Japanese game developers have recently talked about the West vs. East debate from a design standpoint.
The latest is former Grasshopper Manufacture game director Massimo Guarini, who has recently started up his own studio, Ovosonico. In talking to GameSpot about Shadows of the Damned – which was received well by the critics but suffered mediocre sales – Guarini addressed other subjects of importance.
For instance, when asked about new IPs, Guarini said the launching of brand new titles "will actually be the industry of tomorrow." Despite all the sequels and spin-offs, he maintains that "no market in the world" can survive without a continuous influx of fresh, innovative products. Then he was asked about the differences between Western and Japanese development processes. Guarini replied:
"Based on my experiences, Japanese development tends to be characterized by a creative overwhelming chaos, where productions are often driven by a tyrannical single creative mind and development practices tend to be quite old-fashioned and, at times, extremely inefficient. On the other hand, Western development is generally characterized by an efficient, well organized, risk-averse sort of democracy; actual creativity and strong vision get diluted, if not sometimes completely lost, in endless brainstorming sessions driven mainly by market analysis rather than creators."
At the same time, he does say that both styles are "deeply complementary" and that both have their pluses and minuses. Guarini believes his new studio will be able to take the best aspects from each style and implement them in their projects…and that's something we'd love to see.