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Inafune: Technology Has Become Too Big A Focus In Games

So many want better and better technology. But some, like former Capcom boss Keiji Inafune, believes we've actually gone too far.

In speaking to Play Magazine (as cited by NowGamer) about Inafune's latest title, Soul Sacrifice for the PlayStation Vita, Inafune expressed his indifference toward more technological advances.

"In the 25 years of gaming history that I have witnessed, there have been many technological revolutions and evolutions in the creation of games. However, recently the specs and technology have become too advanced, and I feel that the element of surprise is lost.

When thinking about the next level of creativity, I thought that I could implement emotion in to the game system, such as 'emotional conflict', 'doubts' and 'the suffering of having to make the ultimate decisions' therefore taking a challenge with Soul Sacrifice that no-one has taken before."

You know, this isn't the first time we've heard a similar set of statements. Quantic Dream boss David Cage believes we need to put emotion and innovation ahead of power; Inafune seems to also want "emotional conflict" rather than prettier pictures. And to some extent, one can't help but to agree with both these guys.

Tags: gaming, video games, game technology, keiji inafune

11/29/2012 11:28:11 AM Ben Dutka

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Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 11:47:28 AM

A lot of the time I wonder how much more content a dev could make if they would focus less on making realistic graphics and all that flashy eye candy. Don't get me wrong I love how a game like BF3 can look photo-realistic at times but imagine how much processing power and space that takes up.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 11:48:24 AM

I'll take both. I'm excited at the thought of next gen, if only because of the buzz that gets created for the industry when a new console gets released. WiiU didn't really create that much buzz - don't know if that's on Nintendo for their marketing, or just because consumers just aren't that interested. This generation has gotten a little long in the tooth. The Last of Us and Beyond are the only refreshing titles that I'm looking forward to next year.

But I agree that more developers should take chances as Inafune suggests. Unfortunately that's not a good business model for most publishers. So I guess it makes you appreciate titles like Heavy Rain that much more.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 12:04:49 PM

Kaz of PD mentioned similar statement about GT and a RPG game with the concept of life and death that he says interest in making someday, if ever.

Anyway, technology is a natural progression. It's simply creativity not being able to keep up, not so much that technology has become a hindrance, focus, or whatever these guys are implying. Emotion and creativity is importance, but the natural progression in technology isn't exactly something developers can just ignore and stick to creativity.

Is this really a problem though? Games this gen, except Final Fantasy specifically, have been just fine. They are what they're suppose to be. I don't understand the sudden barrage of these comments. Perhaps they don't want next gen of consoles to arrive anytime soon? Unless, you're Ubisoft of course.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 12:05:55 PM

"specs and technology have become too advanced"

That's where Japanese companies are in trouble.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 3:21:48 PM

No, I think this is wrong. See I think that what we are missing is that to a large extent western developers - especially those from a PC background - like to work on impressive technology for their games. The latest game engine technology and so forth. There is an emphasis on the technical achievement of their product. This has even expanded to the point where as your own comment suggests people rank Japanese developers because their focus is not the same as western developers. Because they dare to focus not so much on the technology, you're suggesting they're in trouble. I think that's completely wrong.

It's just as it was with Ubisoft earlier whining that they need a new console cycle to continue innovating and that without it they cannot. That is the same as saying that they can do nothing with the technology and they need more technology to proceed.

The thing is, creativity in software does not come from the hardware or technology, it comes from the artistic creativity of the designers and programmers involved. Eliciting an emotional response from gamers is *not* a function of technology it's a function of the story, characters and immersion/involvement that the player feels with that story and character. You don't need a 8-core 3.5GHz CPU with 8GB of RAM and a 64 core GPU with 2GB of video memory to create a good story or character, and certainly not to create a dilemma which causes an emotional response with the gamer.

This view that the technology is holding us back might work in open world shooters, or games that require ever more realistic physics, but games that focus on the other things such as artistry, story and character do not require the technology to achieve that. In fact if anything the technology can hamper it because people pay more attention to frame rates and fill rates than they do to anything else.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 4:39:31 PM

I suggest they are in trouble because not keeping up with the latest technology hurts customer interest and sales.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 12:46:10 PM

I agree with Inafune & Cage, but I'll still take the tech too please(but not the part that's trying to rush us into a "digital only" gaming world).

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Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 4:15:24 PM

Yeah, I agree but also think you can have incredible power and hardware along with creativity.

Powerful hardware is only the vessel creative development rides. You could have hardware from the future that is a 1000 times more powerful than our current best. But if you don't have any great ideas, story or game play options then it's wasted. I just don't understand why they cannot walk hand in hand. Cage and Inafune are missing the point. Powerful hardware makes their creative worlds more immersive and real. Load times can pull you out of your fantasy. Pop in can also detract from immersion. It's time for the PS4 and we all know that. Dull textures, horrible grass, pop in and load times need to disappear sooner than later. Probably won't see these problems disappear until PS5/6, who knows, maybe the PS4 will be a graphical juggernaut.

Last edited by CrusaderForever on 11/29/2012 4:18:25 PM

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Friday, November 30, 2012 @ 12:47:02 AM

May it is just because that the technologically advance games with less focus in emotions is in the spotlight more often. But how about some games like Time Travelers, Idolmaster and all of the adventure (novel) games from japan. And some cheap action/rpg game from smartphones (Zenonia). There are many developers who already doing what you want to do.

Just shut up and make what you want to make and we will play what we want to play.

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Friday, November 30, 2012 @ 3:40:36 AM

lets just worry about designing our games properly, then we can worry about emotion and story no?
we need to bring the FUN, and creativity games use to have!
games use to be so well designed, they had such a added layer of depth and attention to detail.
now everything has to be simplified so a 2 day old ant could master it!
only simplicity, and big flashy explosions matter!

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Friday, November 30, 2012 @ 3:10:34 PM

No one is suggesting you push the current tech to its limits. If you want to make a game that is focused on story and emotion than do it. The tech has not advanced too far, that might be one of the silliest comments I've heard. As Crusader pointed out the advancement of tech can actually make the games more immersive and bring much greater emotion into the game. They need like the oppsotie side(wanting more advanced arguements) to stop complaining about these types of things and just make some games. If publishers aren't willing to bite on your ideas then start some kickstarter programs, because gamers want these types of games and are willing to fund them.

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Sunday, December 02, 2012 @ 9:34:52 PM

Power isn't everything... I'd take a well written story behind the game over cutting edge images any day. Most books are better than their movie counter parts for a reason...

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