Mega Man Creator Shakes Fist At Japanese Game Industry

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Mega Man Creator Shakes Fist At Japanese Game Industry

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"The western audience is turning its back on us," says Keiji Inafune.

The common consensus seems to be that while Japanese developers are still dominating the handheld market, they've fallen behind when it comes to AAA titles. Inafune, former Capcom R&D commander, co-creator of stumpy gaming-icon, Mega Man, and an outspoken critic of the Japanese game industry, reckons it's because developers are ignoring criticism.

"You should tell the truth about Japanese games not being what they used to be," he told Wired.

"Unless they get that criticism, Japanese game creators are just sitting on the glories of the past. They won't get the message that the Western audience is turning its back on us."

"Right now, Japan believes that other Asian games, and American games, aren't as good as theirs," he continued. "But across the world, American games are the best-selling and considered the most fun. But Japan's gamers and game creators still won't accept this. This is why Japan can't win."

Very few Japanese developers have the money to compete with western developers when it comes to AAA titles. Rising development costs have caused many smaller developers to shift over to developing titles for handhelds or the Wii, which generally cost less to make.

Inafune believes that Japanese developers need to swallow their pride and admit there's a problem.

"When they're embarrassed and they feel obliged to change, it would make a difference," he said, before suggesting more Japanese developers collaborate with Western developers.

"It's impossible for Japan to win with just Japanese power. Everybody in Japan should work with foreign developers," he said.

"Not just paying them money and letting them make whatever they think is good, but really working together, coming up with new ideas together and discussing how to make something brand new. That would result in a chemical reaction in a good way. There's no way that Japan can be on their own anymore."

Capcom's most-recent attempts at working with western developers have been a decidedly mixed bag. Bionic Commando, developed by Grin, was a critical and commercial flop, as was Airtight Games' Dark Void. On the other hand, despite sucking like a black hole in a brothel, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City by Slant Six managed impressive sales, and Dead Rising 2, developed in conjunction with Capcom Vancouver (then Blue Castle Games), was both critically and commercially successful.

Inafune has made similarly harsh remarks about the Japanese game industry in the past; back in 2009 he claimed the Japanese game industry was "finished."

Source: Wired

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He's right. In my youngest days I used to admire the luck of Japanese gamers. They seemingly got the best and most interesting games and if we got some over here it was a lucky treat. Now though, What is to envy. The Japanese game industry hasn't changed one single bit from when I admired it. American companies have made fun, interesting, and unique games while they Japanese industry is lagging behind in any sort of creativity.

Baresark:
He's right. In my youngest days I used to admire the luck of Japanese gamers. They seemingly got the best and most interesting games and if we got some over here it was a lucky treat. Now though, What is to envy. The Japanese game industry hasn't changed one single bit from when I admired it. American companies have made fun, interesting, and unique games while they Japanese industry is lagging behind in any sort of creativity.

The main problem is most of the games that are decently made are on the hand-held and no one wants to support them here. Everyone has an android or ios device so why buy a psp or ds?? I have switched to hand-held gaming now for nearly all Japanese games expect for visual novels on the p.c. and mainly play western games on my consoles now. The only expectation would be on the ps3 since nisa is still willing to bring over obscure games along with x-seed on the psp like corpse party.

Baresark:
He's right. In my youngest days I used to admire the luck of Japanese gamers. They seemingly got the best and most interesting games and if we got some over here it was a lucky treat. Now though, What is to envy. The Japanese game industry hasn't changed one single bit from when I admired it. American companies have made fun, interesting, and unique games while they Japanese industry is lagging behind in any sort of creativity.

Honestly as much as I like some Japanese games like Half Minute Hero, The Ys series, the Tales series and a good amount of what NIS America publishes I agree as well. I especially don't like how many of them have just stopped caring about the rest of the world.

