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

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

2 min read

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


  1. Sjoe, daai dude is omtrent geSPYKER


    • Mossel

      July 2, 2013 at 13:57

      Sommer in die gesig!


  2. Trevor Davies

    July 2, 2013 at 13:14

    Don’t know why that don’t describe it as a horror game too, you certainly crap yourself enough when playing it :/


    • OVG

      July 2, 2013 at 13:23

      and it cost the same to make as what CAPCOM pay for tea and sugar.


  3. Argentil

    July 2, 2013 at 13:23

    Keiji Inafune is another risk-taker, imo. I put him right up there with Shinji Mikami. He’s been waffling on about Japanese developers for years now. I don’t think it’s fair to generalise at all though. Western developers are just as guilty sitting quietly in their Shooter rut. Capcom is a bad example of a Japanese company. Square-Enix are known for their massive games, and in recent years they have experimented a lot with the FF formula, their main breadwinner. They have also spent a lot of resources dipping into Western talent like Eidos. Sony as another example are even better if you followed Mark Cerny’s talk. Konami are definitely playing it safe, as are Capcom and arguably Nintendo. But, as I said, it’s not fair to generalise.


  4. Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    July 2, 2013 at 13:26

    The only thing I would like to see from Japan is dropping some it’s long running tropes that they can’t seem to let go off….but seriously some of the most imaginative and most inventive games come from Japan , I mean I was playing Folklore last night and I was so blown away by this freaking 2007 game… They need not follow the west, but rather utilize their technology and even some of their design choices as Mikami mentioned, they try and emulate the west but most of their creative spark is lost along the way. But in all honesty, coming from some one that adores Japan, they need to let go of some things..


  5. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    July 2, 2013 at 14:01

    Dear Japan
    How about a game whose plot we can all understand. That would be nice.
    The rest of the World


    • OVG

      July 2, 2013 at 14:29

      Duck hunt? :p


  6. Melasco

    July 2, 2013 at 14:17

    Agreed…. We need more games like Dark Souls….


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