We've heard this before: Japanese video game developers just aren't spending enough money to keep up.
The latest to make this statement is Shinji Mikami, the guy who has helped deliver everything from Resident Evil to Shadows of the Damned . In a new PSM3 interview (as cited by CVG ), Mikami said these days, 80% of the games he plays are in fact not Japanese.
And while he did say that a statement like "Japanese games suck" (made by Fez developer Phil Fish) is a bit harsh, he added that Japanese designers are going to have to start shelling out the cash. He also admitted that "most gamers overseas aren't interested in anime," mentioning Okami as evidence of a great game that didn't sell: "Westerners obviously don't like that sort of game," he said. So in the end, he believes Japan needs to approach gaming the way Hollywood approaches movies.
"Hollywood spends like 200 million dollars producing a movie, and you can make an incredible movie with that sort of money. But Japanese movie studios don't spend anything like that. The difference in [the] scale of the budgets [is] the same in games. Japan needs to make games like Hollywood makes movies. I think Capcom and Hideo Kojima's team are trying hard on that front.
I hope Japanese developers can take this hobby that we originally propagated and once more offer something special to the world."
Although Mikami saying that Western gamers maybe want something "a little more straightforward" (in reference to Okami ) sounds a little insulting in my years, I have to admit it also sounds accurate. It's unfortunate, but true. It's why Call of Duty reigns supreme. As for spending more money on their games…yes. I think that much is obvious; the vast majority of Japanese productions from this generation just don't have that same level of polish and refinement we see in the best Western titles.