Although many will argue that Japan's status in the games development world has lessened over the past few hardware generations, there once was a time when all the world's best software seemed to flow from that modestly-proportioned selection of islands. Back in the days of the 8 and 16-bit consoles, companies such as Nintendo, Sega, Konami, Capcom, Irem, Namco and Taito pumped out a seemingly endless procession of amazingly playable classics, many of which continue to entertain even to this day.
Sadly for western gaming fans, getting to know the history behind these classic games is difficult, if not impossible. Although English-language magazines and sites feature an abundance of "making of" features about western games, the linguistic barrier that exists between western journalists and Japanese developers means that relatively few articles have been published about some of gaming's most beloved titles.
Journalist John Szczepaniak is aiming to change all of that. He's looking to create a book called The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers and is hoping to fund the project via Kickstarter.
Szczepaniak isn't messing about either; he's planning on flying over to Japan, hiring the best interpretor money can buy and interviewing a whole host of Japanese developers, thereby creating a unique history of the country's incredible contribution to the world of interactive entertainment. He's even getting our favourite artist Wil Overton to create the cover for the final book.
While this might sound like a flight of fancy, Szczepaniak's track record speaks for itself — he has previously written for a wide range of magazines and sites, including GamesTM, Retro Gamer and Hardcore Gaming 101. To fully fund the project he's seeking £50,000 (around $75,000) and has so far raised just over £2,906, with 33 days remaining.
We're massive fans of retro gaming and Japanese titles here at Nintendo Life, and would love to see this venture reach its goal. Will you be contributing to ensure its success? Post a comment to tell us what you think.