: Will Japanese Devs Recover Next Generation?

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Will Japanese Devs Recover Next Generation?

Let's face up to facts- For the most part, Japanese developers have been lagging behind their Western counterparts for years. Most major Japanese designers, including guys like Hideo Kojima and Keiji Inafune, flat-out admit this lagging and say their studios have to step up.

But the bottom line is that in many ways, they haven't stepped up. While we can no doubt expect masterpieces from Kojima (I still believe that's true), the days of Japanese developers ruling the roost are long gone. Domination doesn't appear to be an option any longer; mere survival might be the goal. So will the Eastern developers stage a comeback in the next generation? Will franchises like Final Fantasy and Resident Evil stop being so damn controversial, and just end up being what the fans want?

Collaborating with Western teams seems to have worked out well for many Japanese developers, so maybe they could keep doing that. The only problem is that from a technical standpoint, it really does seem to be all about Western studios leaving the Japanese in the dust (especially recently). So would advanced technology really be a benefit to developers in Japan? Or is this simply an ongoing problem that involves the Japanese trying to cater to an increasingly Western-oriented audience? Perhaps the #1 question is- Can Japan makes games that are globally appealing?

3/1/2013 Ben Dutka

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Comments (23 posts)

Knightzane
Friday, March 01, 2013 @ 10:57:58 PM
Reply

Capcoms Dragons Dogma last year, and the ps4's Deep Down gives me some hope that they already are working towards it. The only japanese devs i believe need to start working harder is Square. Publishing good games doesn't make you a good company. It makes you a publisher of good games. But yeah, i think some onimusha, a traditional final fantasy, and maybe some new IP's.

Capcom did an amazing job on DD. Some people didn't like it but i understand. It didn't have enough content to keep you going back to it and thats perfectly ok. I do know that the story blew my mind and the DLC is looking to be just as amazing as the regular game. Deep Down looks to have britanese influence but because its being made by Capcom its going to have some japanese flair. I just hope Capcoms done experimenting. SE gets their heads out of their arse. LV5 has been good this gen. Shame people overlook their games (wkc1, 2) but then i also understand not everyone likes grinding for 400 hours for items and guild rank. I just woke up so i apologize for my spelling.

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maxpontiac
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 12:54:18 AM

Dragon's Dogma was a great game.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 2:10:19 AM

just wish it didn't take six months to get from place to place.

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YashaZz
Sunday, March 03, 2013 @ 2:28:30 AM

How sad, the PS4 is around the corner and we didn't see a single Onimusha title this gen.

:(

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Kiryu
Friday, March 01, 2013 @ 11:13:42 PM
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Honestly I know the Yakuza Studio did well this generation and they'll do well the next generation.
I want CAPCOM to do well the next generation,Cause the last generation Capcom games were the best cause they were new ip's.
honestly i dont care about Square Enix and they're games.
I want The Last Guardian.
After Ni no kuni,I sure hope Level 5 has more games next generation like that.
On the PS2 i used to play Japanese games more than any other games on the PS3 the total opposite.I hope the PS4 I can can play great games whether is Japanese or not.

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shadowpal2
Friday, March 01, 2013 @ 11:52:54 PM
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Does stepping up mean...technology wise? Being able to be as realistic as possible with physics/graphics/motion etc?

I really could not care less if they don't achieve that. What matters is making a fun game. Japanese games are all about fun which is why we loved them during the PS1 and PS2 generation. Not to mention...the PSP generation (though there were just remakes of PS1/PS2 games).

What happened this generation is that most of the studios simply lost their way. They tried to be "WESTERN" which made their games NOT FUN and just repetitive.

ATLUS, KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS, AND SEGA (for the Yakuza series) did a great job however.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 12:48:36 AM
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I'm hoping the easier architecture on PS4 helps them out. Whether or not they come back to being a force will depend on if they keep trying to imitate and be influenced by western games or if they just find a way to make their old playstyles new again. In short, will they build on previous success or continue down the path that led to ruin?

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maxpontiac
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 1:06:35 AM
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Take a look at Polyphony Digital on the PS3. With GT5P and GT5 selling 15 million copies combined, it proves that Japanese game companies can be successful.

PD stuck to their guns and delivered a game that was faithful to the core experience. Sure the game wasn't perfect, but the driving was and many people were able to overlook the flaws.

Once the others find their magic again I don't see any reason why Japanese studios can't equal their western counterparts.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 10:51:54 AM

To be fair, that's only one major Japanese franchise; just about all others seem to have fallen on tough times. And furthermore, it isn't difficult to appease the fans...it's a racing game. You can't very well turn it into Twisted Metal, can you? ;)

There's no creative freedom that would allow Polyphony to mess it up. They just have to keep making better racing games. With Final Fantasy and Resident Evil, you could feasibly turn them into FPSs if they wanted, and this is part of the problem.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 11:58:47 AM

Square Enix would have turned it into twisted metal if they had the property.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 12:35:50 PM

HA.

