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Kojima: 'Japan's curse is its focus on Japan'

CVG:Metal Gear series director Hideo Kojima believes that Japan's biggest issue is that its content, which encapsulates games, movies, novels and more, is too fixated on the Japan market.

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MariaHelFutura2015d ago

Ironically that is Americas problem as well.

linkenski2014d ago

Yeah, and also, when i'm watching some of the shows that are on Gametrailers they always bring up, that Xbox 360 is leading the market, because it does in the US. In fact it's several 100k's under the sales of the total PS3 sales. And it's doing really poor in Japan :/

BrutallyBlunt2014d ago

@ MariaHelFutura
Not really considering America seems to buy Japanese products more so than Japan buys American products. Even something like the IPOD had the least response in Japan compared to all other territories. Sony's MP3 player actually continued to sell well in Japan but declined sharply everywhere else. It is the Japan culture to support their products.

@linkenski
Gametrailers is an American publication so of course they are going to be biased. Same goes for Japanese TV. As for total sales Microsoft just announced they are #1 globally for 2011, so disagree all you like but that is coming from them and they need to disclose accurate figures to their shareholders. Did you see Sony disprove that? That is not to say the Playstation 3 hasn't outsold the XBOX360 every other year because they did. It's really meaningless at this point in time anyway this late in the generation.

ShaunCameron2014d ago

But America is twice as big as Japan and exponentially more infuential.

NYC_Gamer2015d ago

Wow,Kojima even said maybe he was born in the wrong country...

VanguardOfCalamity2014d ago

I would like to see what he was saying before and after that quote to get a good idea of the context - but WOW what a quote... kinda wish I had dual citizenship in Holland myself - go Amsterdam!

rezzah2014d ago (Edited 2014d ago )

He may not would have ended up as he is now if he grew up in america.

Our main personality preferences might be the same, but the cultural impact might change the level of personality fluctuations. Whether the impact affects us more as a group or individually, maybe even both, I do not know. chances are that he would not be the same person who he is now.

Unless you believe in destiny or fate to to point where one person would always be what they are no matter where they are born.

DarkSymbiote2014d ago

I have a feeling Metal Gear wouldn't have been as unique if he grew up outside of Japan.

Shadow Flare2015d ago (Edited 2015d ago )

I don't want Japanese games to change. What's the point in all games becoming westernised? There's something special about Japanese games that I don't think western developers are really capable of. I could never imagine a western developer creating ICO or Shadow of the Collosus. The Japanese have grown up in their own unique culture that I think grows a really special kind of creativity. Nintendo would definitely not produce the same games if they weren't Japanese. I think anyway. It's a different culture. And I really love what comes out of it.

I think this is what makes the 3 consoles so interesting and enables them to have their own solid fan set.

Nintendo is predominantly Japanese. Their 1st party games are mostly if not all Japanese.

Microsoft is predominantly Western. Most if not all their first parties are western.

Sony is a complete mix of worldwide studios. Their first parties reach all over from Japan, to Europe and America, which is why we see games range from ICO to Killzone, from LittleBigPlanet to Gran Turismo, from Heavy Rain to WipeOut.

I thinks that's why I like Sony the most. They naturally harbour the most diverse and creative minds in gaming, and the games we get are astounding and varied. You just don't see that level of variation from Nintendo or Microsoft.

wallis2015d ago (Edited 2014d ago )

While I agree that Japan is capable of incredible moments of storytelling they don't really show it in games. Ico and sotc is one example but the west has portal, half life, braid, bioshock, deus ex and many others. If you look at most storytelling in Japanese games it fails to embrace what actually makes games different to movies and it's funny that Kojima is saying this because he took a perfectly reasonable cold war plot and sodomized it into spaghetti with metal gear solid - not only that but he proceeded to borderline punch each and every mgs4 player in the face by forcing hours of cutscenes into a game (tip: if a game has over an hour of cutscenes it's an interactive movie. Games shouldn't have cutscenes any more, it's pointless and very archaic).

In fact MGS4 is a great example of what renders Japan's approach to gaming so problematic. While valve are sitting down and considering ways to communicate a whole world and mythology to a player with nothing more than map cues and writing on a wall Kojima just figures it's easier to record thirty hours of dialog.