I agree completely with what Mr. Inafune says. While in the past many Japanese games were wacky and really creative it just feels nowadays that they are trying to rehash the same thing over and over. While I do believe that the phrase "don't fix what isn't broke" works in real life after a while that magic formula for creating games will lose its ability. To me nowadays it just seems like the same IPs come out year after year in Japan; meanwhile in other countries they are presenting new and interesting games. Like Baresark said, I remember being young and seeing the amazing things the Japanese gaming industry has produced, but now I see it as trying to have the lightning strike multiple places at once. As we know the world is made like the Thunder Plains in FFX so that won't happen.
As a little side note I wish that Capcom would let Mr. Inafune finish Megaman Legends 3.

80Maxwell08:

Baresark:
He's right. In my youngest days I used to admire the luck of Japanese gamers. They seemingly got the best and most interesting games and if we got some over here it was a lucky treat. Now though, What is to envy. The Japanese game industry hasn't changed one single bit from when I admired it. American companies have made fun, interesting, and unique games while they Japanese industry is lagging behind in any sort of creativity.

Honestly as much as I like some Japanese games like Half Minute Hero, The Ys series, the Tales series and a good amount of what NIS America publishes I agree as well. I especially don't like how many of them have just stopped caring about the rest of the world.

Simply put they don't need us to survive in the rest of world with their types of games and are hugely conservative on releasing titles outside of japan. I would kill for there to be flood-gate of games from bandai namco on the psp, ps3 and 360 like toradora portable or oreimo portable but those are just so niche they fear it won't sell. I know there is market here for those type of games here the problem is getting them over I mean look at large amount effort it took to bring over the three wii rpgs to the western world.

I do hope Japanese game developers are able to change with the times without losing their identities and creative drives.

Neronium:

As a little side note I wish that Capcom would left Mr. Inafune finish Megaman Legends 3.

Yeah, but that would require Capcom to admit it made a(n obviously) bad choice. And just like they want to believe Bionic Commando was the next sliced bread, they also aren't gonna admit they made a stupid decision with that either.

Hell, the most we are getting as an admission of stupidity is Ninja Theory's Devil May Cry title. At least NT grabbed a more fitting voice actor, gave him some more "Dante-ish" lines, bulked him up a bit more so he isn't some twiggy crackhead, and even appeared to have altered his hair style by a bit.
Capcom would of just plugged their ears and start shouting "Changes? What changes?! There's no changes to Dante!"

cursedseishi:

Neronium:

As a little side note I wish that Capcom would left Mr. Inafune finish Megaman Legends 3.

Yeah, but that would require Capcom to admit it made a(n obviously) bad choice. And just like they want to believe Bionic Commando was the next sliced bread, they also aren't gonna admit they made a stupid decision with that either.

Hell, the most we are getting as an admission of stupidity is Ninja Theory's Devil May Cry title. At least NT grabbed a more fitting voice actor, gave him some more "Dante-ish" lines, bulked him up a bit more so he isn't some twiggy crackhead, and even appeared to have altered his hair style by a bit.
Capcom would of just plugged their ears and start shouting "Changes? What changes?! There's no changes to Dante!"

I would pay the guy that has the resident evil 2 prototype to dump that iso online but cap-com pretends that doesn't exist either

Cecilthedarkknight_234:

80Maxwell08:

Baresark:
He's right. In my youngest days I used to admire the luck of Japanese gamers. They seemingly got the best and most interesting games and if we got some over here it was a lucky treat. Now though, What is to envy. The Japanese game industry hasn't changed one single bit from when I admired it. American companies have made fun, interesting, and unique games while they Japanese industry is lagging behind in any sort of creativity.

Honestly as much as I like some Japanese games like Half Minute Hero, The Ys series, the Tales series and a good amount of what NIS America publishes I agree as well. I especially don't like how many of them have just stopped caring about the rest of the world.

Simply put they don't need us to survive in the rest of world with their types of games and are hugely conservative on releasing titles outside of japan. I would kill for there to be flood-gate of games from bandai namco on the psp, ps3 and 360 like toradora portable or oreimo portable but those are just so niche they fear it won't sell. I know there is market here for those type of games here the problem is getting them over I mean look at large amount effort it took to bring over the three wii rpgs to the western world.