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Excelsior1
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 12:01:59 PM

I wouldn't hold PD up as shining example of a Japanese devbloper getting it right. GT5 is easily the most unpolished GT game to date that featured a horrible design choice of the premium/standard car split and a bunch of recycled content from GT4. Another bad choice was 1080p 60 fps. Sounds good on paper but when the game shipped it was clear the game was straining the PS3 hardware. When I saw those awful pixelated shadows and screen tearing I thought I was gong to cry. The GT games were always among the best looking games you could find on PlayStation hardware...until GT5 came along. GT5 damaged the franchise and is the lowest rated GT game to date.

Anotrher thing to call PD out on is how freaking long it took the to make the most unpolished GT game to date. They managed to get Gt a spec out 9 months after the PS2 released. They gave PS2 owners a great a looking and FINISHED game that went a long way towards shutting up the naysayers. Back when the PS3 was struggling it could have used a great looking GT game to counter all the doomsayers, but it's clear now why it wasb't released then. PD was trying to cram a game into the PS3 that clearly the hardware couldn't handle. 720p is fine. Thank you very much. Take it down 720p and use those extra assets to clean up those awful shadows and pixalated effects.

I saw a story that stated GT6 will be a PS3 release. Yeah right. At the speed PD works it will be a PS8 release. Either that or it wil just be a giant GT5 patch.

Sorry, to me PD represents exactly what is wrong with Japanese developers. Slow working, and slow to adapt. Poor design choices as well. The days of 5-6 development cycles are over. Good Lord, Bioware made 3 Mass Effect games plus two Dragon Age games while we get 1 unpolished game from PD. Get with the times or just get out of the way PD. Same goes to Team Ico who apparently don't know how to make a game anymore.

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Beamboom
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 3:00:19 AM
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The latest comments from Kojima seems to have not reached these shores (Ben sleeping on his watch? Wooot?), where he talks about the PS4 and the future of his games.

Quote:
"But what I'm really more interested in is other ways of expanding into the next generation - a more horizontal expansion, where you're going to be doing things online, more of a social aspect. People will be able to interact with the game through various devices, through various media - such as tablets, smart phones, etc.

I think it's this new type of interaction - this new way of interacting with the game world - that's more exciting to me. And I want to bring the Metal Gear franchise into that new wider world of interaction."

It might not be what you *want* to hear, but this is at least one, influential Japanese voice speaking about the direction they want to take with the next generation.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/2/2013 3:32:33 AM

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daus26
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 6:41:15 AM

Yeah, it doesn't exactly sound intriguing, but I am very curious on how he'll implement it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 8:43:44 AM

Koji would probably use it in a cool way. Your cell phone would make the alert sound, you pick it up and check in to home base, do a little stealth puzzle, and then when you get home a weapon mod is unlocked in MGS5.

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Beamboom
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 9:45:54 AM

Yeah by all means, I think there could be plenty cool ideas and clever implementations of these technologies. But then again I'm not having the social and/or smartphone angst that seems to be so common around here. :)

But either way, if what he says in any way can be an indicator of anything, it seems they are not only working on creating games for the various platforms individually, but also merging the different platforms within the same game.
It will be interesting to see how that can work.

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/2/2013 9:46:22 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 10:52:52 AM

I'm not even remotely interested in any of that crap, Beamboom. You know that. :) Hence, Kojima's comments only depress me.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 3/2/2013 10:53:18 AM

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Beamboom
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 3:29:42 PM

Oh - that is no secret, Ben. :D

But I don't think his comments should be ignored just cause you don't like what he says. It is still very relevant to this topic - or *can* be.

Is he right - is that where we are heading? Cause if so, then the Japanese might be on the ball early this time around, and thus catch up. I somehow imagine the Japanese to be more on the cutting edge when it comes to handhelds and "gadgets" like that.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/2/2013 3:33:34 PM

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Liltman
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 6:22:31 AM
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I'm hoping 2013 and 2014 are the return of good old fashioned turn based rpg's.

With the easier development on vita and ps4 maybes developers will stop making excuses and finally give us some. Ni nu Kuni was a step in the right direction so let's hope this sheds some light on things and developers take notice :)

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BTNwarrior
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 7:41:05 AM
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Dark Souls 2 should be incredible

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Excelsior1
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 10:00:32 AM
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They might recover to some extent but that's partly because of how far they have fallen. They are no longer lleaders in the industry and their influence has diminished considerabley. It's not just Japanese game quality that has declined. They seem to have some serious production issues too. The Last Guardian and FFvs13 are two perfect examples.

Sure the West has had some games stuck in development hell like Duke Nukem and Aliens CM, but those games bounced from developer to developer. That's not been the case with TLG and FFvs13. Team Ico hasn't even made a game yet for this generation of consoles and this has been the longest console cycle to date!!

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maxpontiac
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 10:12:09 AM

Yes... because they don't know what to do. If these companies stay with the magic core gameplay they created, the fans will take care of the rest.

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Douchebaguette
Saturday, March 02, 2013 @ 3:26:00 PM
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I have hope that they could revive theirselves. But in the end it doesn't matter where the transfer of rule moves, as long as it is establishing the industry as a whole with games that prove to be more atmoshpetic, infuencial and immersive over other entertainment mediums such as novels and film.

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