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Inafune: Japanese games dev “5 years behind,” Capcom “barely keeping up”

Monday, 20th September 2010 09:28 GMT By Johnny Cullen

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Capcom dev lead Keiji Inafune, now infamous for his remarks on the state of the Japanese gaming industry, has turned his guns on his own employer.

Speaking to the NYT, Inafune said the development community in Japan is “five years behind,” with Capcom struggling to keep pace.

“I look around Tokyo Games Show, and everyone’s making awful games; Japan is at least five years behind,” he said at TGS last week.

“Capcom is barely keeping up. I want to study how Westerners live, and make games that appeal to them.”

His comments contract sharply with those he made at Capcom’s TGS event last week, where he said the Japanese games industry was not dead “as long as Capcom is around.”

During the same event, Capcom counted on its western friends, announcing it had bought Dead Rising 2 developer Blue Castle Games, as well as roping in English Heavenly Sword and Enslaved developer Ninja Theory for a Devil May Cry reboot called DMC.

There’s more through here, featuring quotes from other Japanese industry figureheads, including Square Enix president Yoichi Wada.

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87 Comments

  1. Erthazus

    He mustn’t step out of Capcom booth then. Look harder Inafune. Look harder (Ni No Kuni, The Last Guardian, MGS: Rising, Vanquish), but seriously,

    This guy is on the ball and it is his fault that games like DMC are turned to the pile of shit.

    and yes, holywar about Japanese devs starts in 3…2….1….

    #1 4 years ago
  2. osric90

    West is owning this generation. I mean, there are too many american, european titles against too few Japanese ones. I say “here comes Vanquish to rise Japanese industry again…” but then I remember “here comes Deus Ex: Human Revolution”. Then I think “ok, here comes MGS: Rising…” and then “Arkham City, anyone?”… I miss more good Japanese games.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Blerk

    I think a lot of them could do a lot better by concentrating more on accessibility issues. Many of the Japanese games I’ve tried this gen have had wonky controls, super-long cut-scenes, very-spaced out save points, etc. etc. Pretty much all of this stuff has been completely ironed out of Western releases and absolutely for the better.

    Maybe Japan can’t compete technically in some areas at the minute, but they could quite easily stop pissing me off quite so much in a lot of cases.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    @3 Man, you definitely never played Valkyria Chronicles. You don’t give an F about new Castlevania, Vanquish, MGS: Rising and e.t.c., e.t.c. and e.t.c. Not to mention about The Last Guardian or Gran turismo 5.

    They are not behind the technology, the real question here is about the budget ONLY. Technologically you can’t beat Japan never.
    Even if Crytek or ID kicks ass with their engines, you look at the MGS: Rising or The Last Guardian and you can’t say something like: Well, JP sucks at tech! Yah!

    It’s just Inafune and he is on the ball.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Blerk

    The new Castlevania isn’t Japanese-developed. :-D

    I pretty much disagree with everything you said, btw. On the whole, Western games have progressed in scope much more than Japanese games this generation. Yes, there are some very pretty-looking Japanese games and yes there are always exceptions to the rule. But the majority of stuff arriving on the HD twins still “feels” like a PS2 game with extra shinies, and I’d absolutely count Inafune’s own games into that category.

    I’d very much like Japan to stage a come-back and kick some Western arse, btw. I just don’t see it happening any time soon.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. StolenGlory

    I completely and totally agree with everything Blerk just said there.

    +1.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Gadzooks!

    @3

    You hit the nail square on the head.

    The problem with Japanese devs right now is that they are attempting to appeal to western gamers, but they have picked up on exactly the wrong qualities that make western games appealing.

    Jap games have been generally very awkward to play but have great design and quirky charm. They need to take the controls, save schemes and accessibility from western game design but keep the things that make Jap games good like art and settings, rather than keeping thier poor game interfaces and making lots of grim violent games.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Erthazus

    “The new Castlevania isn’t Japanese-developed”

    My big mistake sir Blerk, it’s just everything that is with Castlevania for me it’s always Japanese :D

    “I’d absolutely count Inafune’s own games into that category.”

    Because he suck balls, thats it. This is his opinion and only. If Capcom sucks, it is their problems.

    “But the majority of stuff arriving on the HD twins still “feels” like a PS2 game with extra shinies”

    Thats not true at all. Even if Final Fantasy XIII sucked donkey Balls they did really great engine that looks next gen (except of some locations). Gran Turismo 5 or Rising, Ni No Kuni… Oh man there are a lot of JP games that kicks Western Games in visuals. In both art and Technology.

    Western Developers = Unreal Engine 3 in most cases (Modern Warfare still uses Id Tech 3 that looks like SHIT for the 2010). Man, there are not a lot of Western devs that made so much progression in tech. ID, Crytek, Naughty Dog, Santa Monica and few are exceptions. EXCEPTIONS. Seriously.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Blerk

    But again, Erth – visuals. I’m not really interested in visuals. Yes, it’s nice if it looks gorgeous, but ultimately it’s the game underneath that I want to fall in love with.

