Best Idea Yet: Japanese Devs Should Do What They Do Best
You know, we get the feeling that if all Japanese developers had simply stuck to this simple motto, everything would've turned out just fine.
Much has been made about the East/West divide in the industry, and how many Japanese publishers have sought to appeal to Western gamers. But BlazBlue director Takeshi Yamanaka dismisses the whole mess and just says, "I only see gamers." Speaking to Edge, the Arc System Works boss spoke about the shifting industry trends and changing business models. When asked if his company would ever go in a direction that would appeal more to Westerners, Yamanaka replied:
"Absolutely not. If you want to make a game that appeals to the west, you might as well have westerners doing it.
Personally, I don’t view users according to their nationality, but rather as gamers. I make games for people who like them. If there are people who like fighting games with Japanese-animation-style motions and a fantasy setting, I’m making the game for them. I don’t understand why some of us in the industry want to draw a line between the Japanese and overseas industries. I see only gamers, with various tastes."
Why? Why couldn't Wada have said this years ago? 'cries' It's the perfect philosophy, isn't it? What has become of most Japanese efforts to cater to the Western gamer? Granted, the changing business landscape may force the hand of various developers and publishers, and we understand being intimidated and maybe hitting the panic button. I.e., "oh my God, if we don't create a shooter, we're gonna go bankrupt!"
But right now, Yamanaka's statement should be the new philosophy for the entire Japanese industry. Take the risk. Do what you've always done. Maybe it won't be so bad...could it be worse than suffering a 92% drop in profits ('cough' Square-Enix 'cough')?
1/14/2011 10:40:20 AM Ben Dutka