Kojima: Japanese developers lack global outlook, technological skills

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by soulx, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. soulx
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    soulx GBAtemp Legend

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    Speaking to Eurogamer during a round-table Q&A in Washington DC ahead of the Smithsonian's Art of Video Games exhibition, the Metal Gear Solid creator offered his response to Keiji Inafune's GDC rant about the sorry state of the Japanese industry.

    "I think the problem really is more about where people are looking and who they're targeting," said Kojima.

    "A lot of creators are just focused on Japan and the Japanese market and aren't really aware of what people around the world want."

    He went on to explain that he believes there are three elements that developers need to get right in order to have a global hit: "technology, gameplay and world view."
    Kojima argued that Japan is failing to keep up in all three areas.

    "Regarding technology, I think in Japan there are less people going abroad, and maybe less people going to, say, M.I.T. and being at the cutting edge of things. From a technology standpoint, I think Japan is lagging behind a bit.

    He suggested that that's a problem that can be easily remedied, but the other two issues are potentially more serious.

    "The bigger problem is how do you use that technology to create something? When it comes to gameplay, unfortunately a lot of Japanese creators don't really like creating a free experience. Those types of games aren't being made in Japan.

    "Regarding world view," he continued, "game creators now are creating games based on the culture they know, targeted at Japan and Japanese cultures. So they set it in places like Shibuya or Shinjuku or somewhere else in Tokyo. And it's not something that appeals to people outside of Japan.

    "Because Japan doesn't look outside of it's borders then technologies don't come, creating this vicious cycle."

    If developers took a more global view, Kojima argued, they might find it easier to secure bigger budgets.

    "The Japanese games industry has fallen to a point where Japanese movies were at as well - these small indie movies set within Japan with a Japanese story done on a low budget. Because the scale is so small we can't get the budget to make it succeed on a global level.

    "In contrast to that, most Western studios approach things from more of a Hollywood standpoint where they're looking at making their games a very global success and looking at how they can sell them in various markets.

    "From the very beginning they have those goals and are able to get the proper budget and commit the proper technology to it."

    Kojima did offer some cause for optimism, however.

    "I think that it's still not over. Japan does have the ability to recover from this and get back up to a competitive level, technologically and in other ways.

    "I don't want to break this down to a thing where it's Japanese games versus non Japanese games. The key is it has to be a global game, it has to be something made for everybody. I want to get rid of all those barriers."

    He offered up his own studio as an example of a Japanese developer taking a more global view of the industry.

    "You can tell from my generation that I've been influenced by Star Trek, so when I think of my studio I think it as the Starship Enterprise. The Enterprise had people from all races - even Vulcans! I want my studio to be like that.

    "This is my Enterprise. It just happens that the captain is Japanese and the ship was manufactured by Konami, but it's a multi-cultural staff."


    [​IMG] Source

    This is coming from the guy who gave us Raiden and apparently came up with his design after having surveyed a number of Japanese girls.

    But it seems that the only people actually criticizing the Japanese game industry are Japanese devs themselves (except for that Fez guy).
     
  2. emigre

    emigre Oh Jeremy Corbyn

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    1) than shirely he's talking from experience.

    2) And me.
     
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  3. JonnyPoots

    JonnyPoots GBAtemp Regular

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    Kojima Productions = Starship Enterprise
    I love you Hideo Kojima, more than ever
     
  4. mehrab2603

    mehrab2603 GBAtemp Fan

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    Looks like bashing Jap devs are the in thing now lol
     
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  5. GreatZimkogway

    GreatZimkogway Still a Touhou Fanatic

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    Maybe they aren't going elsewhere because, as of late, the laws and rules are kind of making life rather hellish?
     
  6. Just Another Gamer

    Just Another Gamer 星空のメモリア-Wish upon a shooting star- Fanboy

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    I found its been the in thing since last year but the whole global view junk is really subjective.

    I don't want those Japanese devs to change alot because its what they currently do that makes them different to all the other western-like and western made games on the market.
     
  7. chris888222

    chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    Japanese games are unique the way they are.

    I swear I'll leave video gaming if Japanese games in 2020 turn out to be Jap-Westernized.
     
  8. Hells Malice

    Hells Malice Are you a bully?

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    Er, what. Western games are the exact same way. You can pretty much replace every mention of Japan and Japanese and replace them with Western.

    It's not a bad thing either. It makes both markets distinct instead of melding them into a blob of the same old shit.
     
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  9. Just Another Gamer

    Just Another Gamer 星空のメモリア-Wish upon a shooting star- Fanboy

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    That what makes them special and i'm with you on that. If Japanese games become westernised then I'll just leave gaming.


    :yay:
     
  10. Hyro-Sama

    Hyro-Sama I'm from the fucking future.

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    First Inafune and now Kojima. Damn. Who's next?
     
