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Digital markets "an afterthought" for Japanese companies - Inafune

Younger generation feels "entitled" but lacks creativity, digital looked down upon, says creator

Ex-Capcom developer Keiji Inafune has accused Japanese developers of dismissing digital markets and looking down on digital content created for consoles, smartphones and social platforms.

A long-time critic of the Japanese development attitude, Inafune also said that young development talent has the wrong attitude to creativity and lacks the stamina to create hit games.

"I think that one of the issues is that creators, the top-notch high-profile game creators, don't seem to want to do digital download titles because they're an afterthought, like it's below them," he told 1UP.

The younger creators of today, they just don't have that power, they don't have that strength, that creativity.

Keiji Inafune, Comcept

"The real 'rockstar' Japanese game creators are only going to do more expensive packaged products and a lot of times, even if the idea internally is to do a complimentary digital download game that goes with a packaged product, it's kind of a hassle to try and spend some of your team and resources on a digital download when you want to keep them focused all on the main project at hand.

"So it ends up being delayed or it becomes an afterthought; it's a self-fulfilling prophecy almost. Additionally, that's going to mean that consumers aren't really into those games because the high-profile people aren't usually making them. On top of that, because that's one of the issues, a lot of times digital games will not sell in Japan and therefore the sales teams in Japan tend to not put a lot of energy and time to pushing them and marketing them the right way."

He was critical of a younger generation of game development talent, suggesting a lack creativity and a deluded attitude that Japanese development is the best in the world.

"The younger creators of today, they just don't have that power, they don't have that strength, that creativity, they're all kind of born into 'Japan is number one in the gaming industry' so all they've got now is a lot of pride without the hungry go-getter attitude of trying to become the top.

"And so what that has done now is you've got a bunch of people that feel entitled, that feel they're already number one even though they're not."

Inafune also shed light on the two new studios he created since leaving Capcom. Comcept is a team acting as think tank for projects that can span different media, while Intercept will act more as a traditional publisher and developer.

"By forming two very separate entities as companies and saying OK, the one side that's going to do the creative concepts this is going to be Comcept, and they're going to focus on all the creativity and they're not going to be limited to games, they're going to be able to do comic books or movies or games, of course, but it's all going to be about ideas.

"And then separate from that, Intercept, they're going to be the game company, they make games, they're going to be the production side, they're doing what we've always done as game creators, they're actually making the product but they're more of a process, they're more building out the games based on the ideas the Comcept side has developed."

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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