csneo.jpg You may have previously heard about Namco's attempts to move Valve's Counter-Strike into Japanese arcades and LAN centers in the form of the distinctly localized Counter-Strike Neo.

This alone is rather great, but a newly announced Game Developers Conference 2006 lecture has even better, since it has Namco's Kouichirou Taninami discussing 'The Localization of Counter Strike in Japan'. The description explains: "Counter Strike is the most popular online action game in Europe and the US. Popularizing this title with the Japanese gaming community was a great risk, considering estimates of active Counter Strike players in Japan total a mere 2000."

So what did Namco do about it? "Probably the most influential step in achieving this goal was to create gaming centers called LEDzones. These are essentially gaming cafes where gamers are networked and play in a plush, unique environment. This lecture addresses two topics: how Namco remodeled Counter Strike to make it more attractive to the Japanese gamer and how Namco approached the Japanese online gaming community." This should be a fascinating session at GDC, yay.