Platinum Games on Why Many Japanese Studios Fail to Capture Western Fans

Platinum Games' Atsushi Inaba and Kenji Saito speaks out how many Japanese studios are struggling to resonate with Western fans...

by on 6th Dec, 2012

For those who've been playing games back in the NES and SEGA Master System days, it's hard to argue against the fact that Japanese game development isn't what it used to be. Before, Western studios were always playing catch-up to whatever innovation Japanese studios had up their sleeves. Nowdays, the tables are turned and Japan-made games are struggling for sales and acceptance, while Western games lord it over sales charts year after year.

So just what might the problem to all this? In an interview with issue 160 of PSM3 magazine (via CVG), Platinum Games' Atsushi Inaba and Kenji Saito speaks out on the reasons why they think most Japanese studios fail to fare well critically in Western territories compared to them.

Inaba: I believe that the first reason is that we specialise in action games. If it feels good, it's a good game, and I think worldwide, everyone feels the same about that. If you touch the controller and it feels good then everyone's going to like it, whether it's Japanese or a western studio.

The second reason is that there was a time when westerners thought that just because a game was Japanese, it was a good game. And at the time a lot of Japanese studios slacked off in development and creativity.

Saito: I believe the same thing as Inaba - that action games just feel good, and that's something we strive for. Additionally, the character designs and bosses included in our games are very unique and stand out from the rest of the titles from Japan and from the west. We believe that's been well respected and well-received in the United States and Europe.

Inaba adds that Japanese studios are "starting to fall off a little bit and the studios are not showing that passion in their design. But we kept up the motivation and the technology." He also adds that Platinum Games doesn't want to be classified as a "Japanese studio," but they think of themselves as a "global studio" and that's how they want to be represented.

Do you agree with Inaba and Saito's statements? Can Japan reclaim its former glory when the next-generation comes around or have their game design mentalities been eclipsed by Western devs? For those old enough to remember, when did the gaming landscape change in favor of Western studios? 

Platinum Games is now developing Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance in conjunction with Kojima Productions for Konami, and is set for a worldwide release on February 2013 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

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