Yoshiki Okamoto has said that his future lies completely within the realm of mobile game development.
The Street Fighter II creator left Capcom in the mid 2000s to found Forsaken Kingdom developer Game Republic. After that closed in 2011 he joined Mixi and subsequently created iOS hit Monster Strike.
Not heard of it? It’s currently the highest grossing title in the Japanese iOS charts, Gamasutra reports, ahead of the far better known Puzzle & Dragons.
I have no idea, because I have totally, basically, cut myself out of the console realm,” he told the site when asked about the declining numbers seen in the Japanese console market. When asked if he’ll ever return to the sector, the answer is stark: Never.”
Added Okamoto: What I really enjoy about making mobile games is that you’re much closer to the user. So, we’re all inside the office playing together with real-time users, and it creates a situation where you can get a bird’s eye view of, ‘Okay, these people on Twitter aren’t happy about this thing,’ [or] ‘These people really enjoy this thing,’ and because it’s not a big, bloated triple-A game, you can actually make real-time changes based on this feedback.”
Monster Strike’s producer and director Koki Kimura did, however, have some theories as to the decline of the Japanese console market.
People in Japan, especially, don’t have a lot of time on their hands,” he added. So they want to find experiences that they can play for five minutes, 10 minutes. And there’s been a growing need to be able to do that.
When you’re playing a console game, you’re just focused in on the screen. Even if you’re playing online, it’s a solitary experience when you get down to it. So we thought, ‘How could we make a game that encourages people to get together and play?’
And the greatest piece of hardware for that is the mobile phone, because everybody has one. You don’t have to buy any new hardware; you don’t have to buy any new software. You have it at all times, so you can use it wherever and whenever, with anybody who happens to be around you.”