Japan finally getting it?

Ohhh, there could be a new rising sun in the east:

As Japanese development studios struggle with declining sales, analysts say they are falling behind their American rivals in sheer investment power. A budget for a blockbuster game in the United States can approach $50 million, a figure few Japanese developers can now match.

“Japan used to define gaming,” said Jake Kazdal, a longtime developer who has worked at Sega in Tokyo and the American game publisher Electronic Arts. “But now many developers just do the same thing over and over again.”

Part of Japan’s problem, Mr. Kazdal said, is a growing gap in tastes between players there and overseas. The most popular games in Japan are linear, with little leeway for players to wander off a defined path. In the United States, he said, video games have become more open, virtual experiences.

“Smarter developers in Japan are trying to reach out to the West,” Mr. Kazdal said. “They’re collaborating and trying to make games that have more global appeal.”

We all know that I’ve never liked asian MMOs for the very reason stated above. It became extremely obvious to me that the devs over there were stuck in a creative rut. Over and over again with the Final Fantasy titles, and Marios and Sonics….never being creative but relying on past successes to keep things going. Great to hear that they are finally catching up to the fact that they need to…well…catch up.

To counter my emo-ness and pure rage for Asian made games, the West hasn’t exactly been clean when it comes to thinking outside the box either. I’m looking at you EA!! With the vast majority of new games being sequels to previous hits, it leaves me wondering if Asian game devs should look to others for inspiration. I’d say look to Russia or Europe cause all that seems to matter in North America is “social gaming” and we’ve all got to wait for that to go boom before anything really interesting happens ;)

D out.

P.S. Wow…I managed to dig at two nemesis (nemesi?? nemesie?? nemesuer??…bah!) in one post. Achievement unlocked!!!

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