Last Guardian boss to Japanese studios – Go west or go bust

Thursday, 17 September 2009 11:15 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Yasuhide Kobayashi, VP of Sony’s Japan Studio and head of Last Guardian’s development, told DICE Summit Asia today that Japanese games-makers must now appeal to western tastes or die.

“There are so many issues we have to solve, and the biggest challenge is that the market in Japan is shrinking – they key is gaining success in the US and Europe,” he said.

“At the time of the original PlayStation the Japanese market was one third of the global market, and production costs weren’t that high – so we were able to generate profit from that market alone.

“But now we’re in the era of the PlayStation 3, and the Japanese market is only one fifth of the global market – when it comes to production costs, those are swelling, so it means that unless we gain success in the overseas market our studio will go bankrupt. It’s a crisis we recognise,” he added.

Kobayashi admitted that Last Guardian was named as such to appeal to US and European gamers.

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