Kojima thinks Japanese games developers are in trouble

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Hideo Kojima, the man who brought Solid Snake to life and is arguably one of the most influential game designers of all time (OF ALL TIME!) believes the Japanese game industry could be in a spot of bother, unable to compete with the AAA titles western developers are churning out. He seems rather concerned that there’s really only a handful of titles that garner pandemic gamer interest; leaving fewer and fewer purchasing dollars available for other games.

"It’s much more competitive now: if you look at triple-A titles on a worldwide scale there’s maybe only ten really big games that can get gamers’ attention, and I’m not sure how Japan can compete on that level," he said in a rather extensive interview with the Official PlayStation Magazine.

Mostly, its all your fault. Consumers, he says, are happy with the glut of iterative first person shooters that make up much of the current market.

"I think it’s more consumer demand – right now, consumers are happy with what they have. First-person shooters sell like crazy, so there’s not really a strong demand for anything else, and that’s why [original ideas] stop being made."

"People are satisfied with making minor upgrades and tweaking things here and there – as long as that’s the landscape, it will keep on happening. I don’t see a problem necessarily, but at the same time it is nice to see new things come."

In many ways, he’s quite right. Most of last year’s big games – commercially and critically – were shooters (mostly with appended 3s). Every year, there seems to be less original content and when developers do try something new, it tends to be forsaken in favour of the latest modern combat shooter. It’s something we’ve seen with Enslaved, Mirror’s Edge, Castlevania: Lord of Shadow, Vanquish and the first Dead Space; criminally overlooked games that really should’ve gotten more attention if gamers could stop staring down virtual iron sights to see them. Still, games like Skyrim and Arkham City have proven that gamers want more than just more pew pew pew in their gaming diets.

Last Updated: January 4, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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