Game Republic boss Yoshiki Okamoto believes that Western game development is more advanced than in Japan, claiming that it’s “almost too late” for Eastern devs to catch up. Claiming it’ll take more than “a single lifetime” for his homeland to reclaim the same kind of status it enjoyed in the Famicon days, the former Capcom producer really seems down on his country’s progress:
It’s almost too late. During the Famicom (NES) era, Japanese video games comprised 70 percent of all video games. And currently, it’s like 15 or 20 percent, isn’t it? Now, Western games are more advanced. For games like GTAIV, those guys are spending something like 5 or 10 years to make them. Even if we thought about catching up with them now, they’d still be making progress. But, not necessarily giving up, it’s just not possible to catch up in a single lifetime.
Is it really that bad? Companies like Capcom are certainly doing what they can to keep up, but considering the Japanese market seems slighty more fond of tradition and sticking to what it knows (there’s a reason why Dynasty Warriors is so popular there) while we’ve seen recent design feats like Braid and Portal in the West, it may indeed take a long time for Japan to catch up.