Tomonobu Itagaki has never been one to hold his tongue. So he will speak his mind on just about any issue.

And during a recent Game Informer interview , the Ninja Gaiden creator spoke about THQ's current strife, his upcoming project, and the next-generation console buzz.

Itagaki's new studio, Valhalla Games, is currently hard at work on Devil's Third , which isn't slated for release until 2013. He said it's different working for an American publisher (THQ) and the "circumstances are very different." At the same time, as he was once a publisher himself, he sort of understands the process. As for the difference between Eastern and Western development:

"The one thing that's completely different between the Eastern publisher and Western publisher is the budget. I’ve made more than 30 games, and if you put a little bit more [money] into the one I’m making now, Devil’s Third, I could make all of the 30 games I made before. The budget you use for the promotion is completely different too. Those are the biggest differences."

That's a very interesting – and concerning – statement and sheds more light on why so many high-profile Japanese releases this generation have seemed lacking in comparison to some of the more technologically superior Western titles. As for the idea of putting out Devil's Third on a new platform, Itagaki had this to say:

"If I didn’t have any knowledge of the economy, or if I were young, I'd want to release my game on the new platform. The decision I’m making now is that, if I released my next game on a next-gen console or if someone releases a next gen console, then all the publishers developers and players will be so confused and everything will be messed up because of the economical situation.

The U.S. economy is bad. The EU economy is bad. The Japanese economy is bad. This is not good timing for the release of a next-generation console. This is just not for the game industry. I can say the same for customers."

Well, as it stands now, Sony and Microsoft probably won't have a new console on store shelves this year and as far as most gamers are concerned, that's just fine.

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oONewcloudOo
oONewcloudOo
9 years ago

And with all that money his game still doesn't look that great.

ColTater
ColTater
9 years ago

Although this isn't looking too great, it is from the hack n slash action game man himself, so I must still try it out. Love me some Gaiden so hopefully the gameplay is where this delivers.

bebestorm
bebestorm
9 years ago

I would love to see a new trailer. I'll more than likely buy this game when it releases. The last good hack and slash I played was Bayonetta.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

That explains a lot, Japanese game makers are trying to emulate western titles on a shoestring budget. It's double impact, no money to bring it up to date and a vision for the game that is all wrong for it in the first place.

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

I actually think that his title could have even more sales potential as a launch title for the next-gen consoles. If it were to come on the current gen consoles, next year, or even this month, due to the current brand name recognition of certain franchises and genres, I doubt it would fare any better than the likes Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Blade, Enslaved, etc, which isn't much even with the large install base.

However, if it were released in the next gen as a launch title, it could receive even more exposure even with a smaller install base.

Looking Glass
Looking Glass
9 years ago

Well not long ago Hideo Kojima did mention that Japanese games tend to put more emphasis on art as opposed to technology. And that's perfectly fine with me. As long I find it enjoyable I'm fine with it.

And besides, big budgets come with their own pitfalls. The bigger a game's budget is the more the game has to sell to make a profit. And that in turn tends to make companies more inclined to follow popular trends. Not only does this create monotony in the video game industry but certain kinds of games tend to get hurt. For example one of the biggest victims of this kind of thing would probably be survival horror games.

This is no doubt one of the main reasons that many developers have turned toward mobile and handheld games (like Eat, Sleep, Play for example). Because mobile and handheld games are much less expensive to make.


Last edited by Looking Glass on 3/1/2012 12:10:15 AM

Kevin555
Kevin555
9 years ago

Hopefully this isn't affecting his Devils Third project.

___________
___________
9 years ago

just judging on what they release its probably pretty accurate.
theres some japanese games which have always been cutting edge, crapcom for example have stood up pretty well with their MT framework engine.
but besides them the games have been pretty last gen.

cant wait till this is out though, looks so freaking cool!
remind me of wet, such a seriously under rated game!
i wish more developers would have a crack at this type of game, sword and gunplay has never really been done anywhere near as well as it could be!

JackC8
JackC8
9 years ago

Seems like the highest profile Japanese games tend to be the most disappointing of all, and those things have enormous budgets. Western developers would kill for budgets like that.

daus26
daus26
9 years ago

What games are those?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

So, Itagaki is basically waving his 'budget' around at his Japanese peers and shouting "Mine's bigger"? The more that Itagaki opens his mouth, the more I wish he'd close it tight. I wonder how popular he is with his peers?

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

heh, anyone who waggles it around shouting theirs is bigger is always overcompensating for some other shortcoming.

daus26
daus26
9 years ago

I think technology and budget are two different things. With Japan as high tech as it is, I don't believe technology is the problem. I believe the technology is there, and it's just a matter of budget and better team management.

If this wasn't the case, then how would a 100% Japanese developer like Polyphony Digital be able to be as advanced, or even more for that matter, than its competition Turn 10 (Forza), which has at least triple the staff? Not only that, PD is an exclusive developer, so their income isn't as expansive as multi-plats.

Answer: Budget.

That and management. Some of you may not know this, but there was some serious management issues that led to the long development time for GT5. However, I believe Sony was a big part of it too. I think japanese games like Last Guardian and MGS rising went through the same problem as well with management.

If he's talking about a game's success, then no, it's not all about the budget or technology, or whichever he's trying to make more of a point of. Budget and technology is only needed if you want to have state of the art graphics and physics engine. The thing with that is not all games need state of the art graphics or physics engine. Games like GT is an exception though hehe.


Last edited by daus26 on 3/1/2012 10:24:54 AM