    Your FFXIII example is perfect – such finely crafted visuals bolted onto a NES-level game. Western equivalents like Mass Effect and Fallout 3 might not’ve been up to that visual standard, but they kicked its fucking arse in terms of actual game.

    That’s where Japan is lacking. They’re still in that ‘I must take 15 months detailing this rock’ stage and then forgetting that we might want to be able to actually control our character or save our game sometime this year.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Erthazus

    @9 Again, MGS: Rising, Vanquish, The Last guardian, Gran Turismo 5, Ni No Kuni, Bayonetta, Nintendo GAMES proves that you are wrong again.

    It’s just Inafune. Look at the SMG2 scores, i’m not in to Mario thing, but that thing kicked ASS. Kicked GOW3, ME2 and other Arses with gameplay. (+ metacritic). Next year is Zelda and e.t.c.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Aimless

    FFXIII is a bit of an ironic title to pick on, it’s streamlined to within an inch of its life. It’s accessible to a fault.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Blerk

    Heh – let’s not get onto Nintendo. I find their games even more irritatingly-and-needlessly-retro-for-the-sake-of-it than stuff for the hi-defs. :-)

    Half of the games you’re talking about aren’t even out, though. All we’ve seen of Rising is a chopping tech-demo, for instance. The game itself might turn out to be balls.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. The Hindle

    Valkryia chronicles, Demon Souls, MGS 4, Bayonetta, SSF 4. These games kick anything that the west can come up with. I think hes being a bit melodramatic.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. DrDamn

    @9
    Disagree with the comments on FFXIII as the “game” in FFXIII was just in a different place to where you may have expected it. The game was the battle system and that was it’s strongest part – initially accessible but there was a lot of complexity and depth to the system too. Very much the best battle system in a FF main game for quite some time.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Michael O’Connor

    Clearly he’s never worked with the guys from Platinum Games…

    …oh wait!

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Blerk

    A game needs more than just a rock-solid battle system though, Doc? Surely?

    Regardless, I’m not saying anyone’s ‘wrong’ here because it’s all just opinion and we all know that that varies greatly from one person to the next.

    All I’m saying is that for the last two generations pretty much all of my favourite games have been Japanese. This generation I hardly own any Japan-developed titles.

    Partly this is because there are just fewer of them due to the platform situation, partly because Western games just seem so much more interesting and exciting (to me, again), and partly because many of the Japanese games that I have tried have been rather disappointing – and often needlessly so.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. DrDamn

    @16
    Sure, but the very core of any FF game is it’s battle system. It was more the NES level I took exception to – it was complex and in very progressive. As a whole it lacked a lot of what you come to expect from a FF game – but the core was great.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Retroid

    As usual, I agree with Blerk :)

    Japanese developers have the visuals tied down but some games themselves often feel like they’re still structured to saving to memory cards.

    Example: Auto-save? Fine. Just do it, don’t prompt me to say you’re doing it and then definitely don’t prompt me to say you’ve finished doing it.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. The Hindle

    Ni No Kuni is looking pretty excellent btw, had some positive previews.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. zoopdeloop

    @17 I thought that the very core of each FF game is supposed to be it’s story, based by it’s original creator of the franchise Hironobu Sakaguchi which goes by his personal motto:
    “I don’t think I have what it takes to make an action game. I think I’m better at telling a story”

    #20 4 years ago
  21. DrDamn

    We are talking about “game” though, not game. I.e. what you play. The story is set, you just play through it in FF games. It’s a big part of the game, but not the “game”.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. AHA-Lambda

    i see this as pot kettle black more than anything >_>

    he’s ruining his franchises too just by trying to westernise them -_-

    as far as i am concered inafune is a total c***

    and yea if you want to see japanese gaming done right look at bayonetta, demon’s souls and vanquish

    IMO if you want to “save” the jap game industry overhaul your jrpgs entirely they need to evolve and they haven’t since the PS1 days. The only different one was FF13 and it only got WORSE not better

    #22 4 years ago
  23. OlderGamer

    Pretty much everything Blerk said.

    Infact pretty much everything Blerk ever says on anything. Level headed, not clouded, honest, to the point.

    I do think it is funny tho, everytime one of these type of posts come up the same old folks jump in there to defend the JP games.

    I think the writting has been on the wall for a long time tbh.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Tonka

    I can’t beleive how the fuck FFXII got all those high marks. Years later and most FFXIII reviews read like what the FXII ones should have.

    BUT

    RE4 is still the best game ever made. Why couldn’t they keep barging down that path?

    #24 4 years ago
  25. zoopdeloop

    @21 it is the biggest part when it comes to an FF game.If the narrative doesn’t appeal the game itself can’t motivate to play it through 40-50 hours till the end no matter how interesting the gameplay is.XII for example had one the most interesting battle systems yet most fans of the series were disappointed by it’s narrative which for them makes it one of the worst FF’s in the franchise.

    bottom line is when it comes to an FF game most fans expect a good narrative first which is the very core of the franchise…everything else comes second

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Michael O’Connor

    @24 “Why couldn’t they keep barging down that path?”

    See my original post (#15) for the answer to that one.

