This past month has been quite something for Bishop Games! With the 5th edition of BitSummit, an indie festival based in Kyoto, the studio spent 12 days in beautiful Japan. It was honestly an incredible experience and we never thought we would visit Japan, especially not because of our game. Here’s a recap of our adventure in the Land of the Rising Sun.
A Cultural Shock
Even though we tried our best to prepare for something like this, visiting Japan was still a huge cultural shock. Beforehand, we did our best to learn key words such as ‘Thanks’, ‘Sorry’, ‘Hi’ and ‘I Don’t Understand’. We also spoke to our partner for the Japanese market, who provided valuable information about the culture (the do’s and don’ts) and the cities we were visiting.
Despite our best efforts, we were still completely overwhelmed once we landed in Osaka, after spending close to 24 hours in planes and airports. The first thing that hit us was… the jet lag. There is a 13 hours difference between Eastern Canada and Japan. Still, we powered through, got out of the airport and on our way to our first Airbnb. After an awkward taxi ride where we couldn’t communicate with our driver at all, we managed to get there. We dropped our bags and decided to go eat at a local restaurant. And this brings me to my next point… the food.
Different Cultures, Different Meals
You see, I’m not what you would call a picky eater. Well I thought I wasn’t, before I visited Japan. It’s not that the food tastes bad or anything of the sort. In fact, a lot of the meals were quite enjoyable. But over there, most of the food is soft and cold as opposed to North America where we are used to hot and crunchy textures. Their food diet also mainly consists of fish, rice, raw egg and other seafood, which is not something we are used to. It definitely took us a few days to get used to that, but it wasn’t so bad in the end.
One particular meal that I enjoyed was a traditional Okonomiyaki; a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients such as flour, eggs, green onions, shrimp and other seafood. It was a unique and very tasty meal that we found in a small restaurant of Kyoto.
A traditional Okonomiyaki!
A Sneak Peek In the Japanese Gaming Culture
As we grew accustomed to Kyoto, the jet lag and life in Japan, BitSummit was about to begin. It was an intriguing event for us and we truly had no expectations of what would happen. By now, we were used to the PAXs, but BitSummit was our first event in Asia. Would the cultural differences also be present in the gaming culture? Would the Japanese people react to Light Fall in a similar manner? So many questions raced in my head prior to the event!
The first day of BitSummit was on Friday; it was set up day and press hours. We knew Famitsu, the biggest gaming press in Japan, would be there. We didn’t want to miss them… and luckily for us, they stopped at our booth and really enjoyed the game! They also wrote an article about the game, which is a good way to gain exposure with the Japanese public. It was a great way to start the weekend and the following days didn’t disappoint either!
There was a steady flow of players at the booth and, from the little we could understand, most of them seemed to enjoy Light Fall! Thankfully, we had interpreters on the show floor to help us communicate.
The Japanese public welcomed Light Fall with open arms.
We were also invited on the Twitch Stage for a live-interview, similar to the one we did at PAX South 2016.
Ben was on the Twitch Stage at BitSummit to talk about Light Fall.
Finally, we were also approached by several potential business partners for the Asian markets. While nothing is official yet, these partnerships look promising in order to bring Light Fall everywhere in Asia. All in all, BitSummit was well worth the trip!
Japan: A Sight to Behold
Looking back, we had a wonderful trip in Japan. Not only was BitSummit a great success for the studio and the game, but on a personal level, we truly enjoyed visiting Japan and learning more about its culture, its people and its history. Here are some cool photos we took during our trip. For all you know, Japan might be on your future destinations’ list after that?
The world-renowned Mt. Fuji!
The night life of Tokyo.
Japan is home to many beautiful scenery like this one.
A traditional Japanese market.