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Open Letter: Let's Save Japanese Game Development

Posted on Monday, June 18 @ 15:34:25 PST by

Dear Japanese Video Game Developers,

I feel like we're asked these questions all the time: "What's wrong with Japanese developers?" "How can Japanese developers get back on top?" "Why aren't Japanese games performing as well as they used to?"

It's no secret that Anthony was born and raised on Japanese gaming, Nick practically bleeds obscure Japanese games, and I'm a lapsed Japanophile. I think GameRevolution and its readers feel very close to the Japanese developers struggling to adapt to the burgeoning Western market. We want to play those fantastic JRPGs, action games, fighting games, nonsensical platformers, dungeon-crawlers... Hell, anything that doesn't directly rely on shooting I think we'd gladly take more of.

So, I set out to figure out exactly how Japanese developers can regain dominance, or at least rise to some semblance of their former selves, and here's what I came up with:

Don't shy away from what interests you.

I've never met an artist that forced him or herself out of their own interests and succeeded. If you're a musician, pick up a instrument. If you like to paint, do that. If you're a developer who likes role-playing games, you should put your efforts into something you'd want to play. Don't make another shitty first-person shooter with some kind of level-up mechanic where the main character can shoot bullets faster or harder or something. That makes no fucking sense.

Here's the thing: in playtesting, tweaking, redesigning and re-playtesting, you are going to play this game A LOT. Make something you're going to enjoy, and share that passion with the market. Don't let the market dictate what you love.

The market is fucking stupid. It doesn't even know what it wants. Despite that, if you believe in what you're putting out, a project full of your home-grown interests and desires, that passion will come across in the product.

Next page: fandom.


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