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Yamaoka: Japanese industry needs to think globally

Thursday, 29th March 2012 00:52 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Grasshopped Manufacture’s Akira Yamaoka has added his name to a list of Japanese developers expressing concerns for the domestic development scene.

Yamaoka, who works as a designer and producer but is best known for his work with game soundtracks like Silent Hill, told EDGE that he feels the Japanese games industry is “struggling a bit”.

“Maybe we reached the maximum that we could achieve, and we have to admit it,” he said.

“I think that those Japanese people who do not understand cultures overseas will not be able to create entertainment for the global market.

“Creating videogames is a service. If you can’t, or don’t want, to see and meet users around the world, I don’t think it’s possible to provide the entertainment they want.”

Yamaoka’s comments echo those of several prominent Japanese industry figures over the last few years, including former Capcom creative Keiji Inafune, who gave a rousing speech during GDC 2012 on a similar theme.

Grasshopper Manufacture’s latest is Xbox Live Arcade exclusive Sine Mora; Yamaoka was sound director for the shoot-’em-up.

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9 Comments

  1. Da Man

    Yamaoka needs to compose some decent soundtrack instead of shizophrenical gibberish for once.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. OlderGamer

    “I think that those Japanese people who do not understand cultures overseas will not be able to create entertainment for the global market.

    “Creating videogames is a service. If you can’t, or don’t want, to see and meet users around the world, I don’t think it’s possible to provide the entertainment they want.”

    Plus one.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    @1: That would be every soundtrack he ever made.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Da Man

    #3 – For you, probably. My ears die when I hear that.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. YoungZer0

    @4: Yeah, but you know, he’s famous for a reason. You’re in the minority.

    Dislike all his soundtracks? Which one did you hear?

    #5 3 years ago
  6. LOLshock94

    Why should Japan think globally when western developers dont think globally?
    tbh i think japan should just keep doing what they are doing and let western developers keep doing what they are doing.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Xiahou_Yuan

    Hummm, when we look at the major Japanese titles that have hit the west during the last 2 decades and made huge fanbases and proved to be mainstream franchises , you will find em to be very westernized. Look at MGS and RE for example, two of the oldest running franchises that still get good sales and reception (Despite RE’s mixed reactions about the direction) and so you can’t blame the younger devs for aiming to deliver such an experience but failing which set the idea of using western studios to design the games and even that didn’t end up well.

    Between those two different approaches, you have fans crying for publishers to stay true to their Japanese franchises (Silent Hill jumps to my mind) and to keep the roots that they have always loved about them. I think the JP devs should keep the established westernized franchises as they are and keep the Japanese market-oriented as they are. Developing a good westernized game won’t be that hard if not forced, but who am I kidding, the pubs don’t seem to care.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Da Man

    #5 – Bayonetta has a Metacritic ratio of 9.0, and is regarded as a wonderful videogame by many, that doesn’t stop you from disliking it.

    Anyway, he’s no Kurt Cobain, let alone Grieg or something. I ‘ve played all the games in the early 2000s, thus I heard all. I even thought of them as something intelligent when I was 20. Hometown is particularly terrible, and so is pretty much everything.

    I don’t like people who explore unconsciousness for the sake of some inane psychoanalysis or enjoyment, and I don’t like Stephen King and Silent Hill… :o In other words I’m not into it.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. OlderGamer

    lolshock the problem for jp vs the (global) west is market size. They would be leaving a ton of money on the table if they just walked away. If they want to sell games in NA they need a different appraoch.

    Unless…

    …you look at things from a slightly different angle.

    No doubt that the JP studies have shown that they can not out Gears of War, Gears of War. They can’t out Halo, Halo. And FFonline is no World of Warcraft. Sure all givens. But…

    The top globaly selling games this gen are Nintendo games. Mario. WiiFit. Mario Kart. Smash Bros. etc. So I think it becomes a topic of what flavor of games are you looking at?

    The west, by in large, doesn’t want blue long haired, femine looking, under age emo teen boys as heros. They want Dom, Master chief; games like Uncharted, Elder Scrolls. We live in a market where Skyrim/Fallout sell more the FF/Dragon Quest.

    The problems for jp devs is that many of their games are not universaly apealing. Thats the part many of them are speaking out against. Again i find it ironic, because the jp have provided some of this gen biggest sellers.

    #9 3 years ago

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