The current state of Japanese video games. inquisitive rant

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xorthen
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The current state of Japanese video games. inquisitive rant

Postby xorthen » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:25 pm

Is it just me or has the Japanese video game industry become stagnant? I remember a time when there were an abundance of quality games coming out of Japan and to the states. It seems to me that Japanese devs have lost their creative process and opted in return for dishing out mediocre titles. There have been 2 Japanese RPG's that I've bought for PS3, Resonance of Fate and FFXIII. Sadly FFXIII was an insult to me as a fan of the old FF. Resonance of Fate was a very good game with a few issues. However the game had a nostalgic feel to it and you can tell the creators took their time to make it original. Anyways I'm just bummed out because there has been a huge lack of originality coming from the Japanese industry lately. When will there be a new game that will push the limits in terms of creativity? I distinctively remember when the PS one was around it was the undisputed champion of video games. TF V, Vagrant Story, Silent Bomber, Raystorm, SFA, Dracula X, FFVII, Parappa The rapper, Resident Evil

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Postby xorthen » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:32 pm

Saga Frontier, Wild Arms, Suikoden, etc. I can go on but you get the point. Has the japanese video games industry become poor or is it a lack of acceptance of individual companies being marketed to mainstream audiences? I just remember the time when it seemed like every month or two amazing games were being released. I've been so dissapointed with the lack of games coming out on next gen consoles that I went and bought a bunch of old games off the Japanese playstation store just to "support" the industry. I know its far fetched but damn it I miss my quality Japanese games! Anybody else share similar sentiments or have their own input as to what the hell went wrong with Japanese video game industry lately

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Postby Shou » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:05 am

There are a number of factors of what have caused this but I don't have the time to write an essay on each one so some bullet points:

- Japanese are tech illiterate, most people don't regularly use PCs and are not familiar with things like SNS sites, IM clients, RSS feeds, modern day forums, PC gaming, etc, rather they use their proprietary mobile phones for a gimped internet experience from 10 years ago

- Consoles have moved from proprietary Japanese architecture/documentation (DC, PS2) to PC dev friendly, more off the shelf parts means that Western and developing country PC devs who have been creating PC titles can easily move their skillsets over

- Global economy downturn trend = less money to invest and less income coming in for the big players (ie look at the dollar yen rate)

- Japanese cultural trends of pussy men (herbivores) dominance have negatively affected the design of pop culture and have created a gap between what Japan and the West find appealing (eg main characters of Gears of War vs cast of FF13)


In summary, Japanese have been behind in tech for years, especially in the PC dev and networking space. This has finally caught up to them as console development has become more PC like and not Japanese proprietary as it has been in past generations. Most developers do not have advanced experience with the graphic tools Western devs and even students use and few companies have money to invest in training their people so the Japanese devs are very much stuck in stagnant PS2/Wii dev processes.
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Postby Ganelon » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:06 pm

If you think it's just you, you may have hid away in a cave these past few years. Everyone from fans to media to JP directors have been agreeing that Japan-developed games are showing stagnation.

What's the problem? I think higher production values and expectations are a big cause. If you have to spend so much to make your game look acceptable to a majority, then there's less to focus on other aspects. Plus, any failure is greatly compounded. So there's little experimentation encouraged.

When was the last groundbreaking new genre created? We had survival horror with Biohazard, rhythm with Bemani, a revival of the party/variety genre... but has any genre stayed through this past decade?

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Postby xorthen » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:17 am

Sadly I have been a bit of a recluse to games lately. I sold a majority of my collection due to concerns with the economy. I sure miss those games and have since invested elsewhere. I'm still hoping for some great new games to come out but I have no idea what's on the agenda in the japanese industry. I heard something about Sega releasing old Dreamcast classics on the PS3 last March or May but I have heard nothing since then. It'd be awesome to see some great shooters on the PS store since I've started rebuilding my collection digitally.


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