Japanese Playing a New Video Game: Catch-Up

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.”

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MGRogue20172980d ago

... Dead Rising 2 was there, is it a awful game? Hell no.

Natsu X FairyTail2980d ago

SE ,Capcom , Platinum and Konami are really Poppin right now But to be fair alot of the japanese devs dont have the same budget has the American ones so that'S why some of their games be looking kinda weak. Some of these weak looking be the hidden gems sometimes.

Trebius2980d ago

By God ... ... You're right. :)

/Fanboy war

*falls asleep with a smile on his face*

mikeslemonade2980d ago

Japan is behind 5 years because the major publishers decided to go multiplatform. Every generation until this one the Japanese have led the game industry. But now Square Enix can't seem to lead in the RPG department. Resident Evil 5 comes out and turns out to be an average game. DMC4 turns out to be an average game.

Game-ur2980d ago

Inafune: "I want to study how they live in the West, and playing games they like."

Wow, and I thought Americans lived in a bubble.

HammockGames2980d ago

...other than that a lot of Capcom's own recent games (including this guy's) have done nothing but water down their cornerstone franchises.

I shudder when I hear Capcom say things like, "We want to get RE6 to the market as soon as possible" => seems to reek of a quick cash-in when they should be taking a deliberate approach.

So which is worse: Being 5 years behind? Or regressing with every game you release?

ChozenWoan2980d ago (Edited 2980d ago )

"SE ,Capcom , Platinum and Konami are really Poppin right now But to be fair alot of the japanese devs dont have the same budget has the American ones so that'S why some of their games be looking kinda weak."


The very companies you named are also some of the most big budget game developers in the industry. And lately they have been getting out shined by the tier 2 and low budget developers.... especially SE who is the king of big budget games.

SkyGamer2979d ago

I don't know about the others but I do know that Konami posted 97 percent revenue losses sometime last year. There is a reason why you have to think rest of the world. 2010 126,804,433 −0.22% shrinkage people in Japan, and the world 6,869,500,000 so who do you want to make games for? I loved Dead Rising and DMC4, not as good as Bayonetta, but they've had some misses with Dark Void, control scheme to me was horrid. They need to make a Breath of Fire and a Mega Man game that's a shooter with HD on both. That to me would be awesome.

rockleex2979d ago (Edited 2979d ago )

They'd still be on top right now!

Or at least up there with the rest of the great Western studios.

One thing I know is that Team ICO, Polyphony, and Kojima Productions are still on top of their game.

Why? Because they feel no need to cater to an audience that DOES NOT care about, or even know of, their existence!

Not only that, many of the great games were developed for the handhelds instead of the HD consoles. They simply do not have enough courage to make those same AAA handheld games for the HD consoles.

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Christopher2980d ago

So, was he carrying a mirror around the whole time?

Game-ur2980d ago


I wonder what Japanese gamers think about this show and DMC in particular. Their best game in TGS could be Gal Gun.

ABizzel12980d ago

I can see where he's coming from, but that doesn't make the games awful.

Japan is behind, but it's because of multiple reasons. They don't have as many companies with huge development teams like EA, Activision, and Ubisoft. The only one that's even close is Capcom and maybe Namco.

Also many of the Western developers say their tech, Japan doesn't and only a few devs are pushing for this. The easier it is to develop games the more games we'll have.

Japan's focus is on JRPG's, and RPG's probably take the longest to make. Just look at any RPG, in most cases you get 1 game ever 2 - 3 years, and the major titles may take even longer.

Japan doesn't get online gaming. Online gaming is a huge part of western gaming now, and Japan is behind. Very few Japanese games have online, but more are beginning to implement the feature.

There's a bunch of other reasons, but if I was a Japanese developer I would get English speaking students and have them intern at a western developer, or hire developers from western studios and build a Japanmeria studio.