    @25 Sad thing being that FFXII had the most mature, well written, character crafted story the franchise has ever seen, bar maybe FF Tactics.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. zoopdeloop

    @23 The same goes for those who bash JP games OG ;)

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Michael O’Connor

    @27 O.G. has never bashed Japanese games. Numerous times he’s even defended them. He’s only ever said they don’t appeal to his tastes.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. zoopdeloop

    @26 I agree,the story was good but it didn’t had that “fantasy” feel to it plus the characters where not developed properly.They were like ornaments in the game.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Michael O’Connor

    @26 Final Fantasy has barely had any fantasy in in since VII. FFXII was probably the most “fantasy” Final Fantasy since VI, even more so than IX.

    I completely disagree on the characters. Everyone seems to overlook just how much development most of them get throughout the story simply because it isn’t spelt out to them in angst-ridden tears and angst and they’re isn’t a contrived plot twist every 10 minutes.

    FFXII was where the Final Fantasy franchise finally grew up. Unfortunately, they completely reversed all that hard work with XIII. What a mess of a game.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. zoopdeloop

    @28 Criticising the JP indunstry if you will.He thinks that the JP industry is a loss cause this generation and as much some of the same old folks jump up to “defend” that(believing that things aren’t so bad and would turn around for the best at some point) he also jumps up to criticize specificaly the JP industry once more.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Michael O’Connor

    @31 For the most part, it *is* a loss cause.

    There are a few developers that shine through (Platinum Games, Square Enix’s PSP offerings, Team Ninja, Atlus and Nippon Ichi), but they’re very much the minority.

    If things don’t turn around, some of these companies are going to end up getting dissolved or merged into other, bigger companies.

    Japan used to *rule* gaming.

    #32 4 years ago
  33. zoopdeloop

    “Final Fantasy has barely had any fantasy in in since VII. FFXII was probably the most “fantasy” Final Fantasy since VI, even more so than IX.”

    The majority of fans strongly disagree with that.

    “I completely disagree on the characters. Everyone seems to overlook just how much development most of them get throughout the story simply because it isn’t spelt out to them in angst-ridden tears and angst and they’re isn’t a contrived plot twist every 10 minutes.”

    But that’s what almost every FF was all about up until XII.

    “FFXII was where the Final Fantasy franchise finally grew up. Unfortunately, they completely reversed all that hard work with XIII. What a mess of a game.”

    Exactly,grew up, changed.But you see FF’s are primarily targeted for the younger audience too which they don’t really care about political affairs in a narrative of a game.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Michael O’Connor

    @33 “The majority of fans strongly disagree with that.”

    And I strongly disagree with the majority of fans. FFVII, FFVIII, and FFX did not having fantasy settings. FFIX and FFXII did. That’s not even opinion, it’s fact.

    “But that’s what almost every FF was all about up until XII.”

    And it’s old, trite, outdated and no longer capable of sustaining the company.

    “Exactly,grew up, changed.But you see FF’s are primarily targeted for the younger audience too which they don’t really care about political affairs in a narrative of a game.”

    This has nothing to do with the political elements of the story. It has to do with intelligent writing and subtle, well constructed character development.

    I was a 17 year old fan of Final Fantasy too, once. Even back then I though Squall was a whiny and obnoxious dick. When Tidus came around… oh god. Vaan was bearable because he wasn’t the main focus of the story and he didn’t spend all his time feeling sorry for himself.

    The fans grew up, and FFXII was the first Final Fantasy that actually bothered to grow up with me. It’s clear that the franchise is barely capable of sustaining itself at this point, and the fact that people are tired of all the teen angst is only part of that problem.

    I want quality, maturity and depth in my franchises. A 17 year old feeling sorry for themselves while the world is ending no longer cuts it for most of us.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. zoopdeloop

    @32 Indeed.Bigger developer companies like Capcom,SE e.t.c have lost it this gen.Some smaller developer companies really shine through though.
    But this is natural what goes around comes around,they’ll come around at some point.
    Just because we see at this point the Western industry evolve doesn’t mean that at some point they will not follow the same JP route.which they too will sooner or later.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. Michael O’Connor

    @35 The technology is only going to get more advanced, and the games more expensive, so I don’t know exactly *how* they’re going to come around without a miracle.

    Even Capcom is capable of magnificence when they try though. You just have to look at Street Fighter IV for that.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. OlderGamer

    @28

    Thank you Michael.

    I think it is just a classic example of those folks that are fans don’t want to hear anything except praise often times.

    Its like being a football(soccer) fan. Your not going to want to hear that your goalie lacks focus and because of it finds himself out of potion and unable to stop shots he should be able to. It might not be flatering, but if it is true, even if the fans won’t want to admit it, they shouldn’t get ticked when other people see it. Even if they don’t want to see it for themself.

    I wonder if we went back to the 90s, peaked into a western dev studio, might we have found at least a couple of game devs saying exactly the same kind of stuff Inafune(and others) have been saying now? I bet we would have.

    I think in both cases it is just an understanding that and acknowledgement that there is another king in the court and that they need to step up stay in contention for the throne.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. Michael O’Connor

    @37 Quite welcome, O.G.