That is true and what I've noticed too, and Nintendo seems to be the worse offender at this. Sony doesn't really care about porting them either, however their console has no region lock and can be imported. Nintendo on the other hand doesn't like not having region locks with how the 3DS is region locked and the DS wasn't. I'm sure though that their is a point or two that I'm missing in the region lock argument, so if I am please correct me. But if they were to release certain games outside of their country than they would surely garner more sales. Which brings me to my next point that is a huge problem with the Japanese gaming industry: They don't like taking any risks. With a business sometimes risks are needed to be taken, but if they continue to go down the safe and not risky path then I think they'll just end up in a worse situation.

So long as we can keep Atlus and FromSoft, I'm good.
Oooh, and Platinum.

cursedseishi:

Neronium:

As a little side note I wish that Capcom would left Mr. Inafune finish Megaman Legends 3.

Yeah, but that would require Capcom to admit it made a(n obviously) bad choice. And just like they want to believe Bionic Commando was the next sliced bread, they also aren't gonna admit they made a stupid decision with that either.

Hell, the most we are getting as an admission of stupidity is Ninja Theory's Devil May Cry title. At least NT grabbed a more fitting voice actor, gave him some more "Dante-ish" lines, bulked him up a bit more so he isn't some twiggy crackhead, and even appeared to have altered his hair style by a bit.
Capcom would of just plugged their ears and start shouting "Changes? What changes?! There's no changes to Dante!"

That is true. The day that Capcom admits that they were wrong about a decision is the day that Valve releases Half Life 2: Episode 3.

Keiji Inafune: the last sane man in the Japanese game industry.

I gotta hand it to him, he's got balls of steel for risking such huge ire from his Japanese fans; but if we take a hard look at ourselves everything he's saying seems pretty true.

And really, I'd love a west and east game collaboration. I feel both mindsets can learn a lot from each other.

AC10:
Keiji Inafune: the last sane man in the Japanese game industry.

I gotta hand it to him, he's got balls of steel for risking such huge ire from his Japanese fans; but if we take a hard look at ourselves everything he's saying seems pretty true.

And really, I'd love a west and east game collaboration. I feel both mindsets can learn a lot from each other.

He's not the only one. I heard Hideo Kojima also say many of the same things. I had a game informer which had a few major Japanese devs say this but I got rid of all of my game informers a while ago.

The problem in japan is there has almost been this xenophobia when it came to western gaming, they seem reluctant to adopt foreign hardware and developers have been in this kind of bubble where they seem only to think of the Japanese market. Nintendo is equally guilty of this and had to to forced to release games by project rainfall.

Ok here is the skinny; as many in the JP industry have stated it including capcom, former members of Team Clover and countless others; Japanese game makers are sitting on their laurels. Many games are made with the domestic market in mind and many of those are simply a repackage of previous titles. Im talking about games we rarely see in the west, i lot of the popular arcade (and i mean physical arcade, which is still a big deal over there) fighters in japan have been suffering from cut and paste syndrome for years.

The problem is, pardon the pun, the game has changed. the domestic market in japan is no longer worth many publisher's time, on the opposite end many mainstays of Japanese gaming have been selling better over here for years whilst flagging at home, FF being a notable example. Mobile games have been heavily displacing portable games outside of japan, indie games and downloadable titles are a big chunk of the growing market now and japan's own market in its isolation has failed to move with the times.

Its not one big problem, its an accumulation of smaller ones but there are so many its now hard to list.

80Maxwell08:

AC10:
Keiji Inafune: the last sane man in the Japanese game industry.

I gotta hand it to him, he's got balls of steel for risking such huge ire from his Japanese fans; but if we take a hard look at ourselves everything he's saying seems pretty true.

And really, I'd love a west and east game collaboration. I feel both mindsets can learn a lot from each other.

He's not the only one. I heard Hideo Kojima also say many of the same things. I had a game informer which had a few major Japanese devs say this but I got rid of all of my game informers a while ago.

I wouldn't exactly call Kojima sane :P

Neronium:

Cecilthedarkknight_234:

80Maxwell08:

Honestly as much as I like some Japanese games like Half Minute Hero, The Ys series, the Tales series and a good amount of what NIS America publishes I agree as well. I especially don't like how many of them have just stopped caring about the rest of the world.

