Itagaki: Japanese games industry is dying

Monday, 9th August 2010 20:20 GMT By Johnny Cullen


Tomonobu Itagaki has joined Keiji Inafune in kicking the Japanese games industry while it’s down, saying it’s currently dying.

Speaking with Edge, the Valhalla Games Studios boss backed up comments that Inafune, Capcom’s global production boss, made at Tokyo Game Show back in September last year.

“I agree,” said Itagaki when asked about if he echoed the Capcom exec’s words.

“Japan failed to import capitalism, or rather, it failed to understand the lessons of capitalism, of the free market economy. What I’m talking about isn’t just limited to the games industry. I’m talking about what has happened in Japan since the ’60s. Japan’s destiny – the destiny of this era – was already determined then.”

And budding politicians out there – we mean you, Wyclef – watch out: Tomo wants a piece of the pie.

When asked if he’d like to become a political candidate, Itagaki said: “Yes. There have been some offers for me to become a political candidate in Japan, and we do need a strong leader.”

Itagaki to be Japanese prime minister by the end of the decade. We’re calling it.

Valhalla’s first game, Devil’s Third, was announced at E3 for a future release on PS3 and 360 from THQ.



  1. ARFarokhi

    Shut up Mr. biscuit.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. theevilaires

    and its because you assholes don’t and won’t understand the network aspect of gaming. The day of super hard games like Ninja Gaiden are over. All those kids who use to sit there back in the SNES days trying to beat all those hard Jap games are older and have families to take care now.

    So time is of the essence. Gamers from that time era want to play fun quick fast pace bust of gaming these days and that’s why XBOX live and western games such as FPS are taking off big time and leaving [DELETED DUE TO OFFENSIVE CONTENT]. Change you morons! Bayonetta, Demon Souls, and MGS are great but go bigger and better all out for the sequels.

    and do something about those GOD awful voice overs in your cut scenes…YUCK!

    #2 4 years ago
  3. LePlatypus

    @2 Nice job on not being racist

    #3 4 years ago
  4. LOLshock94

    @2 i agree accept i wouldnt go as far as calling them

    #4 4 years ago
  5. theevilaires

    Where are you from LePlatypus? I have tons of Japanese friends and we joke all the time like that…but the older generation Japs don’t like most other countries other than themselves. So do your research before talking shit.

    dumb is a general term. Doesn’t mean I’m talking about the entire Country or race either. I mean the games industry there. I will not retract my statement so if you don’t like it then screw you and go cry on Kotaku.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. justiceblob

    @5 Having imaginary Japanese friends doesn’t qualify you as an expert. and being half-japanese, half-british by birth and citizenship (although you wouldnt know it from my face), I find “[DELETED]” offensive. You basically just dumped the reason the elderly Japanese generation don’t trust the outside, because people like you flattened their lives 65 years ago by dropping an a-bomb on them. I’d like to see you talk to a hibakusha like that to their face.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. theevilaires

    I’ll talk to anyone like that to their face! I may get my ass whooped and I may not but I say what I feel when I feel it. I bite my tongue for no one and who the hell are you to say I have imaginary Japanese friends. I’ve dated a couple of Japanese girls and no [DELETED DUE TO OFFENSIVE CONTENT].


    #7 4 years ago
  8. LePlatypus

    @7 Wow now you’re twice the racist I originally thought you were

    #8 4 years ago
  9. albo88

    theevilaires sound like a classic ps3 nerd that just got hes console last holidays by mom and daddy
    do us a favor and stfu
    i thing Itagaki is going though something bad i mean now he have a studio all by herself so we understand hes position

    #9 4 years ago
  10. DeSpiritusBellum

    Quick, someone bring up the massive genocide on the mandarin chinese.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. theevilaires

    thats right #9 I’m a 14 yr old racist virgin kid who finally got a PS3 and UC2 for Christmas last year from my parents. :D
    Its the best game I’ve ever played. PS3 rules 360 sucks HAHAHA!

    #11 4 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    @7: Well can’t blame them for doing that, especially because they are absolutely right to be mad at the Americans.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. DeSpiritusBellum

    @12 For what? The Xbox?

    #13 4 years ago
  14. YoungZer0

    13: No, for the use of Little Boy and Fat Man.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. DeSpiritusBellum

    @14 Weren’t they asking for it just a little bit, though?

    Between 4 and 10 million chinese. 20-80,000 innocent woment raped at Nanking alone. That’s slightly more suffering than two levelled cities and 300,000 dead and dying.

    I’d say the Japanese might want to remember that, too.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. YoungZer0

    @15: Ah, yeah the typical reaction. “BUT LOOK AT WHAT THEY DID!” Let me get this straight You say that because the Japanese Army was so brutal, the innocent woman and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki had to die? There were no military stations or soldiers in Hiroshima or Nagasaki to that time. It’s an atrocity, nothing more.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. DeSpiritusBellum

    @16 Well, if you’re interested in getting into a nerdy discussion about warfare I’m down for that, I’ve studied this stuff, but we should probably retreat to the forum. I don’t think people want to see.

