Well I'm talking about "new" franchises. Those ones were established over a decade ago.
These days, even Nintendo has trouble making new franchises reach god-tier status in the West (bar the Wii ___ line).
Hm, you may have a point. I wonder why that is. I can think of several Japanese-developed games that are worthy of making a big splash (and some of them did, like Dead Rising) but for some reason they never caught on. Are Westerners really content just playing Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto?
It would seem that Western audiences have been drawn to realism in gaming over the past couple generations. You've got your requisite whipping-boy franchises like CoD, GTA, & Madden, but it goes beyond even that. Fantasy and Sci/Fi are as popular as ever but even those are dark fantasy & sci/fi. Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Mass Effect, The Witcher and more feature characters and locations are are realistic.
Then you've got your requisite genres that try to imitate real life...sports and racers. Those are popular with Westerners these days too.
Don't forget the 3rd-person Action genre either. Assassin's Creed, Batman, Gears, Dead Space...all realistic, all wildly popular.
It seems that unless you're talking Nintendo cornerstone franchises, most Westerners today just aren't that interested in traditional Japanese stylings of the Anime nature (I know that covers a lot of stylistic sub-genres). Sales figures over that last 10 years or so mostly reflect this.
The indie scene on Steam/XBLA/PSN/iOS is pretty strong for cartoonish presentations though.
This isn't really a big deal at the moment. This game has only been announced for Japan and in Japan it isn't hard to find people to play with on the train or other ideal places, where people will be playing, just like where you would be playing. They will get the same enjoyment out of the game as we do with online. They just don't need it. The good thing about this knowledge is that you can play the entire game offline. For a good six months of owning the game I didn't have wireless internet and was angry because I was missing over half of what I was paying for with Tri. This game does have over twice the content as the Wii version though.