Japanese publishing powerhouse Capcom is ‘barely keeping up’ with the western world in a globalised market.
That was the verdict of Keiji Inafune, Capcom’s global head of R&D, who in a new interview made it clear his “Japan is finished” statement made one year ago was not a misquote.
At the 2009 Tokyo Game Show Inafune made a surprising commentary on his homeland by revealing “Japan is over. We're done. Our game industry is finished.’”
Speaking to the New York Times some twelve months later, Inafune reiterated this belief.
“I look around Tokyo Games Show, and everyone’s making awful games. Japan is at least five years behind,” he said.
“Capcom is barely keeping up. I want to study how westerners live, and make games that appeal to them.”
Inafune said that for Japanese developers to appeal to a global audience, a more comprehensive approach is necessary – certainly some more substantive than “turning eyes blue and changing the hair colour.”
Japan’s domestic game market is has fallen some 20 per cent since 2007, according to independent research.
Capcom and its neighbouring publishers are already in the midst of migrating their business west. Square Enix has perhaps made the biggest investment, buying up publisher Eidos – its studios and business channels – in a £84 million deal.
Capcom last week revealed it had bought Canadian outfit Blue Castle, and moved to rebrand the Dead Rising studio Capcom Vancouver.
It has also signed a deal with UK based studio Ninja Theory.