Capcom On Japan's Industry: "We Can't Rely On Our Own Skill"
It's a very dark - albeit common - theme in the Japanese gaming press as of late: the Japanese side of the business seems to be slipping away.
And Capcom's Keiji Inafune has proven to be one of the more paranoid, typically predicting doom and gloom if things continue as they are. In speaking to VideoGamer at E3 last week, the Mega Man and Dead Rising creator said the Japanese gaming industry will "disappear totally." He says that every year he comes to E3, the Japanese contingent gets smaller, and that "if you look at the major titles, they're now primarily Western." Furthermore, looking down the road, "a lot of the key announcements are also Western titles." This echoes Inafune's comments after last year's Tokyo Game Show, where he said quite simply, "Man, Japan is over. We're done. Our game industry is finished." During E3, he added:
"I think to myself sometimes, if we keep on this course, the Japanese gaming market will disappear totally. That is one of the valid concerns that I have, which is why as a Japanese publisher, as Capcom, we really want to fight the good fight, and try and make our games work within this more primarily Western market."
Still, Inafune wants to keep kicking, as Capcom plans to collaborate with the Western side with titles such as Dead Rising 2, which is in development at Canadian studio Blue Castle Games. Said Inafune:
"We can't just rely on our own skill, our own Japanese developer skill and know-how, to steer us through this dark time. It's going to have to come through collaborative efforts and co-operation. It's our US staff, our European staff, working closely with them. Of course we are working with a lot of different Western developers as well."
Capcom is hardly the only company to take this business line. Square-Enix has been well-known for catering to an entirely new audience this generation; they've picked up Eidos, opened a studio in LA, and even put their flagship franchise on the Xbox 360. And that's hardly the only example of a Japanese developer desperately trying to appeal to the Western crowd...we're just wondering why they have to do it while alienating their long-time fans in and out of Japan. They must honestly believe all those fans are gone...
6/22/2010 10:35:21 AM Ben Dutka