One thing that I absolutely despise is voice overs, or otherwise known as dubs. It’s not so bad in video games these days, but they used to be the worst in many anime and import games. In fact even in the latest hit, Heavy Rain, I have to admit that some of the voice acting just bugged me every time I heard it (listen for the word “Origami” said as “ori-gam-ee” instead of “ori-gom-ee”).
However, the voice actors in recent years have improved a lot in English games and it’s been better and better. I personally still prefer original sound tracks with subtitles for movies and video games, but these days with many of the best voice acting talents based in Canada, it’s not so bad anymore. I wonder if that’s why they can’t say “Origami.” But I digress.
I believe that in the US, most gamers would still prefer dubs over subtitles although those that are fans of RPGs tend to also be die-hard anime fans. Die-hard otakus are very much into the entire subtitle culture which is where fansubs were first scene. If you figure that the majority of your gamers in the United States tend to play FPS and sports games though, then it makes sense why a percentage would be higher for dubs in the United States compared to the recent study in Japan that placed the preference in subtitles at 49%.
Regardless of which you prefer, I think the ultimate goal is to have the choice of it on each game. After all, you are putting down sixty hard earned greenbacks for those games. To include the original soundtrack isn’t too difficult, and subtitling really just requires gathering up some fans to translate anyways. Then everyone would have the choice of which selection and it would be the best of both worlds.