Studios Shouls "Start Over Again"
Former Capcom R&D chief Keiji Inafune has delivered another damning indictment of Japanese game development at GDC 2012, referring to the industry as "a frog in a well," "closed-minded" and "losers." However, he's not without solutions - suggesting that Japanese studios should stop looking at their past successes and instead continue developing their brands with new gameplay ideas.
Inafune was quick to gloat over a statement made in 2009, when he stated that the Japanese games industry was "finished." Apparently, more developers are starting to come around to his way of thinking as past glories don't equate to 21st century sales.
Everyone in Japan gave me the stink eye for making such a bold statement. How dare you say our industry is dead! However, some of those folks are now starting to run out of steam.
They realise that perhaps my prediction was true. Maybe Inafune was right.
Back in the day Japanese games were used to winning and were used to success. We celebrated all sorts of victories. However at some point these winners became losers. Not accepting that fact has led to the tragic state of Japanese games today.
The Japanese games industry has become like a frog in a well. It is very closed minded.
However, rather than just having a good old moan (as per usual, I should point out), Inafune was quick to urge his countrymen to develop and push their franchises further with each iteration rather than falling back on past success.
There is something you must do to win. You must acknowledge your loss, and start over again. We are humans, and have our own pride, but we cannot win if we keep that pride up.
Japanese leaders today must think about rebuilding the brands rather than just sustaining them. They need to do so now. It will be too late when our brands hold no equity and no power. Time is running out and we should have realised this when I made that bold statement a few years ago.
As you'd expect, his comments haven't exactly been received well throughout all quarters, but his optimistic solutions and obvious knowledge of the industry does put him in better stead than Phil Fish...