Kojima Sounds Off On Japanese Vs. Western Development
If all of gaming came together into one organization, there could be only one president. Somebody give this guy a gold star, at the very least.
The East vs. West debate in the video game industry continues; fans of Japanese titles wonder why their favorite developers have abandoned their followers to cater to "Western tastes," while the Japanese designers in question face an industry dominated by Western studios. So where does Hideo Kojima stand on the issue? Well, as he asked during a Famitsu interview (as cited by CVG), "Do we really need to succeed worldwide?" Damn good question, isn't it?
And he goes on to give voice to the thoughts of a great many:
"That's what I'm really wondering about. Everyone talks about overseas, overseas, but nobody's really thinking about what needs to be done if we want to succeed. We get obsessed with thinking about worldwide because we've had previous success with games and anime worldwide, but none of those successes matter nowadays.
When you're making a game, it doesn't matter what nationality the team is -- I think there was a lack of understanding among Japanese developers on that issue. It all comes down to the team you have. Even if I brought in the best developer in the world, it won't result in anything if nobody around him understands what he says."
Kojima also admits to a lack of development quality between East and West, and he Japanese developers still fail to comprehend the differences in culture. That being said, isn't it interesting to hear that even Kojima assumes Western gamers want "aliens and guns," even if he admits it's an "extreme" assumption.
"To put it in an extreme fashion, Americans like games where you have a gun and you're shooting at space aliens. If you don't understand why that's fun, then you shouldn't be making games for the world market; you don't need to. I mean, Japanese people might say 'Why space aliens?', but Americans will counter with 'What's with these games featuring these feminine-looking boys fighting in Japan with these huge swords?' It's no wonder the target audience for a lot of games is getting so compartmentalized."
This controversy will continue to rage but now that Kojima has given us his input, what do you think?
6/22/2011 9:04:15 PM Ben Dutka