First Blog (better late than never): Are Japanese Developers Losing Their Touch? - Destructoid

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I really don't know how to start off a first blog, so I'll start with a little introduction.


Anyways I have been a long time lurker of this site, I finally decided its about time to start a Clog after everyone has been doing one. Usually I try to vent with some of my thoughts, but if I read some other person's Clog and they seem to get my idea down, I'll rest easy. But if I search and search and find the topic has not been discussed, I usually will start a post unless some bastard beats me to it in the 1 minute it takes me to write one. So without further ado, there's a topic thats been on my mind for a while that I wouldn't mind discussing on this community.

Are the Japanese Developers Losing Credibility within Console Gaming?

Okay before I get mobbed by angry individuals with pitchforks, I'd like to reiterate that I am strictly talking about console gaming, as thats all I really know.

I grew up around the period when the SNES and Genesis were at odds. I have vague memories of all the back and forth slandering of the consoles, the "Sega do what Nintendon't" motto that made that era of gaming famous. And one day, as I was sitting in class, in a somewhat racist environment of my third grade class, we were talking about race and what each race was essentially good for. On a whim, one of the asinine students shouted out "All Japanese are good for is making videogames."

Needless to say, I didn't really know what the difference of an American guy or a Japanese guy being the creator of Mario would affect gaming in anyways, but surely it did affect a lot of the public portrayal in media about gaming usually being associated with Japan.

As I started growing up, anime started being the big thing with Dragon Ball Z taking off, this caused somewhat of a chain reaction when I noticed that around this time, a lot of my friends were starting anime clubs, video game clubs, and heck, there was even a Japanese club (mind you I don't know any Japanese in South FL). But I started really getting into videogames during Final Fantasy 7's infamous debut.

From then on, I guess I had this preconceived notion, that most videogame wonders had standards set by Japanese developed software. Call me racist, call me living in a bubble, but during this time, I could easily recognize the name Shinji Mikami over someone like Ed Boon.

I mean back then, I guess the first generation Playstation really took off during the JRPG revolution, with Final Fantasy 7 being the forefront of all that (I wasn't into Chrono Trigger or Secret of Mana back in the day), prompting me to get any game essentially that had a Japanese developer on the helm. And usually it didn't disappoint. I guess its like us who prefer Japanese cars over American ones.

But lately, there has been a shift of the public opinion starting with last generation. When Microsoft entered the console market, I started of hearing more American hits. Halo and what not have been rising the charts in popularity and hype, its gotten to the point where in this current generation, I can not honestly name a single game that is completely Japanese helmed and "memorable." I think quite honestly, seeing the PS3 more popular in Europe and the Wii being so kiddy has skewed my image even more about what has happened to Japanese developers in general. I mean it wasn't too long ago when I had a conversation with my friend about going into the gaming industry and he stated something along the lines of "Well you might wanna go to Japan and check out working for a developer there, all games are made in Japan anyways." (of course we know that isn't true)

So what does everyone think? Am I living in a bubble? am I being racist (although I assure you I'm not)? Have the Japanese really lost their "dominance" if you will in the gaming world? Are Sony products really better cause they're Japanese and Caucasians are too damn tall (see below video)?

Comment me and tell me what you think, and be gentle if you are gonna flame me.

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