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Japanese Developers: WTF Happened?!

GUFUyourself writes - "Let’s go back to a simpler time: the ’90s. The SNES (or Super Famicom in Japan) has just launched in Japan and Nintendo is on top of the world. The SNES only launched with two games: Super Mario World and F-Zero. SEGA’s 16-bit console the MegaDrive (or Genesis in North America) has already been going strong for almost two years. The “16-Bit Wars” were already off to a raging start. Back in the days of MC Hammer and parachute pants, Japanese developers were the leaders in video games. Nintendo, SEGA, and even Hudson dominated the market. Other companies such as Atari, Philips, and later Sony would try to make a dent in the market but only Sony managed to do it. The vast majority of Western game developers stuck to the PC as their platform of choice for games. Besides Nintendo and SEGA dropping classics like pennies, third-party companies like Squaresoft, Capcom, and Konami were delivering experiences that still top almost all of their efforts in the present day."

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MultiConsoleGamer2985d ago (Edited 2985d ago )

The West is taking over. (Or taking back the industry they once started.)

Also, the popularity of JRPGs is in sharp decline.

kma2k2984d ago

with all due repect though who would rather play ff xiii over fallout or skyrim? & that is comming from an admited hardcore FF fan i mean serisous hardcore, ive put in thousands of hours into ff games dating back to ff II.

AngryTypingGuy2984d ago

I'm saying it without any respect whatsoever. Who would rather play ffiii over Fallout or Skyrim?

Optical_Matrix2984d ago (Edited 2984d ago )

Someone who wants better characters and story I suppose. While WRPG's get the whole exploration and depth aspect to a tee, compared to top tier JRPG's and their characters, WRPG's feel soulless and 2D. I think thats the appeal. I'm never gonna go to Skyrim for story. Nor am I gonna go to FFXIII for 16 square miles of exploration (thought towns would have been nice) XD

Problem with Japanese game design in my opinion is that with the emergence of handhelds in their home market, where their games do best, PSP/DS is where the majority of Japans best games are being made and all the technological and gameplay related breakthroughs that the western developers are making are further leaving the Japanese in the dark.

Where as before, console gaming was DOMINATED by the Japanese and it was them who were the technological leaders, with the release of the 360, I think western developers have been able to get a better foothold in the console market where was previously western gaming was a lot more PC focused.

The Japanese can still design games really well. I still enjoy them immensely. Skyward Sword for example, for sheer triumph of its intuitive puzzles and addictive gameplay is better than any game I've played this year. (Bare in mind, I've not bought Skyrim yet)

What I think is that with next generation approaching, Japanese developers need to get on building engines, and collaborating new ideas because apart from a few games like Metal Gear Solid 4 and perhaps Resident Evil 5, I can't think of many Japanese games that have the blockbuster trappings of games such as Arkham City, Uncharted, God of War, Battlefield.

In short, the Japanese have the most original ideas in my opinion, and some of the best game design genius'es in the industry. Just the application of some of those ideas just isn't cutting it and THAT'S where the problem lies. I've tried to stay as objective as possible.

Japanese developers have also lost touch with their fans and it seems as though the passion that we once saw has been replaced by corporate formulae where instead of taking time over your games, it's all about churning out as many remakes, new editions and so on for X amount of franchises in the fiscal year. DLC is a huge problem in the west where as in Japan it's porting/making new editions of every thing under the sun.

Nintendo, From Software, Level 5, Platinum Games...some examples of publishers/developers who put passion and thought into their games. Nintendo gets a lot of hate, but theres clearly love put into Super Mario 3D Land and Skyward Sword for example.

Anyway rant over. I only have one bubble so I had to cover as much as I could.

FrigidDARKNESS2984d ago (Edited 2984d ago )

The Witcher 2 is the best WRPG on the market and no JRPG come close to it.

