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Japan has Powerful Indie and Big-Budget Game Developers

kenichiro takaki 05-01-15-1

This is an editorial piece. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of, and should not be attributed to, Niche Gamer as an organization.

Chris Kohler from WIRED ran an editorial pointing out all the visionary, household name Japanese developers that had either left the companies they made a name for themselves under, or simply left game development altogether. We’ve seen Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi leave Konami, Devil May Cry creator Hideki Kamiya leave Capcom, Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki leave Team Ninja, Mega Man-producer Keiji Inafune leave Capcom, the extreeeeme producer Tak Fujii leave Konami; the list goes on.

While this is an ongoing and noticeable thing, I wanted to write a response to his claims, beginning with the sensationalist headline that he used: “The Era of Japan’s All-Powerful Videogame Designers Is Over.” This is disingenuous and designed for a simple purpose: the clicks. This is indicative of an ongoing trend I’ve seen happening in the gaming press, where the Japanese industry, and its developers, are an easy target.

“How many Western game designers from 90’s still in role?,” said Tak Fujii, who is known for working on Ninety-Nine Nights II and No More Heroes. I think this is a great response, and I want to build upon it in my defense of the Japanese gaming industry. Visionary, big-name developers leaving, quitting, or being fired is nothing new in an industry known to have revolving doors, atrocious hours, absurd production costs, and so on.

Here’s the thing – this isn’t a Japanese thing, it’s a games industry thing. Many big-name developers have left the companies they built franchises and big, multi-million dollar games in. A not-so-surprising number of developers have grown tired of pumping out the same games over and over, which naturally develops into them wanting to do new things. The most recent example of this is Hideo Kojima, who is rumored to be clashing with the management at Konami, which may lead to his departure from the company.

You could say that Kojima-san is trapped within a cage of his own success, considering that all the Metal Gear titles that he’s overseen have been commercial successes. Kojima has expressed his desire to return to older games like Snatcher, Zone of the Enders, and more. In comparison, Kohler mentions Square Enix, who is making a huge attempt at alpha testing Final Fantasy XV via the playable demo which came with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, followed by a worldwide poll to see what players thought.

Kohler says that this is in comparison to the Square we saw in the 90’s and 2000’s that generally kept their cards to their chest. While I agree with his point in that it’s a bit awkward to see Square doing this now, it makes sense in a business sense. Square Enix isn’t Activision, or Konami for that matter (who has non-gaming assets to live off). Final Fantasy XV is a gigantic, bloated, much-delayed project that Square is trying to chalk up into some kind of financial success. We’ll probably never know how much money Square has burned on the game, but we’ll certainly know if it sells well or not whenever (if it ever) it releases.

Does this mean the era of giant, AAA Japanese games headed by legendary Japanese creators is over? Yes and no, but again, this is an industry-wide topic and not isolated to only Japan. Allow me to shed a ray of hope into your weary eyeballs, dear reader, as I think there is still much talent in the Japanese gaming industry.

A good example of big-budget and profit focused publishers butting heads with “old-head” developers that want to simply make “core” experiences is the story of Koji Igarashi, who I mentioned left Konami. As the Castlevania series, a series that he aided in building into a worldwide success, was handed off to western developers, Konami put him to directing mobile/social games, because profit. Development costs are continually rising while the cost of games remains the same – thus publishers get more scared of taking risks. I would venture so far as to say having a “big name” developer like Kojima, Igarashi, et al within control of a major franchise is a threat to said publisher.

Some of these developers’ names have become synonymous with excellence, if not perfection. These creators made their reputation on consistent, rewarding, fun and possibly even challenging games. A big name like Koji Igarashi being tied to a new Castlevania game could easily mean the game has that much prestige attached to it, simply from his pedigree. Once Konami handed the franchise off to Mercury Steam, a good portion of fans considered the series dead. While not all of their stories are like Igarashi-san, you better believe that a change in the gaming enthusiast market in Japan to the embrace of portables and smartphones has essentially caught veteran developers, studios, and publishers with their pants down.

We’ve seen this happening over the course of the sixth-generation of home consoles right into the seventh, with the rise of powerful smartphones that can produce near-console quality graphics or gameplay experiences. Despite this shift and the chasing after it by developers and publishers alike, a holdout group of Japanese developers are still trying to make the games they really love – and some of them are even succeeding.

