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Final Fantasy producer can’t tell the difference between European and American games

Friday, 11th October 2013 11:13 GMT By Dave Cook

Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase has suggested that European games are confined to an American style, and would like to see games from different regions defined by their own culture and styles.

Speaking with NowGamer, Kitase said, “Recently I get a lot of questions that treat the term “J-RPG” in both positive and negative lights. Whether the term is used for better or worse, I feel that the fact that it recognises these games as being distinctly “Japanese” can only be a good thing. I often hear the term “Western style” being used as a comparison or counterpoint to “Japanese style” but am fascinated by this comparison and would really like to ask if there is a distinct “British style” or “European style” or not?

“For example, in the world of cinema there is the Hollywood film and then as a comparison there is say British or French cinema that clearly have different personalities and unique characteristics to them. If we look at music then British rock and American rock are also quite different.

“It is the same for sports… for example in say, motorsport the flavour of Indy car rallies is very different to F1 circuit racing. So basically for all other fields of culture, art and sport etc., even if they use that “Western” term to lump everything together, it is still understood that the character of North American works and European ones are distinct. Even Japanese people get that when we look at it.”

However, when it comes to games Kitase feels that there’s not enough to define games coming from different industries. He suggested that European studios try too hard to ape American styles and sensibilities. Kitase continued, “I personally think that for the games industry to spread and prosper as a form of art or culture then it needs to place value on diversity across different local regions. In that spirit I want to continue bringing out the unique flavour in our Japanese style of games.

“I would really like to hear from Europeans the name of the one game title that they feel really represents European games and is strongly rooted in their culture and am intrigued as to what that game would be. Please, I really want to know! vIncidentally, the game that I personally felt was the most “European” in character out of all those I have played was Alone in the Dark, released by Infogram 20 years ago.”

Do you agree folks? Let us know what you think below. Also, check out this big Final Fantasy anniversary interview I wrote around about this time last year. It’s full of interesting nuggets regarding the history of the series.

Via OXM.

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13 Comments

  1. Luciferous

    The man has a point.

    The problem with creating differing games within our respective cultures is this – America as it is today came from Europe and the type of game termed western is culmination of both.

    Separating our countries and trying to make games based around the individual cultures would lead to some interesting games… for those small communities.

    A game based around a Londoners experiences and culture would be different to a Yorkshireman’s. But they would not appeal to each other.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Xephon_70

    I think Dishonored and the recent Rayman games come closest to having that European feel, they’re certainly not American.

    It’s hard though, especially when one of the biggest markets is the US, I guess you aim your game at that market. It’s a shame more games don’t use European cities as their locales, although even Remember Me didn’t feel like it was set in Paris most of the time. More games in London please.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. monkeygourmet

    They all look the same…

    Dats Wacist!!!

    #3 1 year ago
  4. absolutezero

    I don’t think you could confuse anything from Eastern Europe for games developed anywhere else.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. KineticCalvaria

    @2, I’d love more games set in London, one of the reasons why I’m looking forward to The Order 1886.

    I tend to agree though our games are very Americanised for the most part.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Pytox

    @5 http://extraction.nexon.net/teaser/ ;-)

    #6 1 year ago
  7. xino

    difference?
    AMERICA- cool, makes sense, technology, changes all the time
    JAPAN- kids saving the world, RPG, kids, pants, no changes and love to stick to old stuff

    that’s the difference.
    i’ll stick to American thanks!

    #7 1 year ago
  8. dravenkaze

    Dont lump eu in with usa shooter crap, he should play heavy rain nothing like that in usa….love to naughty dog also

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Un-HolyMOTHERofGOD

    @8 If he did, that’s odd, because Europeans make shooters too.

    What about The Walking Dead? That’s similar to Heavy Rain. You walk around, point at shit, click it. At least that’s sum total of the experience I had with those games.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. FeaturePreacher

    As an American, I’d say the difference is that America loves the violence and is scared of women’s breasts, while Europe is ok with the violence and aren’t scared of women’s breasts.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. yeoung

    I disagree. European games usually have a more sarcastic and cynical undertone, whereas Northern American games tend to be more dudebro and extravagant in its power fantasies.

    Stylistically there isn’t a lot of difference, but looking at narrative, especially characterization and character development reveals certain discrepancies. In terms of narrative, NA made games tend to be event-driven, whereas European games tend to be largely character-driven.

    Though I’m very much a fan of the town-to-town JRPG template popularized by Japanese made games, cultural dissonance has seemingly held back this particular designer from appreciating the subtleties of game design beyond genre tropes.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Pitts

    Though I think there are plenty of thematic and stylistic differences between American and European efforts, I’ll have to give him a nod:

    I usually can’t tell apart a US/Canadian/European game unless I know beforehand which studio made it.

    BUT the only reason I usually know a game came from Japan is because they have a style of art particular to that country.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. fearmonkey

    As mentioned before, Dishonored feels very European. I’d love more games based on history like Assassin’s Creed, The Order, etc, where you have a open city of the past to explore.

    Mafia 2 is a great example of this, an american game that really captures the feel of the times during it’s first level in WW2 times. I wish more games would do that.

    I am want a next gen Jack the Ripper game where you can explore an open world, the order will come closest to that, but it’s not exactly the same.
    A video game version of “From Hell” Would be perfect.

    #13 1 year ago

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