edge theres groin kicks even one with a guy falling off a building after u groin kick him lol

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    12:18 18/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Holy crap if mirror's edge had a school swim suit cover id buy more copies of the PS3, 360 and PC versions than the entire world combined...

    Avatar of 21149315
    Comment by Unicogirl
    13:17 26/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I still have no likings for Moe Faith, she does look like a 12 year old with a boob job, and the bathing suit isn't helping.

    Comment by Wandering_Youth
    09:04 30/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ha! Why am I not surprised that they enlarged Faith's eyes and breast on the 2ch version? Typical, really.

    The swimsuit looks so wrong too...

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:25 30/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If they wanted it to sell in Japan they should've made her a 7 year old maid robot.

    Japanese are disgusting freaks.

    Avatar of Tateha
    Comment by Tate
    14:21 18/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    game is shit regardless of how faith looks. extremely frustrating and little reward for beating it.

    the concept behind the game was good but so poorly executed that anything good it had to offer was forgotten in an instant.

    I mean shit man, they really dropped the ball when it came to character design, all the characters concept art unlocked in the game is better than what they decided to go with.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:31 19/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm extremely disgusted at the article's author for his interpretation of Faith's looks. One stereotype is not better than the other, and to suggest that 2chan's version is better is a misrepresentation. The Swede's had some good points, and boiling it down to "hurt feeling" marginalizes their anger. The moefied Faith honestly does look like a "12-year-old with a boob job", and I realize that is the taste of the people here, but defending the transformation of a strong heroine into a sex symbol is very disappointing.

    I expected better from this site, but this article has really turned me away from visiting here.

    Comment by Dorian Cornelius Jasper
    12:51 19/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Expected better? This is a lot better than the alternative you've posited, Anon. Artefact has been frank and unapologetic with his opinions since day one. It's his "voice," that which differentiates him from kinder, fuzzier, less interesting bloggers.

    Trying to shame anyone by pretending that this isn't what you've come to expect from him is just poor form.

    "...defending the transformation of a strong heroine into a sex symbol is very disappointing."

    Nice try. But I bet the only reason you're even here is because someone sent you a link to scantily clad ladies from the Sankaku Channel.

    Comment by Name
    18:54 20/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's his game, he'll do what he wants with it. He isn't required to cater to the customers' whims, and I've found that doing so generally turns the end product into bland, mediocre horseshit. I work in market research and I'm the son of a focus group moderator, I have pretty extensive experience in this.

    "Trying to shame anyone by pretending that this isn’t what you’ve come to expect from him is just poor form."

    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Are you trying to say that because Artefact doesn't listen to every last idiot, that Anonymous can't criticize the people who criticize him for that because his behavior is par for the course? That's ignoring 2ch's involvement completely, and by ignoring it you're implying that the backlash is both universal and inevitable. Maybe the folks at 2chan (and the author) should just cry less.

    "Nice try. But I bet the only reason you’re even here is because someone sent you a link to scantily clad ladies from the Sankaku Channel."

    This is all kinds of unrelated and retarded. First, he could be here for the articles like I am. I don't like the porn here, it's either bland, way too moe, or airbrushed beyond belief. Second, the first and second halves of that sentence aren't even related. I like the occasional Samus porn, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't get pissed off and dismissive if a whole chunk of the playerbase decided they liked Jiggly's rendition more.
    Either that sentence was a troll or you meant it and the concepts of sex and sexualizing someone are evidently tied together in your head, since you obviously can't differentiate them.

    And trust me, Faith's look played just fine with the NA/EUR markets, while the final one in this (http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2008/12/03/mirrors-edge-moefication/) article would have had those markets disgusted with how she looked. Can't please everyone, and if you're going to please someone might as well not make it the small and historically picky one where your type of game has never really performed well anyway.

    Comment by Void
    05:54 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I myself come from Sweden and also played Mirrors Edge which were made by DICE (Same as Battlefield series) The game overall was really fun (abit short) but I liked it. Too bad Japanese are more drawn to their RPG's, but hey! That's the diffrence between countrys.

    Comment by The Emerging One
    05:20 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Mercenaries? Underselling?

    Oh, no you didn't.

    Comment by Inuhanyou
    06:04 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I enjoyed Mirrors edge immensely, that said, it matters not to me whether or not japan likes the game.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    06:48 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    is it me or is there something seriously anatomically wrong with her extended arm?

    Avatar of Matteas
    Comment by Matteas
    06:13 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's too bad. I've seen a gameplay video of Mirror Edge and I must say that the graphics and physics are awesome. Well, the physics improvements work only if it's played on a PC with PhysX supporting graphics card(s).

    Comment by KonW
    15:14 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    no, it runs perfectly on my notebook with a mere geforce go 7600,tho with lower configuration in video like res and anti-a.

    Avatar of Meji
    Comment by Meji
    05:02 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Is that some Phantasy Star I see in the bottom right corner?

    Comment by Joe
    04:00 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    First Person games almost always fail in Japan, so this is really no surprise.

    I like it, its flawed but ultimately enjoyable.

    Avatar of Solarknight
    Comment by Jarmel
    03:49 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ugh in the US it's still around 45. I would love to pick this up if it's 20 bucks but I'll just wait for it to go lower. It's a decent game so I have no clue why it's not selling? No moe?

    Avatar of GFC
    Comment by GFC
    03:47 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have to say, i like her face.. but c'mon, the boob-job is just ruining it, n mizugi doesn't help either..