Look at the burgeoning success of Marvelous’ huge boob producer (pictured above) Kenichiro Takaki and his multitude of ongoing projects right now – Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson, IA/VT Colorful, and finally a massive trans-media project with Valkyrie Drive, which is getting an anime, a PS Vita game, and a smartphone/social game. You could say that his unabashed love for the female form and female breasts is his shtick, but I’d tell you that it’s working.

While Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki is no longer working on the bouncing-breast fighter, the series carries on under the helm of Yosuke Hayashi, who has worked on several new projects recently, Hyrule Warriors and Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, to name a few. Itagaki-san is working on an exciting looking action game, Devil’s Third, which Nintendo picked up to co-publish as a Wii U-exclusive. It’s worth mentioning that Itagaki is also very open and vocal with his fans, as many of these creators are becoming these days.

Alongside the rising international fame the Senran Kagura series has been garnering is an independent Japanese studio known as Platinum Games, led in part by the aforementioned Devil May Cry creator, Hideki Kamiya. In case you’ve been living under a rock, their sexy and highly-rated action game series, Bayonetta, has only aged well like a fine wine. The original game was scored quite well, while its successor, Bayonetta 2, has near-unanimous praise across the board.

I think Kohler’s argument on hardware manufacturers like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft “buying out” exclusives by co-publishing them is somewhat of a cop-out. This sort of phenomenon has happened for most of the home video game console’s existence – this is nothing new, and it is not a problem exclusive to the Japanese gaming industry. Whether or not you like platform-exclusives like this doesn’t really matter when sometimes it could mean the game being developed, or quietly put back onto the shelf, like in the case of Bayonetta 2.

These big-name developers parting ways are not exclusively evident of the Japanese gaming industry at large, whose indie (doujin) scene is starting to explode, thanks to the translation and publishing efforts of the folks at Playism, and indie-focused Japanese conventions, like BitSummit. I’m not saying the indie scene is going to save the industry, but I am saying the Japanese indie scene is one to watch as I believe it will begin to regularly surprise and blow people away. Downwell and Astrebreed are examples of this.

Between more and more Japanese doujin game developers having their games receive international attention and new, up-and-coming heads of larger Japanese developers coming into their own with bold new IPs like Senran Kagura, and Bayonetta, I honestly think it’s an insult to say that independent Japanese creators and developers are on the downfall. It’s especially saddening to hear someone say that Japanese developers are trying to “alienate as few people as possible,” when games like Senran Kagura and Bayonetta exist, games that are designed for a particular, niche audience.

What are your thoughts on the Japanese gaming industry – are big name creators disappearing?

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About

Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic



50 comments
  1. Audie Bakerson
    Audie Bakerson
    May 1, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    日本製のゲームは最高!

  2. Getting Gay With Kids
    Getting Gay With Kids
    May 1, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Besides Batman AK, most of the games I’m excited for in the next 2 years are coming out of Japan.

  3. Keinart
    Keinart
    May 1, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    I can’t help but think there’s some kind of jeaolusy when some western media or developers come out saying the japanese market is dead, just because they don’t release as much worldwide titles for home consoles as they did in the SNES or Playstation era.

    When I think of the E3 or any other big event, the games that always create the biggest ruckus are japanese, even after how FF13 was handled for example and how people though FF was dying, when FF Versus becoming 15 appeared in the show people was literally screaming and dying of hype in that very moment, we even have some of the online reactions of people with the Kingdom Hearts 3 announcement combo that basically destroyed the internet that night.

    Anything related with Kojima or Metal Gear also creates huge amounts of hype no matter what they show or where, for Kamiya too, when he appeared at the E3 with Microsoft it was also a huge announcement. Persona 5 is also a big thing even though it doesn’t really have that much marketing. Or Bloodborne or Dark Souls, From Software is also making the internet to go down just with anything they create. Damn people is still hoping The Last Guardian to come across.

    Meanwhile I don’t get those feelings when western titles are announced. I mean, the only one that would surpass those examples would be Half Life 3, and that’s because it’s more of a leyend and internet meme that anything else these days. Recently a new Deus Ex was announced, and even though human revolution was great and I really loved it, the internet reaction and hype to it wasn’t that big. I can’t really think of any west title that when shown at the E3 make the internet melt as japanese games do, and that’s probably because even if they are good, you don’t get that feeling of love japanese games have. I know I sound like a huge fucking weeaboo right now, but I can see how Activision or EA drop millions of fuckin dollars in marketing with Destiny, and Titanfall and all those things and when they get announced or anything nobody gives a damn on the internet about them compared to how people freak their shit out the moment Miyamoto comes out with the announcement of a new Zelda.

