Joined: 11 Mar 2008
|Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:31 pm Post subject: Indepth interview with Keiji Inafune
Here's a pretty long interview with Inafune about his stance on the japanese game industry, him quitting capcom etc.
Pretty interesting read if you're into this kinda stuff.
[EDIT]Still reading through this thought I might post some interesting bits.
I think a lot of people have taken his statements that japanese games are crap the wrong way (I did)
Basically his beef with japanese games is that the people that make games are
4G: One can recognize the appeal of external developers, but why western? There must be a reason besides cost.
KI: Because of their superiority.
KI: Yes. They're also far and away more passionate. That's one big reason. As stated before in regards to IPOs, western developers are far more fragmented than in Japan; the lower tiers of western developers, I hate to say, are slaves. In an environment where it's not unusual to get laid off, you have to do you work well, and make an effort to get noticed, they've made advances.
4G: So unlike in the deep-rooted lifetime employment system in Japan, you are directly responsible for your own success or failure. So the motivation is different.
KI: Exactly. Their level of drive is completely different. On the other hand, Japanese developers from top to bottom have the same feeling. Of course they're not really slaves, but on the other hand, just because you made a hit, it doesn't mean you'll see anything for it.
4G: I've heard that there are incentives worth millions of yen, but that's at the company's discretion and you can't get more above and beyond that. Whether that's good or bad is another matter, but it's one of the trade-offs in a courteous employment system.
KI: Yeah. Incentives run in the hundreds of thousands of yen. Even directors don't get incentives more than 2 million yen or so. Of course it's better than nothing, but in such a system in which you're working to bring in just 100 million yen at once, that difference seems pretty silly.
4G: So it's not just a problem of money, but it's that sense of making advances that's totally different.
KI: Right. People even on the bottom level are working as hard as they can to advance. For western developers, everyone at the director level gets their own office, an object of envy. Everyone says, "I want my own office, too." That kind of hungry attitude leads to going in good directions, so that's why I love western developers.
4G: So what are the cons of using western developers?
KI: First, you can't just leave them alone. Even with technical skills, they often lack adequate ideas and concepts for utilizing those skills. That's exactly why I'm such a good match for them. (laughs) They don't have to be a top-notch development studio. I just want to work with a team that has good potential and a positive work attitude.
Nother inetersting bit if you're interested in the copyright side of things (Which with the way a lot of peoples favorite IP's are being treated these days everyone should be)
So if I had a great idea and after quitting, I went to Capcom and pitched a game idea like, "Why don't you have me make this product?" Then in negotiations, they say, "That's fine. How much will it be?" and I say, "2 billion yen," and they say, "Fine." But then when the game comes out, it's copyright Capcom. Isn't that odd?
4G: Yeah, that does seem rather strange, though it's always been that way.
KI: Manga, however, is different. Like Akira Toriyama. His Bird Studio and the publisher Shueisha share the copyrights. Why are manga and games different? This is another problem that the game industry currently has.
It's obviously not a matter of just demanding the copyright, but perhaps the time has come to consider the sharing of copyrights by publishers and developers. That's another thing I'd like to change. I don't know how many years it might take, of course.
Last edited by Benza on Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:39 pm, edited 2 times in total