Why do Japanese video game makers base all their big hits off of American Characters, looking western and not Asian?

So growing up I played plenty of Japanese games (due to play station being from Sony and Japanese) most of the games such as Metal Gear and Resident evil very popular and great games made in Japan make all their characters look westernized. Even Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda don't look Asian at all, Mario Bros etc... Today I've started playing Metal Gear Solid Phantom Pain and realize everyone well looks American, based off the USA military. Why don't Japanese game makers make their game characters look "Asian".
or focus their games more around Japan?
i know Xbox being American most of developers aka bungie and bio ware make games for American Markets. But why doesn't Sony Japanese developers make their characters look or be Japanese?

P. S even Snake from Metal Gear is a rip off of Snake Pliskin from James Cameron's escape from New York


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Most Helpful Girl

  • It's actually for character recognition purposes than it is them wanting their characters to look white if you're talking about a character who isn't suppose to be foreign. You'd have a hard time telling who is who if they all looked the same (I know this sound racist, but I'm trying not to be) because when it comes to the graphic novel/manga styled art they use to draw out those characters without the different colours and sizes they'd all look the same. There's also the fact that quite a few of their characters might not be Asian, or are half Asian and half something else. Oh, and you're also forgetting that no one naturally has any of the more eccentric hair colours (pink, blue, purple, etc) they use with their characters.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Mind you, they may be playing to their export market. That is, selling to American (and Western European?) tastes.

    After all, the game "Donkey Kong", from where the character Mario came, was a stereotypical King Kong, taking the maiden up a tower, (a New York tower, perhaps?) to be rescued by a stereotypical Italian American immigrant.

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What Girls Said 4

  • Well, their games aren't exactly "based" in Japan, so why do they have to look Japanese? I do know for a fact that their samurai games look Asian, because the theme is after all Japan. In some cases it may be to reach out to a wider consumer market, or they just decided on a theme for instance, in this new game we'll have a tough military looking guy. What comes to mind? Probably some beefy western looking guy.
    And as for Zelda, I don't think they were necessary deciding "he should look like a foreigner with blonde hair and blue eyes", last time I checked Zelda looked more elf like than anything else?

    But, then again, its kind of the same thing with anime, white people like to think that the anime characters are "white" and that Japanese people love the foreign look. Thing is if you actually ask Japanese people they will tell you that those characters are NOT white at all. And some Japanese people even feel like white people shouldn't cosplay because they don't look like the characters at all. (But I do agree that Japanese people's cosplay look hella lot better than westerners cosplay). 😂

    I can't speak for Japanese people, but those are things I have heard.

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  • Because looking "European/Russian" is seen as the ultimate beauty ideal in Japan for some reason. If you ever actually go to Japan you'll find plenty of teenagers wear coloured contact lenses, dyed, curly hair and tons of skin-bleaching products in the drug stores. Many people in Japan even get plastic surgery to make their nose bridge appear higher so their face becomes kinda more typically European, get eyelid surgery so they get the typically European double lid and lip injections and all that. It's crazy how obsessed they are with being white while I actually found the most beautiful people in Japan to look more traditionally Asian..

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  • Yeah I know. A lot of Asian people are obsessed with white faces.

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  • Maybe because it's going towards western audience?

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What Guys Said 5

  • As for MGS, Hideo Kojima wants to tug on real world politics... The disarmament act post WW2 makes that fairly hard to do using Japanese characters, much of MGS is about America's imperialism which Japan was a victim of... In order to twll the story well it pretty much has to be American, and all the characters are generally American too with the exception of maybe Kazuhira, but he's still mixed, and he's meant to be Caucasian but his race change was something of a retcon...
    As for FF the designs didn't really have a race the first to show enough details was 10 and Yunas design was quite Japanese, also Tifa and Yuffie are not Caucasian in newer portrayals...
    All this said there is some preference for white features, and again I think some of that comes from the U. S. having taken over Japan for so long...
    They have plenty of games that look and feel more Japanese too they just don't sell well in the states.

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  • I am just guessing western market more lucrative.

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  • I've been told Japanese don't really consider those faces to be western just human in general.

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  • They're targeting the American market.

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    • That's what I figured. I hoped their wasn't some underlying feeling of inadequacy. I purchased a Xbox 360 instead of PS3 because most Japanese games were turned based RPGs seemed like Xbox and American market tended to be more action

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    • Are western looking games big in Asia? I know Korea loves League of Legends (everyone looks Western) and Star Craft. What about Japan do they like, like the witcher or gran theft auto?

    • Hahah. I grew up in America man, so I don't know. I'm not a big gamer myself as well

  • To a degree they think they look like that. I have a friend who lived in Japan who said the Japanese when asked believe the 'typical' Japanese is more what we would call Eurasian looking.

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