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Itagaki To Japanese Devs: Suck It Up And Be Confident

Tomonobu Itagaki has never been afraid to speak his mind.

And now, the former Team Ninja boss and current Valhalla head man has accused the younger Japanese developers of being far too passive.

There's no denying that the Japanese game industry has declined in comparison to the rise of Western development, but Itagaki believes you can't blame other developers for doing a better job. Basically, he's sick of the Japanese whining.

"It's terrible that there is no younger generation of prominent Japanese developers coming through. The young people of today should be confident. Even if that confidence comes from nowhere, you should act like it comes from somewhere.

They shouldn't be afraid of a slap in the face. No...I have never slapped a developer in the face. But many, many times I tell them, 'you shouldn't be afraid of getting a slap in the face'."

We really wouldn't be surprised if Itagaki had actually slapped some under-achiever upside the head. The outspoken designer also says the Japanese shouldn't be so worried about pleasing the entire world. As he said, you "can never please everybody" and "even the masters, like Picasso," just can't make the impossible possible. There will always be someone out there who doesn't like what you create. But so what? Suck it up!

The message seems clear from Itagaki: make what you want to make, target a specific audience, and create the best game you can. The rest should just fall into place. While we don't always agree with everything this guy says, we have to admit...he makes a strong point.

Tags: itagaki, games industry, japanese games, game development

9/16/2011 8:35:02 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (15 posts)

BikerSaint
Friday, September 16, 2011 @ 9:57:19 PM
Reply

Yes, by any means necessary, take the risks!

We certainly need all the new ideas for new IP's we can get.

Yes by all means necessary, keep broadening our gaming horizons!!!



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Lawless SXE
Friday, September 16, 2011 @ 10:21:14 PM
Reply

I like that he reckons to be confident, even if there's no reason for it. Funny stuff.

But he's right on there not really being any up and coming young developers, and that's not only in Japan. People still hold the likes of Nomura, Kojima, Blezinski, Molyneux and the Houser Brothers in high regard. Sure, they still make great games, but it seems that, for many of them, their time in the sun has passed. There shuold be younger developers coming up to make a name for themselves as being legendary, but that isn't really happening. Jenova Chen springs to mind as paving the way to future, and Amy Hennig is deserving and I think Tameem Antonaides and Ken Levine are too, but there are so few recognisable, fresh names that spring to mind when one thinks of gaming... maybe that will change as the indie devs rise.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, September 16, 2011 @ 10:35:43 PM

You see Cliffy's hissy fit over Eurogamer's 8/10 for Gears 3? LOL.

I like what he says about confidence too, fake it till ya make it. There's nothing that separates the confident from the unconfident except people will be willing to follow the former over the latter.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/16/2011 10:36:02 PM

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shadowpal2
Saturday, September 17, 2011 @ 10:28:15 AM

Honestly Cliffy should know that Eurogamer is the strangest of strangest reviewers around. They also gave MGS4 an 8/10. So what do you expect?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, September 16, 2011 @ 10:33:45 PM
Reply

Damn right, while I disgree with him on his weirdo ideas about DOA he is spot on here. The only developer who seems to be following this sage advice this gen is Level 5. You don't like White Knight? Tough sh*t we're making a sequel. You want a gritty action RPG? Tough sh*t we're bringing Ni No Kuni to America b*tches!

Games are they to bring fantastic worlds to life, so do it and do it well and you will be rewarded sufficiently. (Unless you are Tim Schafer)

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main_event05
Saturday, September 17, 2011 @ 12:53:19 AM
Reply

Scared money don't make money as I like to say.

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Stabs88
Saturday, September 17, 2011 @ 8:54:00 AM

Gotta have the guts to say if i spend this im gonna make double. If you scared all the time you make no profit but you loss nothing....some risks are worth it even if you dont come out on top.

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main_event05
Saturday, September 17, 2011 @ 11:24:02 AM

Exactly. And playing it safe all the time gets really boring really fast and on so many levels.

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Snaaaake
Saturday, September 17, 2011 @ 2:31:34 AM
Reply

Very good point he made there but I'm still waiting for some gameplay footage for Devil's Third which I'm still interested.

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Kevin5
Saturday, September 17, 2011 @ 3:36:04 AM
Reply

I love this guy. He wears his shades at night, classes the DOA girls as his children, thinks Ninja Gaiden II is the best game ever & has already said that Devils Third will be the next best thing since colour TV's.

I disagree on his hatred for Tekken & Devil May Cry though but still reckon his a top bloke. I love the fact that he speaks his mind & at the same times ruffles a few feathers while doing so.

I look forward to his next game & pray to god that Ninja Gaiden 3 & Dead or Alive 5 will be just as awesome without him at the helm.


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___________
Saturday, September 17, 2011 @ 7:04:47 AM
Reply

god i love this guy.
a f*cking men!
this is why every game he makes is so popular, he just makes what he wants to which makes it really enjoyable because of all the heart and soul put into it.
only if we had more developers creating what they want, and not where they think the big bucks are!
the big bucks are everywhere, grow some balls and try do something different!
you will be surprised how much people will appreciate it.
cough LA noire, cough heavy rain.

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Zorigo
Saturday, September 17, 2011 @ 8:20:11 AM
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Its a good mantra for life really

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Highlander
Saturday, September 17, 2011 @ 8:40:36 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised is someone had slapped Itagaki in the face before - hard. As right as he may be, he always strikes me as a very abrasive person.

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Beamboom
Monday, September 19, 2011 @ 7:04:59 AM

I agree. He's like the summary of every guy during school and in the army that I hated. :D


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/19/2011 7:09:21 AM

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Underdog15
Monday, September 19, 2011 @ 1:22:26 PM

He looks like the Gene Simmons of video games.

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