Simply put they don't need us to survive in the rest of world with their types of games and are hugely conservative on releasing titles outside of japan. I would kill for there to be flood-gate of games from bandai namco on the psp, ps3 and 360 like toradora portable or oreimo portable but those are just so niche they fear it won't sell. I know there is market here for those type of games here the problem is getting them over I mean look at large amount effort it took to bring over the three wii rpgs to the western world.

That is true and what I've noticed too, and Nintendo seems to be the worse offender at this. Sony doesn't really care about porting them either, however their console has no region lock and can be imported. Nintendo on the other hand doesn't like not having region locks with how the 3DS is region locked and the DS wasn't. I'm sure though that their is a point or two that I'm missing in the region lock argument, so if I am please correct me. But if they were to release certain games outside of their country than they would surely garner more sales. Which brings me to my next point that is a huge problem with the Japanese gaming industry: They don't like taking any risks. With a business sometimes risks are needed to be taken, but if they continue to go down the safe and not risky path then I think they'll just end up in a worse situation.

Which is why i will not buy a 3ds until that's removed why would region lock a hand-held?? There isn't a point in doing that besides ninendo being worried games like love plus or other risque games being imported that would cause some kind of uproar. Hell sega of America is on final loss as well cutting back on workers but hell maybe i am fool to think if they released the any of the hatsune miku, shining hero or valkyria chronicles games here they would make some profit off of the niche crowd if they did special editions. Everyone is just worried about what we will think of their games that do have actual buyers here they don't want to take the risk and end up worse like you stated.

I believe Inafune is right, but the Japanese developers are only half conscious about the problem.

On one side, several developers over there are claiming that (Kojima, Inafune, Suda 51, Itagaki, etc). The decline in popularity of Japanese games is a well known fact and events like TGS are full of conferences about this situation and how can they reverse it.

However, there is also the issue that most Japanese people don't like western games based on the origin only. They are not interested on them, and they see them with the disdain gamers here see portable games. That makes developers trying to appeal to the global market as awkward, consumers as little interested and companies reluctant to them (other than from a monetary standpoint). They see Call of Duty and God of War are successful in the west but they can't figure out why, then they try to emulate them and if feels off. The dissonance is also noticeable when western developers try to emulate japanese games, but results there are often better, since western developers have higher esteem of the japanese products than the other way around.

Of course, there are examples like Skyrim being very popular there, but those are few and far between.

Preposterous we know exactly what we're doing! Now get to localizing another spin-off of Final Fantasy 13 and cutting content from Capcom and Street Fighter while making sure no original IP gets a decent release outside Japan.

AC10:

80Maxwell08:

AC10:
Keiji Inafune: the last sane man in the Japanese game industry.

I gotta hand it to him, he's got balls of steel for risking such huge ire from his Japanese fans; but if we take a hard look at ourselves everything he's saying seems pretty true.

And really, I'd love a west and east game collaboration. I feel both mindsets can learn a lot from each other.

He's not the only one. I heard Hideo Kojima also say many of the same things. I had a game informer which had a few major Japanese devs say this but I got rid of all of my game informers a while ago.

I wouldn't exactly call Kojima sane :P

Well I was refering to the part about you saying he had balls just pointing out there is more than one person who realizes the problem. Also I think the Dead Rising games were some form of collaboration between east and west. I'm unsure though it might have been something else.

There's a lot of coasting on previous successes going on, yeah. Japanese companies are trying to put a big name on something to make up for lack of hardware or a short development cycle, but that has just brought down the name of popular titles, such as RE5, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, the new Silent Hill games, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Final Fantasy XIII, etc.

There will be a lull in a series, with some horrible game getting greenlit and a full release with all the bells and whistles and then flopping horribly. After that, the company will frantically try to figure out what's wrong for the sequel. If the sequel does even slightly better the company will say,

"whew, thought we were in some real trouble there, but the brand shined through so we're OK forever",

...and go right back to their previous practices. Resident Evil is a prime example of this. Between 4 (which had a long, healthy development cycle after 3 didn't do so well) and 5 (which was rushed out because, hey, the audience came crawling back and they'll buy anything now) there was a huge difference in quality and length of development time. Development time is the entirety of what seperates awful games from great ones, and the industry still doesn't seem to get it yet.

