Other than Nintendo and a few others, Japanese video game companies do not dominate the video game landscape like they used to. Video games have become an increasingly global phenomenon, while Japanese game development has remained insular, primarily appealing to the Japanese audience alone.
“Metal Gear Solid” creator Hideo Kojima is one of few Japanese designers whose games appeal to a worldwide audience, but in an interview with Japanese publication Famitsu Weekly (via 1UP), he pointed at the lack of Japanese games nominated in the Spike TV Video Game Awards and what that means for Japanese game development’s future.
“Japan makes all their own books and movies and music. You can’t export entertainment made by Japanese people in the Japanese language, so it’s all made with the sort of budgets that guarantee profit within the Japanese marketplace only. Meanwhile, the English-speaking world is a global one. The scariest scenario I see is people overseas taking the ideas from Japanese games, running the Hollywood business merchandising machine on them, and taking all the revenue. If that happens, then there won’t be any new Japanese creators.”
What do Japanese game developers need to do to become relevant again?