Japanese devs need to take bigger risks, says Evil Within’s Mikami

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You gon' die

These days, you get two kinds of games, which all genres fall into. West and East. It’s a direction in which the American and European markets are dominating thanks to big investments, as Eastern-designed games these days are just way, way behind with the times. And that’s something that the daddy of Resident Evil agrees with.

Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz, Shinji Mikami stressed the need for developers on that side of the globe to throw more money at their games. “Games have become big projects, requiring a lot of resources both to create and market. Games have become more risky. Japanese companies don’t take those kinds of risks like Western developers do,” Mikami said.

In the past, what the Capcom president [Kenzo Tsuijimoto] told me was that game development is becoming more and more expensive and many Japanese publishers won’t be investing $30 million or more in a game. If we can invest $30 million into a game, we can win.

But what Mikami really wants to see, is the technology of Western companies being utilised more in Japanese games. “As for the organizational structure of companies, I think it would be good if companies would be more flexible about incorporating foreign technologies,” he said.

Mikami himself is using the Bethesda id Tech 5 engine for The Evil Within, which so far has managed to produce visuals which Geoff described as a “grim lovechild” of several horror franchises when he saw the game.

Mikami also explained that new tech had resulted in the ideal time for survival horror games to return, since they would have “a big advantage over the previous generations” thanks to their more realistic visuals. A statement that will no doubt have many a politician/parent group licking their lips in anticipation for some good ol’ controversy.

Commenting on that potential storm in a teacup, Mikami said that “games are not really a time for morals”.

They’re entertainment, so if you want more morals, you should go to someplace like a school. We’re making entertainment.

The Evil Within is Mikami’s first survival horror game in a long time, something that Capcom has ditched in favour of making his original creation Resident Evil, more of an action game in recent years. As to his thoughts on how that series has changed, Mikami simply said “I’m not allowed to say bad things.

I agree with some of Mikami’s statements above. While I don’t want to see Japanese developed games lose their quirkiness and originality, there’s a ton of stuff available on western markets that can help sell their games to larger audiences.

And it’s something that they’re going to need to invest in, if they want to survive another generation of gaming.

Last Updated: July 2, 2013

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