A supersonic hedgehog and a plumber named Mario may have been unlikely heroes, but they once dominated video games. Only the Japanese could make innovative games like those, developers here used to boast. The West just didn’t get it. Warp ahead 20 years, though, and much of Japan’s game industry is in a rut.
Keiji Inafune, head of global research and development at Capcom, says, “Japan is at least five years behind” and “Capcom is barely keeping up.”