    I think true fans are the ones willing to criticise something when criticism is deserved, instead of just blindly supporting it. Otherwise the devs will just get lazy.

    Which in the case of Japan, is exactly what they’re doing. The Final Fantasy franchise is losing its strength *because* it’s stuck to the same trite premise for over 10 years.

    Japanese devs aren’t willing to step out of their safety zones and try something different. *Any* industry that refuses to innovate stagnates and dies.

    Just look at the music industry if you want prove of that. People eventually get tired of being spoon-fed the same old thing over and over again.

    #38 4 years ago
  39. Kerplunk

    I think both territories push gaming forwards in different ways. Both have stand out successes and failures with a sea of average output in the middle.

    If I’m honest, I think a lot of this is PR speak. The west likes to be flattered and the east knows it. I don’t think an western developer can capture the essence of a game like Bayonetta and I feel the same way about the east with a game like Gears of War.

    The great thing is that we’re spoiled for choice either way. :)

    #39 4 years ago
  40. Michael O’Connor

    @39 The problem is that games like Bayonetta are very much the exception, not the rule, in this generation.

    But yeah, we’re definitely spoilt for choice nowadays. I remember when every second game used to be a movie licence, or just plain crap.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. zoopdeloop

    “And I strongly disagree with the majority of fans. FFVII, FFVIII, and FFX did not having fantasy settings. FFIX and FFXII did. That’s not even opinion, it’s fact.”

    please do elaborate what defines a “fantasy” setting to you?

    “And it’s old, trite, outdated and no longer capable of sustaining the company.”

    then they should drop the franchise all together and present new Ip’s

    “The fans grew up, and FFXII was the first Final Fantasy that actually bothered to grow up with me. It’s clear that the franchise is barely capable of sustaining itself at this point, and the fact that people are tired of all the teen angst is only part of that problem.

    I want quality, maturity and depth in my franchises. A 17 year old feeling sorry for themselves while the world is ending no longer cuts it for most of us.”

    You see as Wada said in one of it’s recent interviews about XIII.They’re trying to present the franchise to a new audience which is the younger audience.Not so much targeted for the old fans.
    On the other hand just because many of the older fanbase grew up doesn’t mean that they don’t want from new games to reminisce the old ones.
    Zelda as an example didn’t really evolve,or grew up,it sustained the same “formula”over and over and yet fans are pleased no matter how they grow old.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. Kerplunk

    @40 – I found Bayonetta to be a standout title which puts it to game of the year status for me. There was so much unexpected content and riffs on Sega history that made me smile. The spirit of that game is exquisite.

    In that regard, it’s certainly an exception – but I find very few games, regardless of origin, make that sort of impact on me.

    I find a lot of triple-A western stuff to be dross and uninspiring. I don’t think that one territory has an edge over the other overall – but that’s a personal view. I happen to like the structure of JRPGs over WRPGs, for example, so that’s going to skew my particular view in favour of that region. And that’s why I find some blanket statement about the two territories to be a bit silly. It’s only true to the people that want it to be true. It’s not quantifiable or tangible. It’s just a bit of talk to tell a group of people the sort of thing they like to hear.

    It’s all good though:

    Would I have preferred Capcom to have made Portal? No.
    Would I have preferred Valve to make Street Fighter? No.

    Do I enjoy them both? Absolutely!

    #42 4 years ago
  43. Blerk

    @38, quite. The games industry needs more fans who are willing to point out the stuff that should’ve been better even in games which they actually liked. I can’t remember the last time I played a game where I didn’t have at least a handful of niggles and I’d love to talk about that kind of thing more, but the internet still has that ‘if you don’t love it completely then you obviously hate it’ thing going on.

    The trouble with many classic series (of which Japan has many) is that I don’t feel they get “fair” reviews. Too often a review of the latest game in a well-loved series will list a number of flaws but ultimately not mark the game down for them – so MGS4 has 20 hour cut-scenes “but it’s MGS!”, FFXIII has a linear, simplistic world “but it’s FF!”, Resi 5 has controls based on how a Dalek moves “but it’s Resi!”. If a new IP had committed similar sins then they’d have absolutely been marked down. With so much Japanese output being based on these strong, well-loved IPs, it’d be nice to feel that they were getting a proper, fair appraisal on release rather than the usual don’t-want-to-offend-the-fans whitewash.

    #43 4 years ago
  44. Michael O’Connor

    It’s amazing the kind of great discussion we can get going on here when the likes of TEA, BDH and itsucks aren’t around. =P

    Will reply to everyone’s posts individually later. By right I should be working right now!

    #44 4 years ago
  45. zoopdeloop

    @37
    Classic example?I do not fall in that category i assure you. The JP industry is falling apart this generation of gaming we all know that.But there are exceptions even if they’re in the minority we can’t just put the whole JP industry in the same “trash can”
    Sorry OG but your obsession on the subject in many articles doesn’t show the least of concern.It actually shows a bit of “hate” even if that’s not your true feelings on the matter

    #45 4 years ago
  46. Michael O’Connor

    @45 Having an informed and well constructed opinion does not equal “obsessive”.

