Alex Hutchinson, the creative director of Assassin's Creed 3, thinks he knows why Nintendo can get away with releasing new versions of old franchises. It might not be the answer you expect.
After Hutchinson compared AC to other well known franchises, Mario and Resident Evil, website CVG asked the creative director why Nintendo can release a new version of its franchises every year and nobody says anything. Here's what Hutchinson said:
You want my real answer? I think there's a subtle racism in the business, especially on the journalists' side, where Japanese developers are forgiven for doing what they do. I think it's condescending to do this.
After CVG asked him if he was being serious, the developer continued:
Yeah. Just think about how many Japanese games are released where their stories are literally gibberish. Literally gibberish. There's no way you could write it with a straight face and the journalists say, "Oh it is brilliant".
Then Gears of War comes out and apparently it's the worst written narrative in a game ever. I'll take Gears of War over Bayonetta any time.
It's patronising to say, "Oh those Japanese stories, they don't really mean what they're doing".
For the past several years haven't people been bashing Japanese games? And if they are not doing that, they've been saying that the Japanese game industry's dominance is finished and that Western games — games like Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect — are better, no? Also, wasn't it a Dead Space developer who called Gears of War "literally the worst writing in games"? What am I missing?