    Of course at the end there’s a little bit of everything in every market, and for some time people really would freak out when stuff like Halo came out (I don’t get that feel anymore now that Bungie doesn’t work on it), but at the end of the day I can’t help but think all these articles about japanese nostalgia and developers just come precisely because japanese games sucess with flying colors to the test of time. Western games may be good but people don’t hold such strong feelings of nostalgia over time from them to the point they would scream like little kids when a new title is announced, meanwhile japanese people manage to do this. So for me all this criticism just come from people with that nostalgia on their shoulders, and probably in ten years or so we’ll get the same articles talking about the japanese developers of the 00’s, because their nostalgia would be on those years.

    And at least for me, when something can pass the test of time, it means it really was good, so take it more as praise remembering those developers than criticism for the actual japanese market, because as Tak Fujii said “How many Western game designers from 90’s still in role?” You just don’t remember them, and that must mean something.

  4. Psichaos
    Psichaos
    May 2, 2015 at 12:22 am

    A lot of western publications have been bashing at the Japanese gaming industry for quite a few years now, whether it’s because of a bias against Japanese games or not understanding the market there. It goes to note that despite some questionable decisions from certain publishers, in most cases Japanese game developers still have much more creative freedom than western developers, and that includes the very vibrant doujin scene in contrast to the west’s indie scene. Western games are way more often plagued by corporate executives with little understanding of games and blinded by profit, and more recently we’ve seen the west’s indie scene suffering at the hands of a few who are closely connected and push each other’s games at the expense of the rest of the community. If anything, it’s the western gaming industry that’s at great risk of crashing.

    And it goes without mention that while we may dread over Kojima’s departure from Konami, we haven’t seen the last of him, or any other disenfranchised developer. They’ll be picked up by someone or make their own studio and hopefully be given the freedom to make the games they want.

  5. undub lover
    undub lover
    May 2, 2015 at 12:35 am

    I still enjoy Japanese games even when you have big names leaving to make something else I still look forward to it and enjoy playing them, it’s western gaming that bores me to death with the emphasis on hyper realistic rubbish that was only fun years ago now it’s boring, stale and frankly old.

    Same with indies, Japanese indies are unique and fascinating with an emphasis on good gameplay while western indies are the same old artsy rubbish that everyone is sick of because not only is there little to no gameplay but it just looks good and does nothing.

  6. DeusEx
    DeusEx
    May 2, 2015 at 12:40 am

    About 75% of my gaming time is being dedicated to Japan made games as of late. That figure has been steadily growing too. The only games I’m playing right now not Japanese in origin are Grand Strategy Games, most of those from Paradox, so I’m hardly playing any AAA American studio games. They are doing something right over there, that’s for certain. I think all the Japan bashing is borne of hot tempers from jealousy and envy.

  7. OverlordZetta
    OverlordZetta
    May 2, 2015 at 12:40 am

    “Development costs are continually rising while the cost of games remains the same”
    I know this wasn’t your main point, but I can’t stress this enough. Not just about this, but in general, a lot of the problems we’re facing right now all tie back to this, the surge in DLC probably being among the biggest. People tend to think too much about how much the stuff costs them without considering that without DLC being made as an option, many of the “DLC abusing” games in question (that you can then never buy DLC for) might never even be made or be able to be sold considering how much they cost to make.

    That said, I don’t know if big name creators are disappearing, but I do think we’re getting less and less of them. As great as it is that we have creators from the ’90s still around, considering how many bad decisions Nintendo has been making lately are likely a result of simply too many people there being completely out of touch with the world right now, I don’t know if that’s necessarily a good thing. On the other hand, if you take away all the older big names still around, are we left with… anything? Were there any big names in the last couple of generations comparatively? I don’t know about that, and I think that’s what we need to think about – not what the old big names are doing, but why we aren’t seeing more and more of them.

    I mean, I think you cover pretty well why, as many have before (it’s not as profitable to be risky, even though risks are how you get to be big), but yeah.

  8. Nonscpo
    Nonscpo
    May 2, 2015 at 12:55 am

    Not over but deffinetly in transitioning to something different.