    #46 4 years ago
  47. zoopdeloop

    @46 I have informed and well constructed opinion on many other subjects as well as other users here.But i do not let it become an obsession.If i want to i’ll express my thoughts on the subject one time only.Repeating something over and over again which pretty much says the same thing over and over is an Obsession.
    Anyhow is this a faction here or something ;)

    #47 4 years ago
  48. The Hindle

    How exactly is the JPN industery in decline, is it in terms of making money or quality? Fair enough if you dont like Japanese games but thier industery is far from in decline. I think its only Capcom that are in trouble hence Inafune saying these things.

    I mean isnt FF still the highest selling RPG in the market, isnt MGS 4 the highest selling stealth game of this gen, Mario Galaxy contender for the best game of this gen? JPN isnt going anywhere.

    I get the feeling the likes of OG or Blerk have not even tried some of the best JPN games this generation.

    And Id rather play Ni No Kuni then the next COD any day of the week.

    #48 4 years ago
  49. theevilaires

    @44 O’Connor I would sink low as you and make you look like the jackass you are but I have come to realize that you take internet forums way too seriously. Its sad because in real life (you know the life that really counts) you are a sad fuck that no one probably wants to be around. You live on the fucking net and I pity you and your pathetic life.

    I don’t see BDH going around calling the 360 or PS3 names like itsucks. For that matter neither do I. But even after you sat here and had a nice lengthy discussion on a topic that has been debated for the past 5 years over and over (I’m sure the great talent of VG247 will post a similar article next month) you take the time and actually mention me (someone you see as negative) in the mist of one of your great holy video game discussions.

    WHATS WRONG WITH YOU MAN? Don’t you have a girlfriend? (not the blow up doll under your bed) Why on Earth would you open that gate to start some shit by posting something like that. Its not us who ruin the comments its you by starting shit and trying to provoke other users of this site. You’re taking this video game news shit way too serious dude and if you think you can censor the internet to your likening then more power to you man….you’re fighting a losing battle :D

    but do me a favor and add me to your ignore list when Garratt finally gets his shit together. I don’t need the guilt on my conscience that you hung yourself one night over something I said to you over the wonderful world of the internet…..where getting laid for you is a click away :D

    #49 4 years ago
  50. OlderGamer

    @48

    Thats not fair my friend, I have FF achievies on my profile, take a look. I even bought FFonline for xb360. I have ALL of the achievies for Phantasy Star Universe excluding one(I even bought and earned the DLC ones too).

    I have not enjoyed a MGS after the NES one, so I passed on MGS for PS3.

    I own a fully BC PS3, because I wanted to be able to play my libary(of very JP heavy) of PS2 games on my PS3/HD Upscaled.

    IMO, one of my fav games this entire gen is Super Mario. But not Galaxy, I liked the retooled 2D 4P co-op one for Wii.

    I am not some KKK card toten anti JP Hick from the deep south. You would prolly be impressed with my Dreamcast Capcom collection. My JP modded Sega Saturn. My JP Dreamcast. My JP PS2.

    But this gen?

    I feel it is a different ballgame.

    We(Respected VG247 regulars) need to just agree to disagree. Stating an opinion is not the same as trolling or being obsessed. If the subject pops up often in news stories from around the web/game industry … maybe there is something to it.

    I wouldn’t ask you, or anyone else to not post their two cents(or a nickles worth of pennies) on a thread. Even if that subject matter gets reported twice a week, every week.

    The same is all I ask.

    #50 4 years ago
  51. The Hindle

    @ 50 The only guy who says JPN is doing bad is this guy Capcom bascially and they are in trouble thats for sure. You only have to look at the millions in software JPN shifts to look that its overexagerrated that its in decline.

    Both the west and east share the same problems id say, the East rely on emo JRPGS as thats what sells over there and we rely on military fps hell even WRPGS are bascially space marine shooters.

    #51 4 years ago
  52. Michael O’Connor

    @49 Troll harder.

    “Its sad because in real life (you know the life that really counts) you are a sad fuck that no one probably wants to be around. You live on the fucking net and I pity you and your pathetic life.”

    That really awesome Halo Reach launch party in Dublin last Tuesday says hi!

    #52 4 years ago
  53. Blerk

    Aren’t Japanese sales very much down in the last few years, though?

    I don’t think Japan is dying, it just seems to be fragmented. From what I can tell it does things for its own market rather well, it’s only when it tries to export those titles that things go awry. The larger companies say they’re designing games to appeal to a Western market but are then missing many of the basic fundamentals of what makes a title appealing to that market.

    Games like Final Fantasy and Metal Gear aren’t good indicators of the region’s success because they would sell regardless based purely on the series’ reputation. That’s not to say that they’re bad games, but like I said before – it’s the little things that they seem to be getting so wrong for me, that final level of polish and accessibility – Resi’s control scheme, Metal Gear’s cut-scenes, etc. etc. All ‘as they were’ back in the PS2 glory days, but failing to notice that Western tastes are (on the whole) somewhat changed since then.

