Former Team Ninja boss Tomonobu Itagaki has said developers in the Japanese games industry, especially the younger generation, “shouldn’t be afraid of a slap in the face.”
Not in the literal sense, obviously, as Itagaki just wants them to stop playing it safe.
Speaking with Kotaku at TGS, the industry vet believes the industry in Japan is low on confidence, which is “terrible,” and the “worst thing possible.”
“It’s terible that there is no younger generation of prominent Japanese developers coming through,” he lamented. “The young people of today should be confident. Even if that confidence comes from nowhere, you should act like it comes from somewhere.
“They shouldn’t be afraid of a slap in the face… many, many times I tell them, ‘you shouldn’t be afraid of getting a slap in the face’. Even the masters, like Picasso, can never please everybody.
“When you create something, there will always be people who don’t like it. There are people who don’t like what I make, and say bad things about them, and to me that’s like a slap in the face. So young people need to be more confident, they have to be willing to crash into something ahead of them whether other people like it or not”.
Since Itagaki seems to have confidence in spades, he may have a point.
Valhalla Game Studios, Itagaki’s firm which he formed after leaving Team Ninja, are working on Devil’s Third for PS3, Wii U, and Xbox 360. The game, which is to be published by THQ, was a no-show at TGS this year.