Have you noticed this? This might sound a little offensive to say, but honestly it's true. There are more foreign developers than you think, going from one side of Europe to the other, Japan and of course right here in the UK. I'm not saying that Americans make bad games, because that is not the case. There are many brilliant American games; I'm just saying that non-American developers seem to make the better ones.
Let's start with the good folks at Remedy. Despite making games set in America, they are actually a company in Finland. Remedy Entertainment developed the Max Payne franchise about a man who's wife and daughter were murdered and he tries to find the culprits. Both Max Payne games were well received for it's innovative story telling. Years later, Remedy released Alan Wake about a man with writers block who comes to the small Washington town of Bright Falls and his wife goes missing, where something called "the dark presence" is also after him. Yet again, the game was praised for it's storytelling and the game even came up with a brand new way to defeat your enemies, where you have to burn away the darkness before you can harm someone.
I think the interesting thing about this next developer is that whilst they have a totally different native background, their games tend to feel very Americanized. Kojima Productions are relatively famous for developing the Metal Gear franchise; in fact as far I can see, they've pretty much developed every single game for the franchise, which even includes the spin-off titles. If you look at many other Japanese games, they tend to go for the way they like to portray their characters in media, with big sparkling eyes and absurd hair styles. The Metal Gear franchise is not like that, because Kojima set the franchise around the American culture. Naked Snake is American, Solid Snake is American, Gray Fox is American and the pattern just goes on and on. I have the uttermost respect for Kojima, because they understand that the rest of the world don't always want the crazy things from the Japanese culture; don't get me wrong, there are other brilliant Japanese games, but Kojima really "gets" the rest of the world.
Next we move onto the developer/publisher who are based all around the world, and whilst they've made great games on and off, some of their best work have come from outside America. They're known as Ubisoft, who of which developed true gems like the Assassin's Creed franchise. Assassin's Creed is a franchise developed in Canada, so that doesn't really count to this article, but games that do count include Rayman Origins, developed by French developers 'Ubisoft Montpellier', which blew critics and gamers away. The same French developers also created Beyond Good and Evil. Ubisoft even have upcoming hits from non-American developers, such as ZombiU (yet again, developed by Ubisoft Montpellier) and Splinter Cell: Blacklist, being developed by French developer Ubisoft Toronto.
Next we move onto a developer famous for creating one of the best love franchise on the Playstation 3; no it's not Naughty Dog, it's British developers Media Molecule. They developed the LittleBigPlanet franchise, which has not only sold millions of copies, but has also been the game responsible for millions of user-generated levels, some of which push the boundaries of the franchise itself. Now this franchise doesn't try to be a culture it's not (the above developers have all made games based on American lifestyle). LittleBigPlanet is a proper British game, from the British accents to Stephen Fry. You can't get any more British than that eh?
If you've read right the way to the bottom, you may have realized something. Apart from ZombiU (which is a game that isn't even out yet), none of the other games mentioned are not first-person shooters. The problem with American developers is that they feel that first-person shooters are the thing people want, and whilst they seem to be the things that seem to sell (Thinking of you Call of Duty), it's the non-FPS which get the better fan reception… except one. Have you ever heard of the sleeper hit called Metro 2033? Developed by Ukrainian developers 4A Games, Metro 2033 felt like a totally different game to the average first person shooter. It was a survival horror, and when outside in toxic areas, you had to keep an eye on your oxygen tank as well as the state of your gas mask (if it was cracked too much, you'd lose Oxygen a lot faster). Most FPS are just a simple shoot shoot bang bang type of thing, but Metro 2033 was a shoot, check oxygen, bang, atmospheric moment, check oxygen, shoot. It was a difficult game too, because you encountered very tough enemies with limited resources. It's those reasons why people loved the game; it was unique.
Again, I'm not saying American cultures are the shittiest developers in the world, because that is totally not what I am saying; there's still some top work that comes out of the country. I just feel like non-American developers know the world more and know what it wants. They try to fix the world of gaming, whilst most American developers try to ruin it with games given a high age rating, yet aimed at 10 year olds.
Read original blog post