The Japanese games industry can’t match the technical advances of the US and Japanese gamers aren’t really interested in consoles anymore – that’s the assessment of Epic Games’ famed designer Cliff Bleszinski.
When grilled on the subject by Xbox World 360 Magazine, as spotted by CVG, the Gears of War creator explained:
“Part of the problem is, technically, Japan just can't keep up with the US. Would they benefit from using the Unreal Development Kit? Knocking on Japanese doors and saying 'hey, if you use this you can cut through a lot of the costs of building your own engine plus have a better game that comes out sooner and costs less money'. It's pretty much that simple.
“There has also been this fundamental shift. And it seems like part of the problem is not a lot of people play console games that much in Japan anymore. It's all moved to this really weird mobile-type situation.”
It’s certainly fair to say that the Japanese sector is experiencing a state of transition.
Leading execs such as Square Enix president Yoichi Wada have been forced to defend the country’s dev sector, whiles Capcom has openly criticised one of its most successful title for feeling “too Japanese”.
UPDATE: Xbox 360 World has issued a public apology in which it claims that it took Blezinski's claims out of context. You can read the full admission here.