In a recent interview with GameSpot, Inafune commented on the state of the Japanese gaming industry, saying companies need to “start thikning more outside of the box”.
Here’s what he had to say on that:
Japanese creators and Japanese companies need to start looking outside of the box. They can’t just stay inside Japan and make their own game and bring it to E3 and hope it will be a hit. That’s not going to happen. You have to work with foreigner companies, in North America, Europe, and other places around the world so there’s a new taste coming into your game.
The language barrier is always there, that’s not going to change. But, if you always stay away from the world market, just because of that, you’re not going to evolve. So, the next thing is that people should get out more and see outside of Japan more. You can’t just stay inside, hoping that your game will be a success around the world. That’s not going to happen.
Inafune also talked about how game development in Japan has changed over the past few years:
I think the biggest change since three years ago, not just by myself, but Igarashi-san and Suzuki-san have had huge successes on Kickstarter, and that alone is proving that the North American market wants Japanese games made by these creators. We’ve totally proved that. This is something that the Japanese publishers should have seen long ago, and I think things are changing now because of these Kickstarters, and the publishers should understand that the market wants us to make Japanese games. So, from here, hopefully publishers will make some movements of their own. Hopefully it’s not just the three of us, but more Japanese creators can make their own Kickstarter [campaigns] and make their own dreams come true.
Inafune also added that the behavioral tendency of Japanese developers and publishers stems from fear.
“Japanese people are shy and they are scared of things that they don’t know,” he said. “Because of that they just stay inside and never come out.”
Inafune ultimately feels that further success on Kickstarter from Japanese developers can act as a tipping point for the Japanese game development community.