Report – Japan Playing Catch-Up With the West

Scrawl: "As the Tokyo Game Show closes its doors, new words come from the mouths of some of Japan’s finest game developers. While the show had its selection of Japanese games, the domination of western titles was clearly evident. According to these esteemed developers — who are interviewed in a New York Times report — the Japan gaming industry is currently in a pickle as it plays catch-up with the west."

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RememberThe3572953d ago (Edited 2953d ago )

Japanese publishers are trying to go global while western developers are already global. I think this is because western developers and publishers are trying to perfect what they do best while Japanese developers and publishers are trying to do what the western developers do best.

They're playing catch up because they're not focusing on what they do well and they are trying to push into genres that they don't seem comfortable with.

There is also the issue of quality. Yakuza comes to mind. That game could have been much better if they would have updated from PS2 animations. These publishers need to invest in their games if they want them to do well over seas.

Look at FF13. The production values for that game are top notch and that is a part of it's massive appeal. Sure there were somethings missing from that game that made it less fun, but what was there was polished like a diamond.

These publishers give us mediocre games like DMC4 or all those crappy RPG's on the 360 and they think it's because the games weren't western enough when in reality it's that the games weren't good enough.

EDIT: The article makes a good point at the end about Ni No Kuni and The Last Guardian. These games are by developers doing what they do best and they look phenomenal. The question of whether it's a western or Japanese game doesn't even come to mind because they look great.

Dragun6192952d ago

I agree, I think many Japanese publishers feel they have to westernize their games in order to keep up with the appeal of Western Studios and their games. When really they just need to focus on the game designs that made them prominent in the first place.

For example, Square Enix, Last gen, they had FFX, Kingdom Hearts, Valkyria Profile, Dragon Quest 8, etc, now it's Gun Loco, MindJack, Front Mission Evolved, etc. Also Many Japanese publishers just seem to just buy or work with Western Devs instead of using their own studios, like Capcom with Dead Rising 2 and DMC.

A few japanese Devs/ publishers like Level-5, Team Ico, Nis, Atlus, Mistwalker seems to be the only ones focusing on improving their own game designs than trying to copy another game design like Call of Duty or Gears of War. Now that you think of it, I think it's because of the major success of Call of Duty in the West that convinced many Japanese publishers that they need to capture that audience, resulting in trying to westernize their games.

webeblazing2952d ago

what he ^ said. western devs jus do what they do. if if japan was getting all the sales and praise. ill doubt they would be saying we need to a game like theirs. theyll be saying lets make a better game pub. maybe say that tho lol.

MAR-TYR-DOM2952d ago

Hideo Kojima i think explained the western vs Japanese problem best during his post MGS4 press conference. He explained that Jap devs are more traditional while western developers use technology more in their games. Say if there is a mountain, jap devs use a ladder to get up while western devs would use an elevator.

outrageous2952d ago (Edited 2952d ago )

The Asians don't seem to want to embrace change in there games. MW2 is the top selling game on 360/PS3 this Japanese dev could make that game. It's just not in them to make an explosive game like that. Hollywood has become the biggest inspiration for gaming now.

UC 2 for example was more pre-rendered ( simulations ND calls it ) movie than an interactive game. Naughty Dog is only to happy to tell you about it and are actually quite proud of it. Sure the cell forced them in that direction because of the difficulty to even get a barrel to blow up, but it's all green screen these days. Expect alot more of that type of thing, at least on the problematic PS3...HR was all RTE's...GOW was at least 50% pre-rendered cuts and RTE's. MGS4 had a couple of hours of cuts as well...O_o

The gaming community is passing the Japanese games up in favor of competitive games with multi-player. They still make great puzzle based games but even there the west is moving on without them. If they want there games to sell outside of Japan, they really have to hire more " outsiders " in there companies to grasp the concepts. The Ninja days are over...look at Vanquish and lost Planet...completely clueless and the sales ( will ) reflect that.

Silver_Faux2952d ago

successful though it is, i dont think mw2 is a game that embraced much change.
For my 2c i think alot of jap devs need to concentrate on finer details like character animation and control schemes more then they are currently doing. too many ive played and seen that have old school animations.
That being said some franchises are in desperate need of a huge overhall... im looking at you dynasty warriors

SkyGamer2952d ago

There are crappy rpg's on ALL consoles, not just 360. Aside from the fanboy comment, this gen is not about rpg, it is more a shooter/action gen so all those good ole glory days of the ps1/2 are now history. Look at the top selling games, Halo, CoD, Gears, GTA4. All of those games are action/shooter. Besides, I loved Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon, more for the LO. Personally, I think that LO is the best rpg this gen as it still remains old school with new twists. If Mistwalker would have used their own engine, instead of U3, that game would have been a system seller. U3 works great, don't get me wrong but not on every game/genre. Oh and the whole fanboy comment, not to start anything, just pointing out that there are crappy games on all systems, probably more crappy games on 360 since there are more games for it but crappy nonetheless.

CoreGamer2953d ago

Most of the amazing games I play come from Japan,
SOTC, Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, SF, Mario and more...

RememberThe3572953d ago

All I have to do is look at my game collection. Most of my PS2/Xbox games are Japanese while most of my PS3/360 games are western. Last gen they ruled. This gen not so much.

Stealth20k2952d ago

Most of the games are on handhelds which is fine with me I will move to handhelds

RememberThe3572952d ago (Edited 2952d ago )

Japanese devs still make great games but they are focusing much more on the handheld (probably because of cost).

I think my main issue is that I want to see those great experiences on console in HD. Not necessarily a haldheld game on a console but the quality of gameplay and story you find.

I want to see those efforts on the consoles but publishers seem too hesitant to invest in them.

There is still a market for good JRPGs, fighting games, and fast action games. But 9 times out of ten they shoot themselves in the foot with crappy ports, unwanted character changes, and or generally crappy games.

sashimi2952d ago

Yeah and some of them aren't even bring their games to NA*rolls eyes at Bandai Namco*

TheBatman_Fanatic2952d ago

I am about to give up on Tales but I don't want to because it's one of my favorite JRPG series and I like how Namco is not putting western elements into it.

SkyGamer2952d ago

I agree that last gen ruled. One game you should check out if you can, Phantom Dust for the original Xbox. If they made a sequel, I would piss my pants.

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Stealth20k2952d ago

some comapnies are trying to westernize there games but they are all failing. Square, capcom,sega.

Give me old school japanese games anyday

MetalFreakMike2952d ago

I grew up with Japanese games setting the standard and now its the other way around. They seem to be stuck in the PS2 era where detail didn't need to be huge and story telling ruled it all. Now, its all about how many textures they can fit on to the screen with crazy story telling with explosions everywhere. I do not even want to think of the amount of money and time it would take to make games like that.

I really hope they can get themselves together and start turning out the games again.

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