Inafune: Japanese devs need more energy

Comcept's Keiji Inafune continues his campaign to change Japan's games industry

Once again Keiji Inafune, who made a name for himself with Capcom before going independent, has spoken out about the challenges and issues faced by the Japanese games industry.

"I think there needs to be more energy among developers before the Japanese game industry will improve, and if we want to complete globally, they need to take a more global approach to development," he told Gamasutra.

"So I'm trying to make a company where the developers feel more of a reward for making great products. I'd like to succeed at that, and I hope that inspires other outfits to see if they can duplicate that success."

It's not the first time Inafune has shared his thoughts on his country's developers, and this time he pointed out that much of the talent within Japan goes unnoticed.

"There are a lot of very talented creators in Japan, but often they aren't in a position to use that talent, or the developer they're working for hasn't noticed that talent. So I think there needs to be a system that allows them to be more creative in their work; that would help them a lot. I think we're seeing that in my work with Marvelous; I'm digging up a lot of talent working for them."

He's currently working on Soul Sacrifice for the PlayStation Vita with Tokyo Studio Marvelous for Sony, but still heads up his Comcept studio. He explained why indie development is so rare in Japan.

"Even what independent developers there are here essentially follow orders from their client publishers. There really aren't a lot of rights given to them. As a result, you don't really see companies on the orders of hundreds of employees that try to make a name for themselves via making good products."

"With outfits in the US and Europe, it's more of a case of the developer really trying to make their own successes and reap the rewards -- that's why you see inspired people entering developers instead of publishers, and that's why it's easier for developers to build up people pretty quickly. Meanwhile, in Japan, the idea's often that you enter a developer because you couldn't join a publisher, so it's harder for them to attract people."

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Latest comments (2)

Tony Johns5 years ago
Perhaps Developers need more say in the product they want to prioritise in Developing, I could say the same thing for what happens in the Western game development where the Publishers have all the say and the Developers have no say in what they want to develop.

There have been occasions in the Japanese game industry where some Developers have had the control and the Publishers supported their products in marketing, that is the reason why we have got awesome Developers like Platinum games, Level 5 as well as when RARE used to be with Nintendo it was RARE who had the creative control because the publisher Nintendo allowed them to just be themselves with most of their games as well as asking them to make games on their past franchises like Donkey Kong.

But now with RARE at Microsoft, their creativity is gone and has been replaced by Microsoft telling them what to make and not the developer being themselves.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 5 years ago
I really respect keiji. I really know what he is pointing out when it comes to creativity.
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