The Japanese game industry is undoubedly facing challenges, and in the opinion of some is losing its influence as the homeland of gaming: as Keiji Inafune said at the Tokyo Game Show in 2009, for example, 'Japan is over'. That said, a comment made by indie developer Phil Fish at a GDC (Game Developer's Conference) event is causing controversy.
At a Q&A shortly after a screening of Indie Game: The Movie — which follows the trials and tribulations of three prominent small developers, including Fish — there was a question from a Japanese developer seeking opinions on modern Japanese games. A reasonable question, to which the unreasonable response was, 'your games just suck'. After going on to give some justifications for this comment at the event, it seems Fish's views didn't adjust away from the GDC hall: one tweet afterwards said the following.
im sorry japanese guy! i was a bit rough, but your country's games are f****** terrible nowadays.
There has been plenty of ire directed at Fish, and we would suggest that his comments do reflect a level of ignorance and, perhaps, arrogance. While the Japanese games industry may not be at the heights of old, it's still producing some top-class gaming experiences: proof of that can be found in the latest major Wii releases, Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story, as well as almost every first-party Nintendo game developed by its internal teams.
Let's hope others don't make unfair and sweeping generalisations about indie developer's attitudes in the same vein as Phil Fish did about the Japanese video game industry.