RememberThe3572980d ago

I don't think Japanese developers need to do what Western developers are doing. People loved Japanese games and they still do. The problem is that, for what ever reason, many Japanese developers are not putting out the quality that they have in the past. They seem to blame it on the fact that the games aren't western enough, when in reality the games tend not to be good enough.

They need to keep doing what they have been doing, but do it better. Look at Ni No Kuni, the Level-5/Studio Ghibli project. It reminds me og Dragon Quest 8 and Rouge Galaxy, but it looks better. They are taking what they do so well and trying to do it better. And that is what I want to see more from Japanese devs.

On hte flip side there are a ton of games that I thought looked great. Rising looks amazing, The Last Guardian is breath taking, and that video of FFv13 left me speechless. They have the talent in Japan, but they need to be given the tools to express that talent.

ChozenWoan2980d ago

Hands down one of the best games this gen and it wasn't created by one of the big developers like SE, Capcom, or Konami. So to blame the low quality of Japanese games on low budgets doesn't fly in my book.

I think the biggest factor for lack luster Japan games this gen is the one thing no one really wants to admit. It's the hardware they are focusing on. They have been focusing on using the 360 in an attempt to get the attention of western gamers.

Sadly, the hardware is limited on memory. So with game assests like 3d Models and textures taking up more disc space, there is less room for actual gameplay code. Look at FF13 which had to be stripped down by 50% to fit on 3 discs, and still had to have the media and CGI lowered to fit it all.

On the other side of this you can see that Konami released MGS4 for the PS3, and it is a work of art that only a few developers can match. In fact, only those developers who are working on PS3 exclusives can even come close.

So I believe that when Japanese developers step their game up and start focusing on using the best hardware to make the best games, they will return to the top tier of game developers.

Great games require great hardware and software.

FragGen2980d ago

"Japan is behind, but it's because of multiple reasons. They don't have as many companies with huge development teams like EA, Activision, and Ubisoft. The only one that's even close is Capcom and maybe Namco. "

You seem to not know the difference between a publisher and a studio. Makes me wonder about the rest of your comments.

dillydadally2980d ago

Wow, so right you are! I cringe whenever I hear Japanese developers say they need to Westernize their games - they just need to make their Eastern games back up to the same quality they used to have! I mean, if they westernize all their games we'll have no variety in the market. I love Japanese games, but lately they seem to be shallow, stereotypical and have no heart compared the games of yesteryear. There are of course exceptions.

Bubbles for you!

BYE2980d ago


Not a big developer? Demon's Souls was co-produced by Sony Japan...I'd call that a big one.

If From Software makes games on their own, without help, they usually fall behind. See Ninja Blade, Armored Core and Tenchu Z.

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tinybigman2980d ago

if you'd focus on your passion instead of trying to make your games westernized then there be no problems. hell my favorite rpg this gen is valkyria chronicles by sega.

bjornbear2980d ago

so TLG, the new Ni Oh game and Versus (+ Valkyria Chron 3) looks Horrible?! and thats JUST PS3 exclusives, a lot more games are out


modesty huh?...yeah not very common nowdays *smh*

oh and DMC looks like sh!t

palaeomerus2979d ago

Valkyria Chronicles 3 is for PSP again.

iPad2980d ago

Kings of Japan:

Polyphony Digital

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arnoldocastillo20032980d ago

well to be fair he is praising his games jajajajaja.

Neckbear2980d ago

Some games looked cool, if not awesome.

You, YOU'RE the ones making awful games, or well, at least publishing them.

KratosGirI2980d ago

This man really needs to shut his mouth and announce DASH 3 already.

kaveti66162980d ago

I'm sure you and the other 2 people who want it are at the edge of your seats.

lolzers2980d ago

What the hell is Dash?

Gue12980d ago (Edited 2980d ago )

He says that every year...

Shikoro2980d ago

More like every month, but yeah...

I for one know there are great games coming from Japan in the future so I don't share his opinion... :)