  11. Just Another Gamer

    Just Another Gamer 星空のメモリア-Wish upon a shooting star- Fanboy

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    Who knows but I don't get why some people expect Japanese devs to make westernised games in the first place.
     
  12. ShadowSoldier

    ShadowSoldier GBAtemp Guru

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    It's always been a thing, it's just now, I think everybody is getting tired of the way things are being done. Too many exclusives that the world wants, are being kept there. People who work in the games industry in Japan, really don't like anything that people outside their culture have to say.

    To be honest, Hideo and Keiji Inafune are the only ones brave enough to talk about it.
     
  13. Just Another Gamer

    Just Another Gamer 星空のメモリア-Wish upon a shooting star- Fanboy

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    But alot of those exclusives won't be able to sell in the western market or even if they can sell very well there will be conservative parent groups complaining about it. I mean if a game like Love Plus or something gets translated and started selling in the western market I bet there will be complaints.
     
  14. ShadowSoldier

    ShadowSoldier GBAtemp Guru

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    What parent doesn't complain about something? Heard a swear word in a Teen rated game? RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE! Seen your kid playing a shooting game where he's shooting aliens? RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE! Heard a rap song in your child's video game? RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!
     
  15. Just Another Gamer

    Just Another Gamer 星空のメモリア-Wish upon a shooting star- Fanboy

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    But the problem is that when they complain stores and things at times the store have to remove the product. I know its annoying and I like alot of others want Japanese exclusives translated but its western society that holds it back not the gamers.
     
  16. ShadowSoldier

    ShadowSoldier GBAtemp Guru

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    Stores don't have to do shit. Besides, these days with everybody having a stick up their ass, what advertisement shows anything wrong? Everything is clean and kept PG in this world of ours.
     
  17. Just Another Gamer

    Just Another Gamer 星空のメモリア-Wish upon a shooting star- Fanboy

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    I don't dissgaree but this is a sad fact of life that until social attitude changes to not be so conservative then its difficult for anything like this to happen. Look alot of people want Japanese exclusives translated but chances are even if they do it will be censored and so forth, i'm not happy with how its being dealt with now but its the only way to get those Japanese exclusives, also learning Japanese will help to some degree since it won't be in english anyway.
     
  18. Guild McCommunist

    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Probably the best summation. It's near impossible to make a game that both appeals to a broad western audience and a broad Japanese audience. If it did it'd just be a complete mess with aesthetics and gameplay trying to appeal to both audiences and failing at captivating either.

    I really don't see this as an issue. Very few games actually get ridiculed by society for their content. I mean like, outside of Grand Theft Auto back in the day and Mass Effect (the original one which had the dreaded SIDE BOOB and SIDE BUTT), I can't name a lot of others. But kids spend hundreds of hours blowing each other's brains out on Call of Duty in the west or staring at little girl panties in the east. Even then, all these "controversial" series I mentioned sell ridiculously high. GTA: San Andreas was the highest selling game last generation (I'm rather sure). Mass Effect 3 sold almost 1 million copies within one day, in the US alone. GTA is now on its fifth installment, Mass Effect just finished its third. Societal outrage towards game series never kills them, only the gamers do that.

    In general both markets are essentially in periods of stagnation. Look how many sequels have been born this generation in comparison to the last. But no one really complains, I'd be lying if I said I thought gaming was worse now than ever, in fact I think it's at its prime. But franchises that are born this generation either die or just get a bunch of sequels during that. It's not necessarily a bad thing but both sides of gaming really don't care about broadening their view when everything they can see now is what they want.
     
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  19. Just Another Gamer

    Just Another Gamer 星空のメモリア-Wish upon a shooting star- Fanboy

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    But my thought was if this wasn't a issue then why isn't games like Love Plus or Madoka translated and sold in the west?

    Okay maybe because it won't sell as well but that is just an assumption since it has never been translated and sold in the west to say it won't sell well in the first place. I don't dissgaree with what you say and in fact I agree with them but by that logic then I see the western market is more at fault for not wanting to broaden their views and just translate those Japanese exclusives that fans of the series love instead of keep pumping out the same bullshit and expecting people to like it more.

    The first bit, I may have just exaggerated that a lot but its still the attitude of certain people that prevents good games from the east coming to the west and I think its this narrow mindedness that needs to stop in order for more good games to come to the west otherwise we'll just keep getting the same stuff and honestly i'm a bit sick of it.
     
  20. Guild McCommunist

    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Games like Love Plus don't get released over here because they're bad stupid retarded lacking western appeal. It's not an issue of content, it's just that no one wants it outside of maybe like ten weaboos. It's not really an assumption. Niche games here have sold badly before and it's doubtful that one that's incredibly niche will do better. Companies should take risks, and they do at times. Sometimes some games you'd never think at having western appeal (like Catherine) sell pleasantly well here. That's a venture. Releasing a game like Love Plus here is like dumping a big bucket of money into a fire.