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GDC 2012: Mega Man Creator Talks Japanese Games Industry

Offers tips for a glorious comeback

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At GDC this week, we’ve already seen one indie developer tell a crowded room that Japanese games suck. One of the most famous Japanese developers agrees wholeheartedly.

Mega Man creator and former Capcom global head of production Keiji Inafune talked at a panel titled “The Future of Japanese Games.” Develop is reporting that Inafune said that “Japanese studios have lost a desire to thrive, and that the country’s games industry is resting on past laurels to a point of self destruction.”

He said that Japanese developers grew use to making hit after hit back in the 90s and that led to their complacency now to rest on their laurels and not push out new IPs or ideas. He said that Japanese developers need to acknowledge that they are now losing to Western developers.

Unlike a certain indie developer who offered nothing but criticism, Inafune proposed a solution to the Japanese games industry.

“There is something you must do to win. You must acknowledge your loss, and start over again. We are humans, and have our own pride, but we cannot win if we keep that pride up. We must believe ‘I will win’.”

He drew inspiration from Apple pushing their brand into new territory. He said that Japanese developers need “develop our brands, and we must do so now. It will be too late when our brands have no equity left.”

Inafune has been rightly critical of the Japanese games industry, but it’s sometimes hard to take him seriously when he collaborates with games that are part of the problem. He recently gave permission to use his likeness in Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2, a very Japanese RPG that does nothing to combat the notion that Japanese games are stuck in a rut.

GDC 2012 Mega Man Japanese Games

Inafune is currently working a new studio called Intercept and will be releasing his first game soon on the 3DS called KAIO – King of Pirates. Its story is based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Here’s the first trailer:

Do you think the Japanese games industry is resting on its laurels? Does it need a shake up to become a developer power house again? Let us know in the comments.

GDC 2012: Mega Man Creator Talks Japanese Games Industry
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