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GDC 2012: Japanese industry has ‘lost the tenacity to succeed’ says Inafune
- Updated: March 8, 2012
Ex-Capcom designer and founder of Comcept Inc. Keiji Inafune alleged the gap between Japanese game developers and the rest of the world is growing all the time, and the industry must take action or face destruction during an impassioned speech delivered at GDC this evening.
“Back in the day our Japanese games were used to winning and achieved major success,” he said. “But at some point the winners became losers. By not accepting that fact we have arrived at the tragic state of Japanese games. The Japanese game industry has become very close-minded.”
During the talk, titled The Future of Japanese Games, Inafune reflected on controversial comments he made a few years ago saying that the Japanese game industry is over.
“At the time, everyone in Japan gave me the stink eye for making such a bold statement,” he said. “However, these days I am seeing some of those folks are beginning to run out of steam. They are in a situation where they realize that perhaps my prediction was true.”
“At that time I was still at Capcom and I believe that they are one of the few Japanese companies that kept up with Western standards,” he continued. “We always strove to develop games with a global audience in mind. Because we were able to see the entire global industry we would see things as they were through an unfiltered perspective. I said those words because I wanted to light a fire under the Japanese video game industry before it was too late.”
Inafune claimed that his challenge was largely ignored. “The feeling and desire to want to win and come out on top has departed [Japan's games industry]. What efforts are needed to win? It sounds pretty obvious and simple but somehow we the Japanese have forgotten all about how to do that.
“Back in the day our Japanese games were used to winning and achieved major success. At some point the winners became losers. By not accepting that fact we have arrived at the tragic state of Japanese games. The Japanese game industry has become very closed-minded….