Square Enix Boss Says Japan's Core Gameplay "Not As Strong"

Yoichi Wada, boss of publisher Square Enix (Final Fantasy), has some stern words for Japanese developers in a recent interview with industry site Gamasutra.

"I don't think we can say Japan's strong" in core gameplay, he tells the site.

"Western developers have become much stronger, during the past five years, in this aspect - the game element. For example, is it a sandbox game? An FPS? A cover action kind of game? This is the game's main element."

Strange, as I'd say that's one of the few areas Japanese developers can generally (generally!) be counted on to still be competitive. Now, if he'd said user interface design (like, menus, inventories, heads-up-displays) or engine technology, then I'd be nodding my head in agreement.

Square Enix in 2010: President Wada Speaks [Gamasutra]


    Huh? Is he trying to say that Western games are much better defined in terms of what they are? How can one games “element” be better than another one? I don’t get it.

    RE5 is the poster child for how most Japanese developed games are backwards arsed in design.

    Sometimes I wish the heads of Square Enix would just not say anything. I would make respecting their company so much easier.

      Yes. If the ONE powerful Japanese game rep who is ballsy enough to call Japan on their stubborn adherance to incredibly dated, ethnocentric design choices would just shut up, I could respect that company more; they would be free to keep churning out samey, 20 year old crap with nothing new except prettier pictures in peace.

    Them's fighting words. SE is surprisingly progressive for a Japanese developer, admitting that Western games are starting to pull ahead in more ways than one.

    Let's just see him turn those words into action. It's all too easy to bury your head in the sand and ignore the stagnation of the once-dominant Japanese videogame industry.

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