Square Enix dev says Japanese industry is "pushing back"

Technical director Yoshihisa Hashimoto sees oft-derided gaming scene making a comeback

After years of stagnation, the Japanese game industry is ready for a comeback. At least, that's what Square Enix technical director Yoshihisa Hashimoto told 4Gamer last week in an interview translated by Edge.

Hashimoto acknowledged that in terms of influence on the industry, the Japanese industry is "being pushed around by Western games without a doubt." However, he has seen encouraging signs that things are changing, specifically pointing to Kojima Productions' Fox Engine work (as seen in the Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes trailer) as an example.

"Recently, it feels like the Japanese game industry hasn't lost, and is gradually pushing back."

Given that Hashimoto is currently involved in the creation of Square Enix's Luminous Studio game engine, he found the glimpse of Kojima's new engine to be motivational as well as encouraging. Hasimoto called the Fox Engine tech amazing, adding that it spurred him to think, "We [Square Enix] won't lose to this though!"

For Luminous Studio, Hashimoto is trying to create technology capable of meeting the demands of Square Enix's AAA titles, but also adaptable for smartphone, tablet, and cloud-based gaming as well.

"The aim is to broaden the vision of the company, and establish a better integrated game development environment," Hashimoto explained.

The Luminous Engine was first shown off at the Electronic Entertainment Expo earlier this year with a Final Fantasy tech demo trailer called Agni's Philosophy.

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Latest comments (11)

J.K. Studying Game Design Specialization, Austin Community College5 years ago
Square Enix should probably take a look at what its non-blinded fans are saying before it says anything about the Japanese industry "pushing back". They're not exactly in any position to talk.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
Not convinced to be honest.

I like the steps they're taking for their next generation strategy but there's a lot left to be desired. Square-Enix should be a lot more successful at this stage, should have more products and more highly rated titles than they do. Then there is plenty to say about other Japanese studios.

Its not all bad and I certainly don't think the Japanese industry is finished, but a lot of people don't seem to really understand the problem.

The Tec Guy ~AC
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It won't be long before everyone has uber engine tech... and then it's back to game design again. If I look at my recent gaming catalog it's a good mix between Japan and elsewhere.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 5 years ago
The Japanese game industry is booming.

Gree, DeNA, Cyber Agent, entag!, Cyber Agent, Acquire, Artdink, etc etc
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany5 years ago
We will have to see what happens with that new version of Final Fantasy XIV.

Aside from that, well... they are the ones (along with Capcom and Namco) focusing their production into western market by using western products.

I would like to see a quality 100% Asian product putting something new on the table. Like TERA did with it's combat when it comes to MMO's
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers5 years ago
This is all well and good to say, and I certainly hope it turns out to be true, but ultimately it will be determined by the quality of the games that release. Square Enix has oddly been defined by its Western titles (Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Hitman Absolution) than its Japanese releases over the past couple years and I hope their Japanese developers have taken that to heart.
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters5 years ago
@David Radd - It's not that odd, it's probably why they bought out Eidos in the first place, because they have so many good IPs already in existence. All your examples were highly regarded IPs long before Square Enix had anything to do with them.
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers5 years ago
@Dave Too true those are great IPs, though I have to hand it too their Western branch for nailing it with the new incarnations of each of those franchises. There's no guarantees that sequels will be as well regarded as the original, particularly in the case of Deus Ex: Human Revolution where the development team is completely different, Comparatively, it's not like their Japanese branch has done as much shifting around but it's been struggling to reach the critical heights it used to hit.
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters5 years ago
Very true, the new team did an outstanding job of Human Revolution.
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Elphège Kolingba Marketing Manager 5 years ago
Japanese developers or market should evolve and get inspiration from the other territories. The market moved on!
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Andrew Ihegbu / 5 years ago

Forgetting MGS for a second, because it's unreleased and therefore and unkown quantity... Dragon Dogma and DarK Souls are nowhere near as important as IPs as Final Fantasy, which really and truly is Square Enix's flagship, and has been very lacklustre since at least FF11.

To declare that Uncharted and Assassin's creed copied from MGS is to miss a LOT of the gameplay out too... maybe you're taking comments a little personally. I really hope that Japan comes back personally, a lot of my favourite franchises are JRPGs.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Ihegbu on 4th December 2012 8:10pm

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