    I seem to recall one of the developers (someone from Squenix?) blaming a lot of this on the lack of communication and cooperation between Japanese developers compared to their Western equivalents. That sort of rings true for me – it often feels like Japanese games have spent so long reinventing the wheel that they’ve failed to notice that everyone’s really happy with the off-the-shelf wheel that pretty much every Western developer is using.

    #53 4 years ago
  54. Kerplunk

    @53 “..From what I can tell it does things for its own market rather well, it’s only when it tries to export those titles that things go awry..”

    That statement applies just as well from Western product going to the East as it does for Eastern product going to the West. (I can think of a very succesful western product that hasn’t made the impact many believe it should in the east).

    I think this discussion is focusing on flaws of Japanese output whilst overlooking the flaws of western output.

    #54 4 years ago
  55. OlderGamer

    @54

    I think that increasingly more and more the western and eastern markets are becoming uncompatible. I also don’t think there is a blame in the scenario. I think it just boils down to culture differences.

    And if this same subject is talked about in a JP forum, I think it gets played out differently.

    Perspective, often times, is everything.

    #55 4 years ago
  56. zoopdeloop

    @53
    True Blerk…but that’s because the West joined the console gaming industry.Before Japan kind of “monopolized” the industry.Now the consumer has more choices and with the economy being as it is at this point the consumer really thinks about his purchases since he has much more choices than before.

    Japan may be fragmented which does things to appeal to their market but doesn’t the West do the same thing as well?
    I believe that all this appealing to the West market is nonsense.There isn’t a particular formula for that.Neither the JP or Western industry can appeal to everyone or even the majority of gamers.Everything comes down to taste.To each with his own…

    People liked the extended long cutscenes of MGS4 others didn’t.It could be the other way around but still they would be divided like this.You can’t please everyone…

    @54 Exactly…talking about flaws of the Western market look there’s another military FPS in the works from BioWare this time.Is this how the Western market evolves and innovates?

    #56 4 years ago
  57. Blerk

    @54, God, yes – the Western market has plenty of flaws of its own, I’m not suggesting for a second that it’s a shining pinnacle of gaming excellence on every level.

    And you could well be right that Japanese consumers might have similar gripes about Western releases over there. It’d be interesting (and probably practically impossible) to see it from the other side of the fence. :-)

    Perhaps the difference is all in the way these things are promoted now? In the past we rarely got Western releases of many Japanese games, so the ones we did get we cherished and put up with the quirks because we were lucky to have them at all. Now they’re saying “this is for a world market, we made this game to appeal to Westerners” and because of that we’re expecting it to ‘feel’ more like the types of games we’re used to?

    #57 4 years ago
  58. theevilaires

    @52….GOD you are pathetic. Theres no amount of money in the world I would take to be you for 1 min. A Halo reach party? :D Are you fucking serious? :D Not only that you seem to be under the delusion that it was an event solely for you or you stood out more amongst the rest of the nerds there.

    You prove my point by every post you submit. (He said a Halo Reach party :D :D :D :D :D )

    Its still sad to see most people even commenting on this article though. If I may recall last month there was a big out cry to have me banned on a similar article that was focused on another game developer.

    So….

    1. Why is this HOT!?
    2. You’re beating a dead horse with a stick.
    3. Whats next? A Kojima flavored article on the same topic.
    4. Next month there will be another similar article I bet.
    5. Same losers (O’Connor) will post same shit to seem cool.

    Hey guys can someone post a which console controller is better article. We haven’t had one of those themed articles for about 2 months now :D

    BOTTOM LINE: So what if the Japanese game market is 5 years behind. That doesn’t mean we’re all doomed. Just buy western style games. Who gives a fuck really you can’t do shit about it but not buy their games. Stop all the damn crying and trying to look cool about voicing you opinion you have no control over.

    #58 4 years ago
  59. Kerplunk

    @55,57 Yes, I’m sure that this argument is reflected on Japanese videogame forums too.

    I also particularly agree with the appreciation of Japanese games now that they are more widely released rather than the tiny pick-of-the-crop range gamers had access to 10 or more years ago and were seen as special cases.

    (That’s one of the reasons why an XBLA releease of Radiant Silvergun will be my first chance to play this acclaimed Treasure shooter)

    I happen to feel that there’s not as much a disparity between regions as the original comment suggests.

    #59 4 years ago
  60. metamorphic

    The thing is: where has Inafune worked on outside of Capcom in the last 3-4 years? Exactly. He might berate his own studio as being “dead”, because hey, they fired EVERYONE that was a capable and unique voice, like the entire Clover Studio staff of such legendary game creators like Hideki Kamiya, Atsushi Inaba and Shinji Mikami and God knows who else. Isn’t that why Capcom has no real creative voice in charge and why they constantly have to look at foreign studios for help, to lessen costs? He’s not ready to pay Japanese developers what they want, as he thinks he’ll be paying the same wages they used to get 10 years ago, so that’s why he goes to foreign cheap studios for help. Really, so what position is he to comment on it, when he himself is working for a company that self-destructed?