Megaman Legends 3 Capcom. Work on it and we'll forgive you.

Agreed. A lot of Japanese games fall back on the same old tricks, but it does sometimes work. See Dragon Quest and Monster Hunter. More often though, many people are alienated by all the Japanese culture. It's like anime, they're all pretty similar and look pretty much the same, unlike western animation which is filled with new ideas.

PrototypeC:
Super Mario Galaxy 2

A bit of nitpicking here, but SMG2 wasn't bad, it just wasn't new, whereas the other examples you listed pretty much screwed up all the work of past games.

80Maxwell08:

AC10:

80Maxwell08:

He's not the only one. I heard Hideo Kojima also say many of the same things. I had a game informer which had a few major Japanese devs say this but I got rid of all of my game informers a while ago.

I wouldn't exactly call Kojima sane :P

Well I was refering to the part about you saying he had balls just pointing out there is more than one person who realizes the problem. Also I think the Dead Rising games were some form of collaboration between east and west. I'm unsure though it might have been something else.

The first one was a Japanese dev team trying to make a game that appealed to westerners. The second was just a purely western effort.

Scrumpmonkey:

Its not one big problem, its an accumulation of smaller ones but there are so many its now hard to list.

I have to agree with what you said, especially the part I quoted. However I think it's more of pride that the Japanese Gaming Industry displays than xenophobia. Although that's not to say that both don't contribute.

Paya Chin:

Cecilthedarkknight_234:

Baresark:
He's right. In my youngest days I used to admire the luck of Japanese gamers. They seemingly got the best and most interesting games and if we got some over here it was a lucky treat. Now though, What is to envy. The Japanese game industry hasn't changed one single bit from when I admired it. American companies have made fun, interesting, and unique games while they Japanese industry is lagging behind in any sort of creativity.

The main problem is most of the games that are decently made are on the hand-held and no one wants to support them here. Everyone has an android or ios device so why buy a psp or ds?? ...

bad trolling is bad...

I am not trolling in the western market mainstream people want ios or android devices to play games on instead of hand held from Sony or Nintendo. Look at the sales numbers of those devices because of the portability they have or wide array to apps/games. No one in this day/age wants to lug around 2-3 tech devices anymore to play games, use a phone or tweet with.

Foolproof:

80Maxwell08:

AC10:

I wouldn't exactly call Kojima sane :P

Well I was refering to the part about you saying he had balls just pointing out there is more than one person who realizes the problem. Also I think the Dead Rising games were some form of collaboration between east and west. I'm unsure though it might have been something else.

The first one was a Japanese dev team trying to make a game that appealed to westerners. The second was just a purely western effort.

Ah thanks for that. Though I think Keiji did work on DR2. Still my source is wikipedia.

Paya Chin:

Cecilthedarkknight_234:

Baresark:
He's right. In my youngest days I used to admire the luck of Japanese gamers. They seemingly got the best and most interesting games and if we got some over here it was a lucky treat. Now though, What is to envy. The Japanese game industry hasn't changed one single bit from when I admired it. American companies have made fun, interesting, and unique games while they Japanese industry is lagging behind in any sort of creativity.

The main problem is most of the games that are decently made are on the hand-held and no one wants to support them here. Everyone has an android or ios device so why buy a psp or ds?? ...

bad trolling is bad...

Most people I know own an Android phone and I'm sitting in one of the very undeveloped countries. That statement is spot on for the Western market, which is what we're talking about here.

dragongit:
Megaman Legends 3 Capcom. Work on it and we'll forgive you.

When I heard it was cancelled I was so upset. I remember Data's quite about how Negaman was gonna be stuck up there a little while longer...seems now it'll be forever. DX
But that also brings up a point about some companies that don't like to take risks. I mean while one game may flop, a company shouldn't quickly cancel a game out of fear of it not selling. I mean if you're certain it won't sell than they should cancel a game, but if a game has an obvious fan base, let's use the Megaman fan base as an example, then you just upset everyone; especially when the game already has a prototype and they were going to charge you for it.. But a company also shouldn't rely on it's fan base to keep a series afloat.

