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The Great Debate: East Vs. West.

So I’ve been giving alot of thought into the argument about how Western developers have apparently far surpassed Japanese developers as a whole, there really seems to be alot of chest beating especially from the western game “journalist” community about how much better western developers supposedly are than their eastern peers.

I suppose the real question here would be in what way exactly are developers in the west so much better than developers in the east. I’ve been playing video games for longer than I’d really care to admit sometimes, I love video games both as a hobby, and as what I consider a genuine form of art in many ways (argument for another time). I will also say that the majority of my favorite franchises and games come largely from Japanese developers.

Almost every major game conference, or expo I have seen over the past few years I’ve noticed something that gets vastly overlooked by many people covering games, and that’s the fact that western developers make first person shooters more than any other genre in the gaming landscape. Obviously have do have some western developers who make other genre games, like Bioware and Bethesda who focus on RPGS ( although Fallout 3 is a FPS as well), Criterion who makes racers, Media Molecule (probably the most creative western developer) making LBP ,and a few others but I can name about 20 First person shooters hitting shelves between now and the end of next year.

How many times can we play the Space Marine, or Foot solider before we see that just as much as in the east, the west has found their niche and they stick to it just as much.The eastern market right now is making games like Last Guardian, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, Demon’s Soul’s Vanquish, Disgaea, Catherine, Gran Turismo, Atelier Rorona: The Alchemists Of Arland, and Metal Gear Rising all being games that are very different from each other.

Developers in the west are making games like Call of Duty, Halo, Medal of Honor, Fallout New Vegas, Brink, Killzone, Bullet Storm, Resistance, Socom, Ghost Recon, etc. Yes there are western developers not making shooters, but more of them are than are not. In fact even when you take a game like Vanquish although it is a third person shooter when you begin to understand and use the systems within the game it has a very unique feel to it, where as almost all of the western games I named will feel fairly similar to each other with different paint jobs (all shades of grey or brown).

It’s seems mostly that the biggest advantage that western games have over eastern is the budget for things like graphics, lighting, and marketing, because quite frankely it seems to me that creativity in large quanities is still an advantage that Japanese developers continue to have over western.

Keep in mind that this is not me saying any of the above games will be bad, I’m actually looking forward to quite a few of them. Just trying to balance the argument when it’s really not as open and shut as some might have you believe, and for the record in my opinion there really are not many developers I would hold above Team Ico.

Do you believe that western devs have greatly surpassed their eastern peers, if so, or not feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Nate-Dog4024d ago

It's kind of hard to say. Up to a good few years ago Eastern devs led the line, but they seemed to lose their way a bit (I remember Hideo Kojima saying something about their creativity and originality of before seemingly disappearing even though they have proven (and many Japanese devs in particular still are) what they can do.

Western developers are indeed leading at the moment, and by quite a bit I'd say, but I'd never count out the Eastern market of developers. Like you mentioned, series like Gran Turismo, Disgaea, ICO/SoTC, MGS, Final Fantasy, etc. are works of art and all have originality in their own ways, while we here in the West just seem addicted to shooters and never grow bored of having the same flashy things being given to us even though most of them aren't as creative as they could and should be.

Personally I can see the East coming back into it soon but they have a long way to go to catch up.

Trroy4024d ago (Edited 4024d ago )

The western market buys shooters -- it has nothing to do with the creativity (or lack thereof) of the developers. I think most of the "West has passed the East" posts lately have basically boiled down to western game budgets simply being much larger than eastern budgets, and hence, yes, the tech is better.

You get what you pay for, as it were. That said, eastern devs have always made the most of what they have at hand, and, IMO, continue to do so.

The only eastern game budgets of serious "wow" note are games which, correspondingly, have good-sized budgets, like MGS4, and to a lesser extent, FF13. Yet if you compare games like DMC4 and Bayonetta to games like God of War 3 and Darksiders, you can see there's a clear tech advantage in the west, despite the gameplay innovations, and effective budget use (okay, not on the PS3 Bayonetta) in the east.

It just boils down to money. Western devs have more of it, or rather, are willing to risk more. When GT5 comes out, it'll be obvious what investment can do for a game, no matter where it's from.

NabikiTendo4023d ago

i still prefer Japanese video games.

japan - kh,ff,resident evil,Mario games,Zelda,Kirby,atlus games,yakuza games,mega man,jrpgs,metroid style castlevaina games,blazblue,etc.

America - anybody under sony computer entertainment America and a few western developers here and there lol.

i say japan still wins in my game library that's all i have to say

n to the b4023d ago (Edited 4023d ago )

I think we're talking more about how things are now - new stuff coming from the east. you listed a couple that make me wonder if they're still relevant to this conversation.

ex: "metroid style castlevaina games" but I don't think those are being made anymore, are they? (maybe they are for handheld, idk because I pretty much stick to console gaming only.)

personally I absolutely love some of what's come from this gen's trend of blending rpg and fps. bioshock and fallout 3 are my 2 faves so far this gen and they're western. if you still prefer the eastern style that's cool though.

NabikiTendo4023d ago

they've been there since i was little and still are there giving me a variety of games i game genre the west will never touch is jrpgs of course because they come from japan. i just like them more than mass effect,fallout,etc.

n to the b4023d ago

yes many western games involve either 'realistic' soldiers or scifi spacemarine-style soldiers, with HEAVY doses of machismo. but many eastern games involve moody, long-haired femboys (mostly to the point of just plain ridiculous). hopefully we realize there are exceptions to either rule.

Eiffel4023d ago

I like Western developers, their games have more variety.

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