    It quite arguably was a lot more than just an atrocity, since it effectively brought about a surrender that the Japanese leadership was selfishly unwilling to offer, at the sole expense of its soldiers and its people.

    Waging war against civilians is never preferable, but when two aggressors go out of their way to slaughter and rape innocents wherever they go, then they’re the ones setting the bar for violence, and ultimately the ones responsible for what’s brought to bear on their own peoples.

    Basically the Japanese are pissed that the US threw the last punch. But they still weren’t the ones to throw the first punch, or the most agregious one. By a long shot.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. chronoss2

    @theevilaires : stfu and stop lying and playing the tough guy.. All guys born in the beginning of the 80′s like me still need some challenging games. And you are racist against the japanese, they are the source of inspiration to 90% of the videogames. And what your small brain doesn’t seem to understand is that they are focusing much more on the handheld games than PS3/360 because they cost nothing to develop and they make them earn good money. The PS3 just began to sell well starting from sep09 and the 360 is dead already there so they don’t need to give too much time to these machines..

    #18 4 years ago
  19. metamorphic

    Itagaki has always been sort of an attention seeker; personally, I don’t agree with what he’s saying at all. On the Japanese games industry: while it’s not exactly dominating the world as it did in the late 1990s, it is still a very vibrant, successful and strong industry which remains one of the most important in the gaming world. How? Look at the great buzz surrounding TGS, which is being awaited far more than Gamescom. The spirit of games like Shenmue via the Yakuza series and classic favorites like Leyton, Final Fantasy and all the various Nintendo and Sony franchises are still alive and well, and don’t look like they’ll diminish anytime soon.

    Then we look at Team ICO and their games (like Shadow of the Colossus), not to mention probably the most awaited adventure of 2011: The Last Guardian – is there a better, more unique team in the world? And the entire world’s waiting for Gran Turismo 5, which is looking absolutely fantastic already. Not all Japanese games are fighting games or beat-em-ups, whatever Itagaki or Inafune like to think.

    theevilaires is a troll, prone to stereotypes. Clearly he knows nothing about Japan or the Japanese gaming industry, but hey, why argue with a complete tool. Back when I was growing up in the 1990s, all I played was point-and-click adventure games, not the Japanese beat-em-ups of lore, and now while I don’t play a lot of the traditional point-and-clicks these days, most of the games I play and like are Japanese-produced and developed games. So the Japanese industry hasn’t diminished; moreover, it’s gotten more prominent and better. Not everything is black and white, even though racists would like to think that.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. NinjaMidget

    @18 have to agree with you mate.

    I can’t quite understand theevilaires statement of absolute hate towards the Japanese. Bloody hell mate, take it easy. I don’t think you should have quite the confidence to make a statement that no-one wants to play a super hard game anymore. Perhaps you should go back to games that hold your hand through the end boss and tell you everythings going to be alright.

    Some of the gaming industries proper classics are Japanese games. Maybe their industry isn’t as prosperous as it used to be but I still have the confidence that they have the magic to sort it all out. And yes you have been very racist, for shame! lol

    #20 4 years ago
  21. OlderGamer

    Two things, for what it is worth,

    I agree with Tea 100% on this one. 110% infact.

    This is why I enjoy my xbox so freaken much. I play very little in the way of JP made games anymore. And of the ones I do none of them are the kinds of games I used to play from JP.

    I won’t touch most new JRPGs. I won’t touch most SP JP made games in general.

    And secondly, again for what it is worth, I have been saying what Itagaki has just said for a long long time now. And everytime I do, just like Tea did, I get nearly mugged over it.

    Look folks JP isn’t some magical video game heaven. They lost their touch a long time ago. And to be honest if it ain’t Nintendo, it really isn’t worth playing. Just my two cents there.

    But yea western games have evolved, networked, socialized, and seemingly taken over.

    Oh and enough of the hate. Just because someone doesn’t flip over playing JP made games doesn’t make them a raicist. That is just stupid.

    To me this all makes perfect sense eastern and western cultures are very different. It stands to reason that the games they make will also be different. And it also stands to reason that the people of said cultures will enjoy different kinds of games too. There is bound to be a certian amount of cross over, like those people that love the animie, and I am sure that somewhere in JP a gamer or two is playing Gears, ME, or Halo.

    I can see a day where JP games don’t sell outside of JP. And I think that is at the heart of what Itagaki is saying. And he is NOT the only JP game name to have this feeling about their JP game industry.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. xino

    @theevilaires STFU!
    “[DELETED]” is racist enough!
    It’s like calling black people “[DELETED]“.

    anyway you are right, Japan are too dumb in-fact majority of developers are lacking behind. They still make hard games, no one gives a fark if a game is hard. They just wanna relax and enjoy the game.
    It’s like GOW3, if it’s so hard and people can’t finish it, how would they experience the rest of the amazing story and graphics? All due to the game being too hard.
    Itagaki has a problem with making hard games. Fair enough you want Ninja Gaiden 2 to be open to new gamers and to keep the game hard as possible not to lose the hardcore base. But Acolyte Mode (Easy mode) still ISN’T EASY! Till this day people still complain about the game being hard on EASY mode. Thank god for Hayashi that stepped in and allowed the game to be accessible to all gamers by making Easy Mode EASY!


