RE5 Producer On Western Devs: "Japan Is Now Their Target"
There was a time when all the best games came from Japan and Western developers were just starting to test the waters. These days, it seems as if Western devs are hogging the spotlight - and in many cases, rightly so - while the Japanese studios fail to keep pace.
According to a recent DevelopMag interview, this concerns Resident Evil 5 producer Jun Takeuchi, who admits to being "worried" about the impact Western developers could have on Japan in 2009. We've seen many huge names in the Japanese game industry touch on this subject in the past, including Square-Enix's Yoichi Wada, and all of them seem to understand that their once proud tradition of excellence is lagging. Said Takeuchi- "I'm worried about the movements of Western developers. Japan is now their target - it's the last big marketplace. The truth is that Western studios are making great games, and they're going to continue to do so next year too." He certainly has a point, as several of the most anticipated games of the year aren't made by a Japanese developer (Killzone 2, God of War III, Heavy Rain, Infamous, etc.). Takeuchi continued:
"It's not good if Japanese developers are making games that can't be enjoyed by Japanese people. I hope that 2009 is a year where developers - not just Capcom, but other makers too - can have big hits that improve the Japanese games industry as a whole. 2009 will also see Resident Evil 5 finally released, and it'll also then see us on to our next step. We haven't shown what Capcom has in store for 2009 yet, so I hope we can surprise you all soon."
There's no doubt in our minds that RE5 will be one of the year's best, and let's not forget about the impending Final Fantasy blockbusters from Square-Enix. In 2008, the best game of the year was Konami's Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, so clearly, Japanese studios are far from incompetent. But at the same time, look at the other nominees for Game of the Year last year; LittleBigPlanet, Resistance 2, Dead Space, Bioshock, Grand Theft Auto IV...they're all Western-made, and this is what Takeuchi is talking about. It's a definite changing of the guard, but we still believe certain Japanese teams can give us incredible experiences.
1/2/2009 Ben Dutka