Keiji Inafune Gives Rallying Call to Japanese Developers

'It must happen now'

It seems that the Japanese game industry has become a notable topic at this year's Game Developer's Conference. As we reported yesterday there was some controversy around comments made by indie developer Phil Fish, yet some would agree that, despite the bluntness and innacuracy of saying that Japanese game 'suck', there are issues for the country's developers to confront.

Keiji Inafune is perhaps best know for his work on the Mega Man series, and in his presentation titled The Future of Japanese Games he delivered his verdict on the current state of the Japanese games industry and where it needs to improve. After famously declaring in the past that 'Japan is dead', Inafune admits that he was trying to provoke a reaction from his peers.

At that time I was still at Capcom and I believe that they are one of the few Japanese companies that kept up with Western standards. We always strove to develop games with a global audience in mind. Because we were able to see the entire global industry we would see things as they were through an unfiltered perspective. I said those words because I wanted to light a fire under the Japanese video game industry before it was too late.

Inafune acknowledged that Japanese games were 'used to winning', but argued that brands had become overused and bogged down in reliving past glories. In a rallying cry to revive Japan's pre-eminence in the industry, Inafune calls for a rebuilding of new brands and ideas, and a good old-fashioned work ethic.

We must realize the need to develop and rebuild new brands. It must happen now. It will be too late when our brands no longer hold sway. Time is running out and we should have realized this when I made that bold statement a few years ago. When times are good and you have extra money lying around it’s easy to take a few chances and even make mistakes so long as it doesn’t effect the bottom line. However, that never leads to true success. It’s probably because you are not determined or fully prepared. When times are rough and tough, who is willing to take on those hardships, to take the hard route.

Those who succeed never take the easy route. They know success comes after hard work.

What do you think about Inafune's comments? Does the Japanese industry need to be revitalised with new ideas?


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