PS3 News: Okami, Viewtiful Joe Creator: "Western Developers Are Superior" - PS3 News

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Okami, Viewtiful Joe Creator: "Western Developers Are Superior"

You know the winds of change have swept through your industry when a man like Hideo Kojima says his team needs to "start from zero" and attempt to make titles that appeal more to the worldwide population. Then there are many other Japanese developers who all hint at lagging behind Western game development and now, one of them comes right out and says it.

In a recent DevelopMag interview, executive director for Platinum Games (comprised of "key members" of Capcom's Clover Studio), Atsushi Inaba, made a bold statement. The man behind the likes of Okami and Viewtiful Joe admitted that currently, Western developers are "superior," and Japanese designers need to step up to the challenge. Said Inaba:

"To be honest, I think that western developers are superior to those in Japan overall. So we the Japanese developers should realise that we have to work hard to reach the western level. We're fast reaching a stage where it's going to be about individual developers and not about what country they are in, globalisation is coming to our industry too."

That last bit is certainly true; the globalization of the industry seems to solidify with every passing day. As for which is "better," the argument continues to rage, but there's no denying that things have changed drastically in the past decade. Remember a time when, if you went into a store to examine the available console games, and you saw one that was Western-made, you put it down in disgust? I remember that time. But these days, many of the best titles every year come from Western studios and the Japanese impact has indeed lessened.

You may want to read that whole interview; Inaba also talks about the importance of original IPs in gaming as well, and says his team's "vision has always been to create new IPs." He admits that it's a difficult process but if you can pull it off, "the rewards are massive." Well, sure...if an IP is a massive success, it spawns a massively successful franchise. ;)

2/19/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (28 posts)

PS3addict
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 10:50:25 AM
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Sweet, now where is ghostbusters, brutal legend and a few others that I can not think of right now?

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coverton341
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 11:09:21 AM
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"We're fast reaching a stage where it's going to be about individual developers and not about what country they are in, globalisation is coming to our industry too."

I agree with this and am a little scared of it at the same time. I just hope that Japanese developers do not try to become like western developers and lose that eastern charm to the games. If Japan starts pumping out FPS and action/adventure titles of a western type and slow down on eastern RPGs and such it would be a huge let down.

Here's to hoping they can capture the western market and keep their flair

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www
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 11:33:27 AM

couldn't have said it better!

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K ASH
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 3:37:05 PM

I dont believe that the japanese r ever going to loose thier flair and thats because most of thier influence is from manga,anime,artist sense, asian pop culture e.t.c

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fundando
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 11:38:40 AM
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I remember the times when I always had to wait six months or more for all the games I wanted to come to the states. But still, 50% of my games are from Japanese developers. I think we evened out.

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Edito
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 11:54:12 AM
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Im not seeing this like this are superior and those are superior gamers nowa day have the oportunity to experience so many different types of games and the jap developers can't develop every type of games... and yeah more ppl use to like FPS and more west orienteted games insteed of RPGs they need to start doing more of the jap games for this industry not only rely on level 5 and shiti S-E forgive me... i think its that...

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Scarecrow
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 12:09:51 PM
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lol wow, this guy's such a idiot lol

Let me remind him that it was Capcom of Japan which created Street Fighter IV and Resident Evil 5.

Oh crap and those two game's bit bit the crap right out of Viewtiful Joe and Okami.

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Reccaman18
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 10:20:12 PM

I think its even. This guy is just being modest. I would say that, based on the games I've seen and played lately, both regions have plenty of good titles.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 11:17:52 PM

No...definitely no :| I'm sorry but the experience I had with Okami was life changing..and from what I've seen with RE5, I've lost interest. And SF4 is definitely good, but no where near wide-audience. Any 'casual' gamer will lose interest...especially after fighing Seth for the 20th time :| Viewtiful Joe was epic and so was the 2nd one. It was a great IP and I truly wish Okami was remade for an actual next-gen system, instead of that shitty Wii port they did :| too bad Clover studios is no more

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BTNwarrior
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 12:12:43 PM
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I do admit I own more top tier games that were made in the west than ones that were made out east, but you got to give credit where it is due and I have yet to find a western game that blew my mind like MGS4 did

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Kevadu
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 12:31:28 PM
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I don't know about industry trends and all that, but I can say that personally I still tend to prefer the Japanese games. I just hope they don't lose sight of what makes Japanese games great...

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 12:56:46 PM
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All im going to say is i disagree........