  9. birdboy2000
    birdboy2000
    May 2, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Honestly I’d rather they just raise the price point by now. I’d rather drop more money in the first place than feel like I’m being nickel and dimed to death.

  10. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    May 2, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Kenichiro Takaki is god.

    With that out of the way we just need to answer Fujii’s question to see that similar shifts are present in the Western market. Peter Molyneux, Will Right, Warren Spector, Ken Levine, David Jaffe, Jason Rubin, Andy Gavin and many more. All of these creators are now indie, because you can work for a faceless corporation for only so long.

    The mobile argument is also pretty weak, because in the West many more mobile games are developed and played than core games. This is mainly due to the small investment devs put in those games. This is a global phenomenon and something that is not unique to Japan. It is more visible there, because we have our attention focused on a single country.

    We even have comparable publishers – for each Square Enix we have an EA, for Capcom we have Warner Brothers and for Konami we have THQ… Never mind.

    My Japanese/Western gaming ratio is nearly 50/50 and I can see both have advantages and problems in their games. The media slamming the Japanese market is a poor attempt to give itself importance (because they don’t have ties like with the Western publishers) and promote their hipster indie friends like Phil Fish and his “Japan sucks” comments.

  11. Zizal
    Zizal
    May 2, 2015 at 2:46 am

    The western media is ongoing war on JP gaming for a long time and the fans of the western games are the one who agree with them. When the japanese released announced a lot of games there have been some people trying to spin the accomplishment by saying the Japanese market doesn’t matter and is dead and for mobile only. Just look at the western charts compared to the Japanese one and you will see the western charts as a big joke where the same games sells and new releases are very rare. When the midcore cartoon called avatar happened some people started to wave their dicks and bashing anime. I don’t see platinum as indie because they work with big publishers and don’t publish their games by themselves.There is a lot of good designers and just because he doesn’t know them or acting not knowing them to make his click bait article doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  12. Zizal
    Zizal
    May 2, 2015 at 3:26 am

    This will cause a disaster. The price for games is already very high. Dropping the price could result in more sales and rising the price will drop the sales number. F2P model gets a lot of downloads and successful increasing the price isn’t the answer for all the problems.

  13. Milewde
    Milewde
    May 2, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Japanese-made games are the best, eh? :)

  14. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    May 2, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Indeed.My to buy list this year is exclusively Japanese,i got tired of the same old cinematic AAA games and while West games have the graphics the Japanese games have better gameplay.Japanese games are also free from SJW propaganda so the choice is quite easy for me.

  15. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    May 2, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Spot on,agree 100 percent.

  16. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    May 2, 2015 at 7:09 am

    I’m not worried for team Kojima such a talented team doesnt need to worry about their future,Konami however….

  17. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    May 2, 2015 at 7:28 am

    あなた(の意見)に賛成です。

  18. dsadsada
    dsadsada
    May 2, 2015 at 7:48 am

    A lot of big names are leaving or have left their companies in the Japanese gaming industry but that’s really just business as usual like in most any industry. At the very least, I remember these names unlike western developers whose names I can barely even recognize unless they were involved in some sort of scandal.

  19. Skylar Misery
    Skylar Misery
    May 2, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Great article!

    The Tak Fujii/No More Heroes part threw me off because I was like, “wait, isn’t that Suda51?”, but apparently Tak did the PS3 port. TIL.

  20. MaidKillua
    MaidKillua
    May 2, 2015 at 8:24 am

    “people are still making awful titty games” isn’t the most convincing argument but the rest was good

  21. guest
    guest
    May 2, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Japanese games will never die unless they start caving heavily to the west. The moment Square Enix started listening and believing I felt a pang of dread. I’m hoping they’re just bullshitting about changing the design of Cindey (Cidney?) and make her sexier (or give her a twin) to irritate complainers.

    Senran Kagura, Dragon’s Crown and Bayonetta were successful because they were unbridled. The games give no shits about super deep characters (but ended up making multi-dimensional characters anyway), having conservative females and realistic action. They were made by people who love fun for people who love fun.

  22. Psichaos
    Psichaos
    May 2, 2015 at 9:33 am

    It would be a shame if a company like Konami that made many of my absolute favorite games decided to abandon the console market in favor of mobile or casino games, and should that be the case I hope their iconic IPs can find new homes. In the end, though, those games wouldn’t exist without the development team behind them, and even if it isn’t a Castlevania or Metal Gear, I would rather those people behind the game continue making great games they want to make.

