Former Capcom developer Keiji Inafune has had some choice things to say about the state of games development in his homeland — it was his famous "Japan is over" speech at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show that triggered a protracted period of self-assessment on the part of many game designers in the country — a process which is still ongoing.
Speaking to IGN, Inafune — who left Capcom in 2010 — expressed mild optimism about the state of development in Japan, but was quick to admit that there is still much to do:
I hope Japanese game developers are breaking through the stagnation. However, the reality isn’t as good as I want it to be. I see they’re starting to be aware of the problem and that they have to do something.
They know they have to learn more from western games and create games that’ll sell more in the western market. However, they don’t know what to do or how to do it.
Even worse, their pride gets in the way, preventing them from learning from overseas developers. As a result, they end up staying in the domestic market rather than going global.
Some developers are saying [the] Japanese game industry is still doing fine, but that’s wishful thinking. Words are not enough, we must act and prove it. Unless at least a few titles from Japan make it to the top 10 games of the year worldwide, we won’t prove it.
Do you think Inafune is being too harsh on his fellow Japanese developers, or is there still room for improvement? Will we ever again see the days when Japanese games dominated the charts globally? As ever, we'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic, so leave a comment below.