Street Fighter 2 producer questions future success of Japanese industry in the home console space

Okamoto: It’s the end of an era for Japan console devs

The Japanese games industry is approaching the end of an era in making successful console games, says industry veteran Yoshiki Okamoto

Speaking to Polygon, the former Street Fighter 2 producer said competition had become so fierce in the console sector that it had become very difficult to make inroads in the space without a huge budget and big team.

"Nowadays, even if a Japanese company would create a big title for the consoles and sell it worldwide," he said.

"It’s really hard to be successful, even though the attempt was there. We’re probably heading toward the end of an era of Japanese game developers making successful console games like in the West."

The ex-Game Republic boss added that due to the difficulties of such development he had now retired from the console space and was focused on mobile games at a new company, but did not elaborate on his new role.

"For a game creator like me, one who’s been creating games such a long time, I feel like it’s more fitting to create a game where I know what’s going on,” he said.

"With bigger titles, there are so many aspects of development, so many people working on the game. It’s more fitting for me that I work on a game where I can see what’s happening, like it was during the beginning of the video game era."

As well as working on the likes of Street Fighter 2, Time Pilot and Final Fight, Okamoto also founded independent studio Game Republic in 2003, which employed up to 300 developers before its closure in 2011.

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