    #22 4 years ago
  23. xino

    Not only are Japanese lacking in games but in technology as well!
    When I was young I look up to the Japanese people as wise cultural people who love inventing great stuff in technology! That’s the reason why I like Japanese people because of their technological in advancement while other weebos want to be Japanese due to anime, language, cosplay and all that bullsh*. Over the years growing up since Japanese and Chinese are alike I found out one thing!

    The martial arts movies I love watching, the action packed movies I love watching, the horror movies I love watching etc were all done by Chinese people! To think of all the movies I’ve watched so far in Chinese I realised Japs are falling behind. The only Jap movies I remember watching or sort of watch are Samurai movies and animes- that is all they are good at!

    China once a bullied country by Japanses have evolved and advanced over Japan. When people think of China it’s always “made in china” not in Japan. We have Beijing Olympics what has Japan offered? The only thing Chinese lack are video games.

    Nowadays I don’t see Japan coming up with any great advancement or anything. When I look at Japanese games all I think of are Capcom games and JRPG’s. Nothing more. Even though Japan make an online game for console it always have bad netcoding.

    Itagaki is right and Japan should step their game up!

    #23 4 years ago
  24. xino

    also continuing owning Japanese people.
    When they make games it’s always the same shit!
    Especially JRPG’s!
    Kids saving the whole, world in danger, party that involves 2 adults and kids etc.

    Always the same shit! They don’t change! I just think their culture isn’t going to evolve and it will stay the same.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Boris Fett

    Jesus christ. The amount of ignorance spewing from the lips of half the posters in this post is fucking mindblowing.

    “Kids saving the whole, world in danger, party that involves 2 adults and kids etc.”

    Yeah, because the vast majority of western games totally don’t involve some bald, wise cracking meat-head saving the world / galaxy.

    Japanese games have just as much diversity as western games (meaning not much, but its there if you know where to look. The problem with Japan’s gaming industry right now is the simple fact that the next-gen consoles simply haven’t taken off.

    Meaning that the company’s who previously used those formats for their bread and butter are making far less money than they used to.

    Square Enix got it right, by buying out a prominent western developer with big western franchises. Any Japanese company unwilling to expend out to the taste of the global market is going to sink in this generation.

    And I’m sorry, but anyone who has utter even a single broad insult towards a country as a whole makes you a racist. Contrary to popular belief, having foreign nationality friends doesn’t actually stop you from being racist.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Herlock

    Release your damm games in Occident, that’s the problem!!!

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Soong

    Being of Japanese descent myself, I find theevilaires’ racist comments deeply offensive. I don’t mind flamewars between console fanboys and a bit of personal namecalling accompanying it, but theevilaires is going way too far now.

    I hope 24/7 does (or already did do) something about this, because it’s one thing to allow users a huge degree of freedom in the comments section, but it’s another thing entirely to allow racist fanatics to misuse that freedom to post hateful and shocking comments like theevilaires just did.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. justiceblob

    @27 agreed….

    #28 4 years ago
  29. KrazyKraut

    @27 and 28 agreed

    yes, you are right. And most of my personal fave games are made in Japan. And when I look at the selling numbers of the top 2009 games….its okay too.

    I dont know if the days of Japanese games are over. Yes, other countries like China are on the rising. When even FunCom is having a studio in China, to get better talents and save some money…so what will happen to high loan, closed countries like Japan?

    I mean its the same in Germany. We have Crytek. And what did Crytek? Opened a office in Hungary, because (and thats what the Crytek CEO MR. Yerli in a German TV show said):” Yes, we have opened an office in Hungary because of the lack of talents in Germany.” And he is right.

    Japan is a traditional country, they dont like often do the main part (except producing) of their products by foreigns (thats what I suppose). And Square Enix is maybe (even when the Squaresoft/Square Enix magic is lost) do the right thing and heading into West.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Patrick Garratt

    If I ever see comments like this from any of you again, your accounts will be deleted. Do not post racist remarks on this website. I’m very liberal in the way VG247 is monitored, but I will not allow racism in these threads. You’ve been warned. Next time, you’re out.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. xino

    @25 Boris Johnson.
    Sure Western games may have the same similar kind of method but it’s down to the developer’s style. Epic games always have big buff meaty men in every of their games. But at least westerns when they make something they try to change the theme or settings or context. Japanese don’t change.

    Just look at anime for an example, it’s always the same! Robots, humour jokes, exaggerated fighting, big eyes etc. Take Halo Legends for an example; a full length anime movie which I thought should have had potential because it’s made in a form of anime. But because Japanese are always doing the same thing and lack in evolving, the Halo Legend brought absolutely nothing new!

    Yes it had mecha robots which we have seen 100 hundreds of times! Big eyes characters, exaggerated fighting with that Spartan who was made as a comic relief joke etc. From that anime movie I only found the opening interesting and the Spartan with the sniper rifle story. So in total I found 2 out of all rest of the committee animation watchful since I’ve seen the others so many times and I’m tired of them!

    @30. Patrick Stewart.
    You need to fix the site’s password problem:/

    #31 4 years ago

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