Itagaki calls Japanese game market a “modern form of sakoku”

By Stephany Nunneley, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 19:13 GMT


Former Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki has called the Japanese game market the equivalent of sakoku, which was when Japan closed it’s borders to to the outside world 400 years ago.

“I think that, in time, [the games market] will end up much like the Japanese film industry, you know? I mean it will become similar in terms of its competitiveness in mass markets, its ability to raise funds, and its technological prowess,” he told Kotaku. “I mean, Kojima-san at Konami has been talking about the technological side of the issue for quite some time now, hasn’t he?

“Whether it goes into a major decline or not will depend on the publishers and game creators here in Japan. There’s no point in traveling the same path that Japan did 400 years ago, after all. I’m talking about sakoku, the policy in which Japan closed its borders to the outside world. What the industry is doing right now is just a modern form of sakoku.

“What I’m trying to get at is that you’ve got to be an Earthling first, and a Japanese second.

As far as an announcement regarding the games he has been working on, he said that “it’s just not time to announce anything quite yet”, and added that “my partners and I are working on quite a few bombshells at the moment”.

Good to know.

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