    No other company has fired their own staff in this manner in Japan, and actually the entire world, apart from maybe Activision with the Infinity Ward debacle.

    When you look at the guys from Nintendo, Sony Japan, SEGA, Konami and even studios like Atlas, IREM, when you look at THE LAST GUARDIAN, you think gaming is alive and well in Japan, just not the inane, boring beat-em-ups Inafune thinks makes up the entire industry. He is a joke and a “suit bigwig”, nothing more.

    #60 4 years ago
  61. Michael O’Connor

    @58 No, it simply points out the stupidity of your claim of me having no life outside of the computer. The four journalist who joined me would also like to say hi. =P

    Simpleton.

    The simple fact that you’re flying off on a tirade about me only helps prove my point of how discussion is far better on here when you’re not around to piss on a subject with your own brand of ignorance.

    #61 4 years ago
  62. theevilaires

    Are you serious? Hello good people of VG247 did I or did O’Connor start some BS by making unnecessary comments about a couple of VG posters when he was enjoying his flawless debate with a few other people.

    Why would he do that? If everything is going well without the so called trouble makers why mention them in the first place asshole. I used you as in example in the forum when Soong made me out to be a racist. You asked me to not bring you up in a conversation like that because to you it seem I was trying to justify me being right about that thread.

    Well sir practice what you preach please. Don’t bring my name up if I haven’t even commented in that article’s comments please. I will do the same for you. It only starts shit because I be damned if you’re gonna call me out and get away with it (you lucky you live where you live cause I’m tired of all your BS talk to be frank).

    You want to be an ass hole and recycle the same shit about the same topics month in and month out go ahead, but don’t try to be the star of the thread or site mentioning my name like a tough guy. We all have already talked this topic to death a million times but its just plain fucking sad you have to be the teacher’s pet doucebag kid raising your hand spilling you guts as to why you think this is that and why your opinion matters over most. STFU please stop trying to act like you know everything more about gaming and its politics than others.

    TO SUM UP THAT ENTIRE WALL OF TEXT O’CONNOR IN 1 SENTENCE:

    Go get laid you desperate for attention retard.

    #62 4 years ago
  63. Michael O’Connor

    @62 It was a passing comment… one I’m sure many will agree with, mind you. You’re the one writing six paragraphs in response dear child, not me.

    What’s wrong TEA? Run out of stuff to bitch about regarding my non-existent Sony bias, did you?

    “Go get laid you desperate for attention retard.”

    Not a problem, I can assure you.

    This thread was doing just fine until you cropped up. =)

    #63 4 years ago
  64. theevilaires

    Would have never cropped up if you didn’t plant the seed jackass. We all know you’re a XBOT O’Connor (no matter how much you run around with that MOVE controller lodged in your ass)

    Still doesn’t give you the right to talk shit. Passing comment my ass. You knew exactly what you were doing.

    #64 4 years ago
  65. Michael O’Connor

    @64 And my love for LittleBigPlanet. And Demon’s Souls. And Uncharted. And Motorstorm. And ModNation Racers. And the fact that I play my PSP more than any other format. And my 300+ collection of PS2 games. And the fact that I’m on Ad-Hoc Party *right* now playing a PSP game with someone instead of playing Halo Reach with local friends.

    So yeah, you’re talking shit. As usual.

    #65 4 years ago
  66. OlderGamer

    We need to get you two into a game of Reach. See if we can settle some of this angst!

    And I have dibs on selling tickets.

    Not for nothing Tea, but your the one that came into the thread guns blazing. Jus’ sa’in.

    #66 4 years ago
  67. theevilaires

    Whatever O’Connor I don’t care I know your true nature and people like you. You want to be in the spot light and you love attention and trolling is the best way to go about it in your book.

    Just keep my name out of your keyboard while on your rise to be the Internets next top wanna be superstar ass clown.

    #67 4 years ago
  68. manamana

    I wonder why nobody has mentioned “Lost Planet”. It looked like an intriguing game with Mechs and stuff but it became the lost Story with a lost controlscheme to me. On every damn explosion it took several seconds to get back to running’n'gunning. It looked like this gen, but played like last imo.

    #68 4 years ago
  69. Michael O’Connor

    “I know your true nature and people like you.”

    No, trust me, you really don’t have a damn clue, and that’s the most entertaining part of all this.

    @ O.G. I doubt he’d even want to touch it. =P

    #69 4 years ago
  70. spiderLAW

    whoa, wtf is going on here?
    wow.

    #70 4 years ago
  71. Gekidami

    @68
    Yep, LP2 really is a perfect example of just how much most Japanese game devs dont understand gameplay anymore. Atleast the game was fully coop though, thats pretty rare for a Japanese game. Shame if suffered from a dodgy engine, MT Framework can really look nice but it seems to need alot of loading, a coop game with so much loading between areas loses its point imo.

    #71 4 years ago
  72. theevilaires

    O.G. he called me out mentioning my name WTH? he didn’t have to say that. He knew it would ignite something. You guys around here give that troll to much attention and credit and I can’t understand for what.