Neronium:

Scrumpmonkey:

Its not one big problem, its an accumulation of smaller ones but there are so many its now hard to list.

I have to agree with what you said, especially the part I quoted. However I think it's more of pride that the Japanese Gaming Industry displays than xenophobia. Although that's not to say that both don't contribute.

Well i did say "like a kind of gaming xenophobia", i know its not a perfect explanation but it does encapsulate the end result of their self imposed isolation and slight arrogance.

Japan as a market has evolved much like the Dodo bird; they are on a quirky little island seemingly with no natural gaming predators. But the outside world has come to japan, like it or not. It is not equipped to deal with outside influences and so tries to ignore them. It does not realize that the European and American setters are going to chase it down and bash its head in.

It's isolated its self for too long and now it could way pay dearly for being out evolved by the rest of the gaming world. Hell eastern Europe is now on the bleeding edge of uncompromising PC gaming experiences.

Inafune, shut up. It's nothing but tiring now. I love how this whiny, petulant, bitter old man does nothing but piss and moan about Japan and put the West on some kind of pedestal despite the fact that it also has ALL the same problems as Japanese development. He has to go out of his way to ignore devs like Atlus, Arc System Works, FromSoftware, Grasshopper Manufacture, Vanillaware, and NIN-FUCKING-TENDO in order to make his strawman argument work.

Also:

"Japanese game creators are just sitting on the glories of the past."

As opposed to you, who is sitting on the glories of others? Yeah, I said it. Inafune NEVER made Mega Man. That goes to either Tokuro Fujiwara or Akira Kitamura who were on the first game from the beginning as Inafune was brought on when most of the work was finished. Inafune is the Ringo Starr of gaming; a guy who was at the right place at the right time and got LUCKY instead of relying on actual talent. Congratulations Inafune, you're a pot calling the kettle black. Now go away and sulk in private instead of making your bullshit other people's problem.

Aiddon:
Inafune, shut up. It's nothing but tiring now. I love how this whiny, petulant, bitter old man does nothing but piss and moan about Japan and put the West on some kind of pedestal despite the fact that it also has ALL the same problems as Japanese development. He has to go out of his way to ignore devs like Atlus, Arc System Works, FromSoftware, Grasshopper Manufacture, Vanillaware, and NIN-FUCKING-TENDO in order to make his strawman argument work.

Also:

"Japanese game creators are just sitting on the glories of the past."

As opposed to you, who is sitting on the glories of others? Yeah, I said it. Inafune NEVER made Mega Man. That goes to either Tokuro Fujiwara or Akira Kitamura who were on the first game from the beginning as Inafune was brought on when most of the work was finished. Inafune is the Ringo Starr of gaming; a guy who was at the right place at the right time and got LUCKY instead of relying on actual talent. Congratulations Inafune, you're a pot calling the kettle black. Now go away and sulk in private instead of making your bullshit other people's problem.

You realize that he told people he didn't make megaman right? He made Zero, the Dead Rising games, the Battle Network series, Onimusha,and a ton of other games. Also you listed 6 companies. Now how many game companies are in Japan? Also Keiji is not the only one who has said this many others have as well.

The 3ds has a region lock? So, since I'm from canada, I can't play in florida on vacation, awsome.

The only Japaneese games I seem to enjoy anymore are the tales games, and at least they tried to change those up a little, very poorly done but at least they tried(I'm looking at you Symphonia 2 and Graces)

Neronium:
I agree completely with what Mr. Inafune says. While in the past many Japanese games were wacky and really creative it just feels nowadays that they are trying to rehash the same thing over and over. While I do believe that the phrase "don't fix what isn't broke" works in real life after a while that magic formula for creating games will lose its ability.

You know, when I here someone say that about various things, I have the strong urge to kick their teeth in. While it can hold true, that same mentality can and will lead to stagnation. Thats not to say completely throwing an idea that works out is necessary, but allowing it to be pushed to the side so a new idea can grow wont kill anyone.

Oddly enough, this is basically the same arguement I find myself with when talking about the Zelda series.

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