Capcom: Japanese industry needs to evolve to catch up with West

If it doesn't "we don't have a hope in hell", says Lost Planet 2 producer

Lost Planet 2 producer Jun Takeuchi has said that the Japanese games industry needs to evolve in order to have a "hope in hell" of catching up with the West.

Speaking to Xbox World 360 (reported by CVG) Takeuchi said: "If the Japanese games industry doesn't evolve and simply maintains its current status quo, I really don't think we have a hope in hell."

"Drastically innovative ideas are needed - and quickly - to equal or exceed the Western games industry," he added.

His comments followed those of Capcom president Haruhiro Tsujimota who - speaking to the Financial Times - restated Capcom's stance on working with western-based developers following the poor performances of Airtight's Dark Void and GRIN's Bionic Commando last year.

"As a group, the new titles where development was led from abroad didn't do so well," he said.

The company now plans to create new IPs locally and only use overseas developers for sequels and ports.

He added that he was yet to see Nintendo's 3DS, but that he was "interested" in the handheld, and expressed his view that Microsoft and Sony needed to be open about their motion controller business models in order for them to succeed.

"If there isn't a strong business model message from the platform holders about how they will develop [motion controllers] with users, then I don't think it will go well," he said.

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Latest comments (12)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 11 years ago
I think this is very true - one thing which stands out for me this gen is that although many Japanese games are gorgeous, most of the game worlds lack a sense of physical weight and by extension make me feel somewhat disassociated from the game. I would like to see more Japanese developers integrating Havok and other comparable physics software in an effort to create more of a physical presence for both the characters and inanimate objects.

I do think that the reason Japanese developers are behind Western developers in this regard is because these technologies tend to be pioneered by first-person shooters, which is obviously a genre that's not big with Japanese developers.
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In addition to this, i'd like to say perhaps the partners chosen by capcom, and the level of quality assurance process/understanding of japanese work ethic/aesthetic within the feedback process was less than ideal, for that important first marriage.

It remains to be seen if a Japanese only local IP development would produce similar successful fruits of labour. No doubt the level of design and aesthetics would have a high bar. Although, once coudl argue gameplay/story and immersiveness are where some Japaense developers are slightly behind the curve.

One aspect that perhaps needs to be looked into is to reduce the amount of movie CGI cutscenes. A game can still be filmic/atmospheric without extended interactive-less cutscenes....which in this day/age jolts the participant from that level of believability/immersive instant-ness.
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Private Industry 11 years ago
I would agree with Capcom when it comes to the technical aspect of games and gameplay mechanics (in regards to third party developers). In many cases the games graphics are behind western games, but despite that I still like many Japanese games. The issue I have with Japanese games is when they are tailored to be more for the western audience (i.e. RE5) or the mainstream audience (i.e. FF13).

If catching up to the west means less games like Valkyria Chronicles or Resonance of Fate and more games like RE5 that are just miles away from the original one then I rather have them not catching up.
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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 11 years ago
I think not all Japanese games are not innovative enough. I think too many developers are trying to cash in on the western market that they forgot what makes Japanese games unique. For example, Demon's Souls is an extremely innovative game using similar parameters as Dragon Age Origins in terms of period references and game play but Demon's Souls' production is way higher than Dragon Age Origins - from gameplay, character model design (you don't see cheap polygons on characters) and online connectivity.

On the other hand looke at FF XIII, it tried so hard to please the western audience - yes it sold heaps but then most people agreed that it has lost the magic touch that Final Fantasy usually have.

And I completely agree with Werner that games like Valkyria Chronicles, the original Resident Evil games, Resonance of Fate, even in my opinion Disgaea and Demons Souls are games that make Japanese developers great. They provide a huge variety of gameplay within the same genre as compared to the west its just FPS, hack'n slash "RPG" and racing games.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Haven Tso on 18th May 2010 10:03pm

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Bring me back Final Fantasy 6 (truly a perfect 10 to this day!) :)
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Tony Johns11 years ago
Japanese games should focus on just being themselves, and not try to be like the Western games if it means that they might lose everything good about being a Japanese game.

I love Japanese games, but if they were to evolve into a western style game because of market pressure, then I would be considering being just a retro gamer of the old style Japanese kind.

At least Visual Novels are in a market of their own and don't have to worry about market pressure...
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Shane Sweeney Academic 11 years ago
Bit Doom and gloom isnt it?

1.Wii Sports (63.46 million)
2.Wii Play (27.38 million)
3.Wii Fit (22.61 million)
4.Mario Kart Wii (22.55 million)
5.Wii Sports Resort (16.14 million)
6.New Super Mario Bros. Wii (14.70 million)
7.Wii Fit Plus (12.65 million)
8.Super Smash Bros. Brawl (9.48 million)
9.Super Mario Galaxy (8.84 million)
10.Mario Party 8 (7.6 million)

Some Japanese companies are doing very well. I think the fact the PS3 and Xbox 360 havnt had stellar sales in Japan is a large part of the reason publishers that target that platform can no longer depend on domestic profit like they have in past generations.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 19th May 2010 8:00am

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Shane > is that this weeks Japanese weekly/monthly sales figures? (I reckon the UK chart will still feature a top 5 wii sales eg. Just dance and Wii fit/sports in parallel)
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Aidan Fitzpatrick Artist 11 years ago
I agree with Werner, i'd hate to be in a situation where gems like Valkryia Chronicles or Demons Souls etc never saw the light of day due to their non-mainstream flavour.

Rather than ship their existing IP oversees for sequels, I prefer that they went with a more collaborative approach with an already proven studio.
I'm quietly imagining a Resident Evil sequel developed collaboratively with like say, Epic or Valve or Bungie etc.
Unlikely, but my inner geek does somersaults at the prospect :)
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 11 years ago
I agree with previous comments that I would lament the loss of very Japanese-centric games like Valkyria Chronicles, No More Heroes or Monster Hunter. What I would like to see is the developers adopt some of the elements that have been successfully present in Western games for some years - mainly, online modes and physics. I think Demon's Souls is a fantastic example of a game which married Eastern and Western game design, and I would love to see more games take a similar route.
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Doug Paras11 years ago
Dr. Chee Ming Wong > Thats probably an all time sales of current Gen games for Nintendo World wide.

Also I agree FFVI was the best FF ever, most solid cast, story, music and Villian.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 11 years ago
Chee, as Doug pointed out they are total sales figures of those titles world wide.
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