    This is a guy who repeatedly tries to get me banned by spamming the shit out of Garratts mail box and giving members of this site links to a function to block my comments yet he is given the green light for trolling and mentioning me after stating he wants to block me asap when Garratt gets the update to the site. Why do you guys even bother with O’Connor and for that matter why don’t you support his shit site then….oh cause its shit thats why.

    He puts me in the same bunch as BDH and itsucks who are exclusive to one platform period. And I’m suppose to sit here and let him stomp me in the nuts!? Are you kidding!? O’Connor is like cancer. No matter how much you treat (put him in his place) the disease it keeps coming and growing back every time.

    #72 4 years ago
  73. The Hindle

    Tea dude dont let him get to you everyone on this site has seen who started this arguement my friend and its not you. Just ignore it.

    #73 4 years ago
  74. Michael O’Connor

    I sent Pat *one* email over a year and a half ago saying I thought you should be banned. He said no, and I said okay. So I have no idea *what* the fuck you’re talking about.

    Talk about making mountains out of molehills.

    They give me credit and attention because, unlike you, I can actually hold a polite and intelligent discussion that is generally well informed. O.G. being a perfect example of this.

    And your entrance into this thread just proved the very point I made, that it’s amazing the kind of great, mature debates we can have when you’re not around.

    #74 4 years ago
  75. spiderLAW

    @66
    It cant be just Halo Reach though. We need to make it fair. 1 match of Halo Reach, 1 Match of Killzone 2, and two matches (1 on PS3, other on 360) of a multiplat (COD4 maybe). I would love to see this go down.

    #75 4 years ago
  76. AHA-Lambda

    *looks at topic after a few hours*

    WTF did i miss here? O_o

    #76 4 years ago
  77. Michael O’Connor

    @75 Don’t own Killzone 2 (not a huge first person shooter fan, though I can appreciate how good a game it is) or MW2 / CoD4 (matter of principle).

    I’ll gladly whip his butt in ModNation Racers though.

    @76 TEA entered the thread.

    #77 4 years ago
  78. Johnny Cullen

    @AHA – I would say World War 3, but civil war seems apt.

    #78 4 years ago
  79. theevilaires

    No need to carry this out here O’Connor head over to the forum. I will dispose of you properly over there. MOD Nation Racers?…..don’t make me laugh kid. You could never best me at any PlayStation game EVER created! The dualshock is a damn near an additional limb of my body.

    The day you beat me is the day I never post here again…so tell me O’Connor how much of a hero do you want to be for your precious XBOTS.

    #79 4 years ago
  80. Michael O’Connor

    @79 Are you taking the piss?

    Seriously?

    The only reason I even commented was because of your reply earlier. If you think I’m going to humour some retarded troll post on the forums, you’ve got another thing coming.

    #80 4 years ago
  81. spiderLAW

    @77 I got you!
    okay…this is just for fun….we are adults….but i like seeing gamer competitions.
    so then here is what the games should be then.

    1 Round of Halo Reach 1 on 1
    1 Round of Mod Nation Racers 1 on 1
    2 Rounds of Tekken 5/6 (1 on PS3, 1 on 360)

    #81 4 years ago
  82. Michael O’Connor

    @81 Tekken 6 would have to be on the 360. I have the “inferior” version. Right TEA? *wink*

    #82 4 years ago
  83. spiderLAW

    @82 You absolutely do! No joke.

    j/k lol

    #83 4 years ago
  84. OlderGamer

    I give up, can’t win. You both have points. Don’t make me go all Granddad on your asses lol. To be honest, I think your both having a bit of fun going at it, so by all means ;)

    #84 4 years ago
  85. Michael O’Connor

    @84 Honestly, I just find it irritating.

    And dude, you’re not even old enough to be my father, so don’t give me that granddad crap! =P

    #85 4 years ago
  86. Gadzooks!

    *sigh* even with it ignored that retard child tea still ruins beyond repair any thread he posts in, and the moderators continue thier ageless slumber…

    #86 4 years ago
  87. snickers01

    Here is what Japan needs to do to get my attention again (this mostly applies to their RPGs):
    1. Get rid of the bad voice acting.
    2. Get rid of the stupid ditzy characters.
    3. Stop rehashing all the formulaic and cliche stories.
    4. Realize that swords are no match for guns.
    5. Stop trying to make all of your characters “badass”, like rolling out of a helicopter 80 feet in the air and landing on one knee, then rising slowly. Or walking slowly towards a groupd of 50 armed guards and single handedly wiping them all out like the cliche that they are.
    6. Stop using slow motion action sequences, those were so 1999.
    7. Don’t put a cheesy, lame female singer singing a crappy slow song in Japanese in your game.
    8. Stop being so xenophobic and afraid of outside ideas and cultures.

    Western games have their own lame cliches too, like the roided marine with a physically impossible body *cough* Gears of War *cough*. Sometimes I think Nintendo and Team Ico are the only ones even trying anymore in Japan. Square Enix found success in FF 7 and since then most of their games have been trying to copy that formula. Team Ninja destroyed Samus, and of course Capcom had to water down Resident Evil with their “corporate conspiracy” plot that dragged the series into monotony.

    #87 4 years ago

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