The next generation of consoles will be critical for JRPG developers because there will have all the memory to work with to create some amazing interactive worlds and towns. If gamers get the same type of games from last generation then the japanese developers will fall further behind the western developers.
Square Enix have taken the initiative to open up next generation studios to get a head start for the future.

rexbolt2984d ago

iwould rather play those then skyrim and fall oiut infact i ragther play anygames then fall out ew tht games bad and demon souls is better then skyrim hads dowm skyrim = bad art glitchs and boreingness fall out is a mess filled with 7000000000000000000000000000 bugs ans shall i mention the very strange combat?

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2984d ago
The_Game21x2984d ago

That's what it seems like. But I wouldn't (and wouldn't want to) count Japanese developers out just yet.

Focus2984d ago

You're right, lets give them 6 more years, they'll show us!!

EcoSos32984d ago

Many Japanese Developers dont listen to the fans like Capcom and Square-Enix they like to do what ever the hell they want and people still buy there bad games(MvC3 and FF13).

That's why I love NISA they are even going to localize Black Rock Shooter and many more.

jon12342984d ago

atlus is my last favorite company, i only wish they where the ones behind dark souls, and not bandai namco, ewwwww

Stealth2k2984d ago (Edited 2984d ago )

1) The highest rated games of the gen are japanese - maripo galaxy

2) The highest selling games are japanese - new super mario bros, wii fit, pokemon, ect

3) The west is so much better with all the generic middleware stuff with guns? The west is so much better with yearly franchises that are stale beyond belief? Look at the new assasins creed. Lowest sales and reviews in its history.

I will address a few points.

1) Japanese devs dont listen. Your right they dont. Neither do western devs. did bioware listen with dragon age 2? Did activision listen with guitar hero? Did rockstar listen with gta? NO

2)"popularity of JRPGs is in sharp decline."

Pure fallacy. Jrpgs have never been as popular as they are right now which is why there are more in dev than any other rpg type, and in total more have been released this gen than any other. Those are facts.

The highest selling rpg this year is a japanese one.

Dont point fingers.........morons on this site.

@ below
number 1 and 2 are mario galaxy 1 and 2. Gamerankings is more widely used than metacritic which doesnt list all the scores. Japanese games. Sold more here actually.

COD is just US. Worldwide even a game like mario kart wii crushed it

Highest rated as well.

Although this year the highest selling game is dance dance, the second and third are both pokemon games. And then its a huge drop off

@jon
rather have a boner than being a hating generalization wonder.Why should I show the facts? This article is pure opinion.

This article comes right from n4g. Is this the wonder of US game dev?
http://oxcgn.com/2011/11/28...

For the record I havent said I think japan is better or the west. What I object to is insulting one to make the other look better. And alot of this is tongue and cheek to make a point

Ducky2984d ago (Edited 2984d ago )

Could you explain some of that?

I don't see how the highest rated or the highest selling games are japanese. Unless if we're counting the Wii, in which case, point #3 would apply mostly to japan.

EDIT: I thought GTA4 was the highest rated game (it is according to Metacritic), with CoD being the highest selling this gen? Or is that just the US?

jon12342984d ago

dammnn somebodys got a boner for japanese developers... please show us the facts...

knifefight2984d ago

What more do you want? He stated facts already.

jon12342984d ago

i want the next demon souls game !!! :(

Drabent2984d ago

With co op and voice chat!

VampiricDragon2984d ago (Edited 2984d ago )

The funny part is the same applies for the west

Western Developers WTF Happened
- Bioware is turning mainstream, removing rpg elements from there games. There last game ( dragon age 2) was a disaster
- Activision, killed tony hawk and call of duty, just makes money of WoW and CoD
- Rockstar has made 1 original console game this entire gen.
- Insomniac, tries too hard to woo the shooter crowd, makes 3 shooters that dont sell even though thats not there expertise
- microsoft breaks rare ( enough said)

ect ect ect

The point is placing blame all on japan is wrong, and not representative of all the problems of the industry

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