Capcom: Japanese Games May Not "Have A Hope In Hell"
There was a time when just about all the great games came from Japan and in fact, if you learned a particular title was Western-developed, you were immediately skeptical.
But the industry has changed drastically since those days, and many Japanese publishers have been looking for ways to cater to a growing Western fanbase. This is why Square-Enix has made the strides they have (to mixed reactions), and although we do see a significant shift in the presentation of many Japanese-based titles, Capcom thinks they need to do more. A lot more. In fact, as they outsource more projects to Western developers, they know they still lag behind those same designers. According to an interview Resident Evil 5 producer Jun Takeuchi gave to Xbox World 360 (and cited by Industry Gamers), the Japanese industry may not "have a hope in hell." Said Takeuchi:
"If the Japanese games industry doesn’t evolve and simply maintains its current status quo, I really don’t think we have a hope in hell. Drastically innovative ideas are needed – and quickly – to equal or exceed the Western games industry."
Fellow Capom boss and Mega Man designer Keiji Inafune said something very similar last September; in speaking at the Tokyo Game Show, he said he looked around at all the games on the floor and said to himself, "Man, Japan is over. We're done. Our game industry is finished." While there are plenty of important Japanese franchises, it's clear that the likes of Uncharted, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, and others are either competing favorably with or surpassing the likes of Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, and even Metal Gear Solid. It's just a little discouraging to hear Capcom get so down about it...
5/17/2010 9:14:32 PM Ben Dutka