At the currently ongoing Tokyo Game Show event, trade body CESA -- the Japanese Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association, which functions much like the ESA does in the U.S. -- handed out its Japan Game Awards, as it does every year.
The games honored are a variety of popular titles -- some of which are little-known in the West and a couple of which come from Western developers.
The dual winners of the Grand Award were Capcom's Monster Hunter 4
and Level-5's Yo-Kai Watch
, both of which are major commercial successes in the territory (and both of which are for the Nintendo 3DS, coincidentally -- more on Yo-kai Watch
's sales here
According to CESA's English press release, both won the award because they have successfully crossed over, culturally speaking: Monster Hunter 4
appeals to a "wide range of users from the conventional core fans to the new users who played this game for the first time," while Yo-Kai Watch
has moved "beyond a game industry and presenting a new entertainment format in which parents can enjoy with kids."
A number of games got the "Award for Excellence," including Dark Souls II, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Grand Theft Auto V, Kan Colle, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Pokemon X
, Puzzle & Dragons Z, Super Mario 3D World, The Last of Us, and the two aforementioned titles.
Of those, the likely mystery is Kan Colle
, which is a browser-based collectible card game very popular in Japan. Solitiba
, a downloadable 3DS game from Game Freak, developers of the Pokemon
franchise, got the "special award," and Pokemon
itself was also rewarded with both the Global Award Japanese Product and Best Sales Award. GTA V
got the Global Award Foreign Product.
CESA says that it bestows its awards
based on a variety of criteria, including technical, design, and artistic merits as well as player feedback. The full comments on all the games that got awards can be read
in CESA's press release.
For more on why Yo-kai Watch
is such a success, check out this interview
with Akihiro Hino, president of developer Level-5.