Many Western gamers don’t play Japanese games
We’ve heard this one a few times now. Japanese industry greats like Keiji Inafune have been speaking ill of their native games industry lately thanks to the rise of the rising Western games industry through franchises like Call of Duty.
“As you know, the industry has changed. It’s a totally different business here compared to five years ago. This is my personal guess, but many Western gamers don’t play Japanese games anymore or maybe they never played Japanese games. They have no interest in Japanese games,” Konami producer Tak Fujii says on the matter.
He goes on to point out that many Western gamers have only one game that they play until its sequel comes out; staying entertained by map packs and other DLC. He’s absolutely right in this regard, but unfortunately he’s reacting in the same “poor us” fashion that I see every other Japanese developer react who has an opinion on the issue.
Come on, guys! You used to be the kings of this industry! Video games used to be this magic thing from the mysterious and technologically superior realm of the East! I know the Japanese games industry is older than its Western equivalent, but that doesn’t mean it can’t embrace these new trends in gaming and make the most of them. The problem I have with a lot of Japanese games lately is that they have refused to make an effort to be relevant. Take DLC and turn it on its head with good, meaningful episodic content to add onto modern JRPGs. Figure out a way to make turn-based combat fun again. Or at least figure out another type of combat that fits JRPGs (Kingdom Hearts! Do it like that!).
Further more, can you imagine what the Japanese equivalent of Call of Duty would be? Some kind of free for all anime mayhem with players running around on walls and gutting each other with giant swords with perks and leveling mechanics is what I picture. I’d play that, what do you guys think?
Japanese game developers, I believe in you. Pick yourself up and show the world what you can do!