    Avatar of Ichi
    Comment by Ichi
    05:27 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm assuming you're talking about the 2chan version? If so you have to give credit to the japs, cuz you'll undoubtedly know that animes chicks always get humongous boobs flailing around, and they love it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:44 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Too bad for them, it's actually a fairly decent game. Far too short to spend the $60 it was, but $20 is a steal. If someone can't get over the face that you almost never even see in the game, then you're missing out on a fun experience for something exceedingly asinine and childish.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:07 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's called user feedback and usability studies. When you design a product you keep the customers in mind. "We wanted her to be attractive, but we didn’t want her to be a supermodel," that's obviously the selfish desires of the designers making the character what they want, and not what the customers want. Any good software designer knows this, obviously they didn't, hence the low sales. They should've taken note of all the people changing her image..hell even here the moe version is preferred, small margin, but it's also debatable on how many of those who voted the other side would complain about the moe version.

    Comment by gareth
    19:52 31/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    For a software yes, this is an userbility issue. However if you happen to be invovled in the game designing process, you will find the product you are making is a mixture of artistic value and interactive entertainment. That gives it the quality of any artwork of any type of media, effectively establishing its own intention and purpose, hence differentiating it from softwares that made with a mere purpose of serving the users' need. From the interview of maker of the game we know that they ovbiously knew the sport called Parkour, they knew it very well and wanted to convey the seriousness and distinct quality of it.
    They triumphed by inputting all the artistic and decency they can pull off from themselves into the project, considered all the factors that will get across the idea of sincerity, completing a game that brings players into its world of compelling uniqueness and making the people who practice this sport very pleased. Now, if an audience with no artistic ability to look into and appreciate a well build artwork or lack of the necessary mental sophistication to understand and enjoy it, it makes perfect sense that he/she will choose to judge it from the most superficial elements, at a point of view that makes sense to them.
    So, very good choice indeed, some of the japaness people. What we chose define who we are.

    Avatar of PaperJunkie
    Comment by Anonymous
    06:40 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I personally believe that when making a game, the game itself should come first and formost.

    Comment by Joe
    06:21 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    People changing their works to please the masses would NOT be a good thing in any way.

    Comment by KonW
    15:07 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    a 3D game released to the whole world gaming market does not have to please some weirdos like jap otakus who knows nothing in this world but 2D moe and being unable to find the beauty or coolness in what is called wild and action game.

    tho i agree this game is less than satisfactory but it's never because of its protagnist's facial factor.

    Avatar of Dirty_Dingus008
    Comment by Forlourned
    12:50 08/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Damn! I just got it. Remember a PS2 game called Ratchet and Clank?

    Do you remember what that company did with the characters in EVER ad shown in JAPAN as well as inside the fliping Game?

    Youtube it buddies. Look at what a company did before they sold the game they lovingly created for the International scene!

    Avatar of Dirty_Dingus008
    Comment by Forlourned
    12:44 08/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pardon there Joe, do you know of the writer named Charles Dickens? Here's a small passage out of wiki~ stating:

    "Another important impact of Dickens's episodic writing style resulted from his exposure to the opinions of his readers. Since Dickens did not write the chapters very far ahead of their publication, he was allowed to witness the public reaction and alter the story depending on those public reactions."

    As much as he wished to please himself when writing any story. He always keep an eye on the public who read his work. As timeless as many of his works where, when they where made he wanted money above all else. When you have TEN kids to care for, it's pretty damn obvious.

    How about a guy name William Shakespeare? This is a bit shorter, but it comes about the same and is taken from the latter years of his life:

    "Some commentators have seen this change in mood as evidence of a more serene view of life on Shakespeare's part, but it may merely reflect the theatrical fashion of the day."

    Again, you play to the Audience. NOT to yourself!

    Comment by taz0x
    06:15 30/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i tried to look on youtube of what Forlourned was mentioning, is it possibly the commercial of when Ratchet was depicted with some dude in like a barnie suit?

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    10:49 17/02/2009 # ! Impenetrable

    I'd have to agree here - in fact I'd go further and point out this is the very principle Sankaku Complex operates on.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:41 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Majority tyranny.

    But doesn't matter as long as there is more fap.

    Comment by neq
    08:16 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Changing your work a bit is certainly better than not doing so and going out of business. (not saying its the case here)

    Comment by shinku
    09:28 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This isn't art. It is a form of entertainment which is fueled by consumers. If the consumers don't like it, then you failed at it. Simple as that. You have to design for the masses not force your design on them. It's a basic interaction design principle.

    Comment by Kev
    08:19 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ever heard of integrity anon? Probably not since you're too busy licking the masses boots.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:14 18/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There are two artists in this world (IMO). One, a commercial artist. Which what he/she needs to do is basically feed what the masses want. Two, an artist itself. Which hopes to do better in what he/she wants (self discovery and so and so) but not feeding the masses.

    Now considering this is a game, without mass appeal, a game isn't anywhere a game anymore. It'd be an artistic game with deep thinking concepts (Never played the game before, but I doubt there's any deep thought concepts it), or it's just making a software that appeals only to the creators itself. That's basically it. Not too bright if I may say if one wants to market it out to the masses.

    And she scares me...She looks like all the Asian females who went to the states. (Not my type in any way) Doesn't look a wee bit Asian to me at all :X

    Comment by Kev
    12:46 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I beg to differ, but since you don't seem to be someone who would strive to reach any higher, I doubt you'll ever understand.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Ever heard of profits? Those with "integrity" don't often get them.





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