The good doctors at BioWare have voiced their opinions on Japanese RPG development, and how its attitude of complacency over the years opened the door for Westerners.
Speaking with IndustryGamers, Greg Zeschuk said that because of the influx of Western developed RPGs, Japan’s starting to figure out that the “traditional, very structured, old-school RPG” isn’t selling as well anymore.
“I think what happened is they got very complacent for a very long time,” he said. “They kept making the same thing, and the same thing, and, in a sense, almost provided an opening for all of us to jump in with our style of games.
“I know first hand that they’re looking at our games now; they’re kind of looking at our stuff, the Fable stuff, and Fallout, and all that, and going, ‘what are these things?’ I think they had gotten used to making the same thing over and over, and it was working.
“I think the other thing, too, is that the Japanese market has gotten quite a bit weaker and weaker. It’s just not as strong a market. It used to be a tremendously strong game market, so I think they’re kind of looking at it going, ‘man, we’ve got to figure out where else we can sell these,’ and I think the traditional, very structured, old-school structure RPG wasn’t selling anymore; so now, I think we’re going to see some changes.”
However, this “complacent” attitude is not just something developers in Japan should be concerned with, according to Ray Muzyka. Western developers should always be striving for innovation as well.
“Everybody’s got to be always innovating and always trying to look for new opportunities to build on what they’ve done before,” he said.
“Any group, not referring to any particular one, [but] any studio or group, or any country that has certain development aesthetics, you know, from past times, that doesn’t continue to innovate will get left behind.”
BioWare’s currently mixing stuff together for Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2, looking into Mass Effect 3, and working alongside Lucasarts on the Star Wars MMO.
Maybe EA will have new information on all of these games for us at it’s press event on Monday, June 14.