But honestly for all that it's worth video games could offer a medium of storytelling so great that it triumphs all other forms; the first and true non-passive artform and even bioware can't resist the temptation to just turn it all into a fucking movie. The west has a looooooong way to go and from Battle Royale to Akira the Japanese are certainly capable of crafting astounding narratives that rival any western endeavour - it's just that in video games they're still stuck... well they're still stuck at the story telling techniques seen in Ico unfortunately.

Wolfbiker2014d ago

Yeah let's just have every game tell the story just like the games you mentioned above (all but braid are first person) and offer nothing different, then if something different than what Americans think is the best form of story telling will be critisized into oblivion.

Japan's problems in the western market aren't necessarily their lack of creative abilities/ quality of titles but more the Americans mindset in accepting something different.

IMO Japan shouldn't change, Americans should open up their minds and cultural acceptance (this has ALWAYS been an issue in America) although right now I guess gaming is too expensive to go out on a limb on a new (to you) title.

BrutallyBlunt2014d ago

@Shadow Flare

So Sony is a complete mix of Worldwide studios but Nintendo is largely aimed at Japanese? That makes no sense at all considering Nintendo 1st party games not only outsell Sony 1st party games they do it on a global scale, not just in Japan.

As for what games you like better is a completely different story. Nintendo this generation has been a much more global company than both Sony and Microsoft.

Microsoft does excellent in North America and good in Europe and poorly in Japan.

Sony does average in North America, good in Europe and good in Japan.

Nintendo does good to excellent everywhere.

Shadow Flare2014d ago (Edited 2014d ago )

Well learn to read because I didn't say nintendo's games are aimed at the Japanese.

I said nintendo's first party studios are mostly if not all Japanese. Most of their first party games come from Japan. Which is a fact.

I never said anything about target audiences or sales. I said where each companies first party studios are based. And THAT influences the type of games that are made. It doesn't necessarily influence who plays them.

Again, I never even mentioned sales or target audience. Where did you pull that from

BrutallyBlunt2014d ago (Edited 2014d ago )

Then you fail to grasp the intent on the actual article. It isn't about Japanese studios packing up their bags and swimming across the ocean. It's about Japanese studios who make games solely for the Japanese gamer. Which as i mentioned Nintendo has managed to do a great job at making games aimed at a global market. You're the one who changed directions talking about where the studios are located.

Taken from the article; "The curse in Japan is that a lot of media is made in Japan just for Japan - you go to the cinema and it's all Japanese movies."

So yes, we do learn to read don't we?

The real issue is cost because as game development continues to increase in cost, the demographics to sell your Japanese games targeted at Japanese gamers isn't. A system like the Playstation 3 is not tempting for studios to sink AAA content on that is solely aimed at Japanese gamers. It makes little sense. Even a game like Demon Souls had it's latest instalment (Dark Souls) come out to other platforms. So as you can see publishers are trying to reach a larger market now. Plus that game has managed to appeal to audiences around the world so there are a few exceptions to what Hideo Kojima is saying. Even his own franchise Metal Gear Solid does well outside of Japan. He's basically saying it's ok to make games to gamers in the west too as to not alienate gamers outside of Japan because quite frankly, they need to. Japan for the most part has done poorly on consoles this generation and Japan is no longer the powerhouse it used to be. The West is now getting lots of praise for their efforts this generation. It's not like it was in previous generations.

So you mention Sony being such a powerhouse when it comes to worldwide studios, name us the AAA games aimed at Japanese gamers coming from them?

Shadow Flare2014d ago (Edited 2014d ago )

Again I never said anything about games being AIMED at anyone! Why do you keep saying that! I merely said games are developed through the inspiration of the culture of the countries that the developer is based in!

It was really quite a simple point to grasp. You seem too dense for that.

And I happened not to comment so much on the article but more my personal views of how cultures inspire game development. It was something that perked my interest and so I thought I'd share a thought. So I didn't stick like glue to the article topic. Sue me!

And just to be clear, for the forth time, just in case you didn't understand the past 3 times...I am not, and never did talk about who the games are aimed at. I could tattoo it on my ass and send you a picture if your still a little unsure?

2015d ago Replies(1)
Lucretia2014d ago

WHoooooooaaa im going to have to mostly disagree with Kojima

i think japanese games are focusing to much on the west so the gaming industry feels....to much the same.

i like my anime/japanese games as they were and like my western games as they are, it bring far more variety

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