In an inflammatory presentation at GDC 2012, Mega Man creator and Resident Evil producer Keiji Inafune told the Japanese games industry to pull its finger out.
“The Japanese games industry has become like a frog in a well. It is very closed minded,” Inafune said in a talk called The Future of Japanese Games, as reported by Develop.
“There is a conscience and desire to win missing. We, the Japanese, have forgotten all about that. Back in the day we grew used to winning. At some point these winners became losers, and not acknowledging or accepting that has lead to the tragic fate of Japanese games.”
The former Capcom staffer said he is embarrassed to travel overseas where he feels Japanese games come across as a “blast from the past“.
“They are now just great, great memories,” he said of Japan’s influence on gaming.
“Perhaps the folks who are now running the show in the Japanese games industry are those who simply jumped on a bandwagon. The creations that measured up to global standards were crafted by our predecessors.”
Inafune said his fellow creators won’t end up on top unless they can admit he is correct about the current state of Japanese games.
“There is something you must do to win. You must acknowledge your loss, and start over again. We are humans, and have our own pride, but we cannot win if we keep that pride up. We must believe ‘I will win,'” he said.
Having himself left a comfortable position at a major publisher, Inafune warned against taking the “easy” route and relying on brands. According to tweets from attendees, he said his current project is an action game for Vita with a new hero.
Inafune’s comments have not met with universal approval, although they have had a better reception than indie Phil Fish’s similar line.