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convergecrew
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 1:06:30 PM
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Im going to go against the majority here and say I have to agree with this guy. There always will be the big budget awesomeness like MGS4 and SF4, but the percentage of great Western games vs. great Japanese games is no contest IMO.

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 1:07:58 PM
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alternative much?, i think that pretty much goes for anyone who agrees with this.

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convergecrew
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 1:52:50 PM

haha, i understand what you mean, but for me personally I lived in Japan for 4 years and gave up gaming for a few years after that because all the Japanese games started to feel the same. I just got sick of it (PS2 era). I sort of rediscovered my love for gaming after moving back to the US, getting a PS3 and being exposed to the western gaming world. Its all abit of perspective.

Last edited by convergecrew on 2/19/2009 1:53:50 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 2:47:17 PM
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He isn't being specific enough in which aspects make western devs superior. Is it graphics, new IPs, innovation? Anyway, I agree with coverton, if they jump in and make shooters instead of RPGs I will be a shell of a gamer.

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Victor321
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 2:52:13 PM
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Well in the beginning the Japanese were the kings of gaming, (SNES, PS, to name a couple) so I completely agree with him.

However, Japan will always be king of manga/anime. Hands-Down.

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heyface
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 3:37:13 PM
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japanese made games are far superior in every way

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K ASH
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 3:42:34 PM
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I would like to c the new age japanese game empliment action,innovative orientated gameplay.

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LightShow
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 4:47:57 PM
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There will always be a market for games approached the japanese way, but japan devs need to kick it up a few notches and start delivering distinctly different yet wide-appealing games if they want their market share back.

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Im The Man
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 5:54:14 PM
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Ben do you use a pc or an apple computer?

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fundando
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 7:39:24 PM
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It doesn't matter where the games are made. Great games in every genre are made around all around the world, and everyone has something different to offer.

Although half of my games still come from Japanese studios mainly because those are games I don't resell.

Last edited by fundando on 2/19/2009 7:39:37 PM

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kevinater321
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @ 8:07:53 PM
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Personally i don't reallt play Jap games because i like more of the FPS than the RPG. But thats really just opinion and also i'm half and half with what this guy says although i do not own very many Japanese games but i have play enough to kinda tell that they are sorta related and all look the same ( No hate Comments please :) )

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slayerkillemall
Friday, February 20, 2009 @ 3:25:26 AM
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i mean no disrespect by this comment but....
developers have always known that shooters sell the most even if rpgs are starting to get bigger fancier the crowd that grew up on the final fantasy nintendo era is old and most dont have/want to spend so many hours in a game just to get some action.
im sure jap devs will always make great rpgs titles to cater to that audience but if they dont step up and make some shooters most of them will eventually go out of business and they know it..

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DGo8
Friday, February 20, 2009 @ 3:48:44 PM
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I think its tha fact that there are so many western games out there i mean ALOT...but wen tha Eastern games come out..The likes of..MSG Series...Street Fighter...Devil May Cry..Residences Evil(s)..most of tha time there somethink spesh!.

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Fane1024
Friday, February 20, 2009 @ 4:38:18 PM
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I think the main problem with Japanese developers is that they seem to want to create the same game over and over again, with only superficial "gimmicky" changes (not that this doesn't also happen in the West). Not only do they not strive to innovate technically, they don't even adopt the innovations made by other developers.

Examples: FFX and FFX-2 (two top-notch productions) STILL had essentially static backgrounds at a time when games like Jak & Daxter and GTAIII were creating open fully 3D environments, using streaming technology to avoid loading, etc. It took until FFXI and FFXII for Square to realize that there was such a thing as a second analog stick.

...and don't even get me started on Resident Evil. The lack of innovation was so bad for so long that people were actually impressed by the RE4 controls, which are still terrible (and remain so in RE5).

If I were hiring a team, I would want my art/design team to be (mostly?) Japanese, but I would want my gameplay designers to be from the West.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 2/20/2009 4:42:07 PM

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DGo8
Friday, February 20, 2009 @ 5:17:20 PM
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I Agree^^^

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Aftab
Sunday, February 22, 2009 @ 6:57:58 AM
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Japan has a higher cost of living and sensitive economy which means investment is much more conservative, and budgets are tighter. Therefore, they are less likely to press on new innovation as far as game/graphics engines (though MGS4 definitely outdid every other game so far except for Uncharted imo). However, I think the lack of Japanese shooters, has less to do with know-how or technology, than it has to do with the culture. Japan doesn't really have a gun culture. But they've got martial arts in spades, and not suprisingly, they're fighting games still rule.

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