  23. Psichaos
    Psichaos
    May 2, 2015 at 9:41 am

    The Japanese companies all have Capcom to look at as a case point of what happens when you try to appeal to the west. Those last few years when Inafune was there pushing that western focus were probably some of the worst years Capcom ever had.

  24. Getting Gay With Kids
    Getting Gay With Kids
    May 2, 2015 at 10:15 am

    But they seem to be more susceptible too censorship because of the games media’s weird hate for japanese games.

  25. Getting Gay With Kids
    Getting Gay With Kids
    May 2, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I don’t think they will change Cindy (ugh, Cidney sounds way better), but you never know.

  26. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    May 2, 2015 at 10:17 am

    They should just stand their ground and tell the SJW’s to fuck off,we are the ones who buy their games.

  27. Getting Gay With Kids
    Getting Gay With Kids
    May 2, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I’m a fan of both and if you can’t fairly cover all gaming, then you shouldn’t be doing games journalism.

  28. Zizal
    Zizal
    May 2, 2015 at 10:51 am

    I don’t think they care about fair journalism. A lot of them have relationships with companies or owned by them and they advertise for them and bash their competitors. They do click bait titles for money and for control. A lot of them are old and I don’t think they are even fan of games. The free lancer writers are very questionable and I see them advertise some specific kind of games if you know what I mean.What disgusts me the most when they have the power over niche gaming websites or act like one and they are who approve of censorship and censor the opposite voice.There have been an article in a visual novel website with the title of why I endorse the censorship of shiny days. The ones who approve of censorship within the niche community are more harmful than the opposition.

  29. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    May 2, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    The problem is while the Western designers from the 90s are also in decline, there’s no new Japanese developers that are really stepping up. I certainly don’t know any of their names. I do know many Western names from the past decade.

  30. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    May 2, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Yeah, just bump everything to $70 and be done with it. Enough of this “recouping cost” DLC bullshit. Just. Charge. More.

  31. TheCynicalReaper
    TheCynicalReaper
    May 2, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Japan gets it right. Makes sense. It’s the birthplace of most of videogame’s genres and most iconic titles.

  32. Norasuko
    Norasuko
    May 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Well, I wouldn’t say Bayonetta and Dead or Alive are not “awful”. They are great games that happen to have tits in them. :D
    But yeah, Senran Kagura doen’t hold itself. IMO, at least.

  33. Norasuko
    Norasuko
    May 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I’m a big fan of Japanese games. It’s not a new thing that western devs are more committed to marketing and safe routes in their work, which makes them consistently average, but rarely exciting or innovative. That’s why most game genres were created by the Japanese — sidescrollers, shooters, fighting games, character action, beat-em ups, RPGs, etc.

    But I think, as the water rises on the whole game development industry with dev prices going up and a weird unprecedented demographic, the part that moves less units and spends less money on marketing will drown first, or at least have to pat harder to stay afloat.

    It’s not even a doomsday scenario to say in a few more years video games are going to be just vanity projects, indies and your yearly Call of Duty, Battlefield and Assassins Creed sequels.

  34. MaidKillua
    MaidKillua
    May 2, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Yeah I didn’t mean Bayo or DOA, they have enough other merits to not just be otaku fap bait. Lol

  35. Norasuko
    Norasuko
    May 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I’d prefer prices to start at a higher point than starting where they are and having obligatory season passes and day one DLC that was cut out of the game dev time anyway.

    I mean, you can already spend over $100 on a game at launch day with ‘extra’ content bundled nowadays, the price has already been raised, they just don’t want to admit it on the $ label.

  36. Carlos Roberto
    Carlos Roberto
    May 2, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    “They were made by people who love fun for people who love fun.”

    Dragon’s Crown was made by people who are obsessed with graphics.

    Which why the game is a visually confusing mess. As fun as a Michael Bay movie.

  37. Carlos Roberto
    Carlos Roberto
    May 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    In these past years, Capcom released RE6 (one of the best combat mechanics ever), Lost Planet 2 (excellent co-op shooter) and Dead Rising 2 (one of the best zombie games ever).

    DmC was criticized for being dumb, which is true. But so is every Devil May Cry game.

    I hope they continue with the western focus.

  38. Anonymous
    Anonymous
    May 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    The Japanese industry actually has more big names than the western industry.
    Even after some of them have left.

    And it has names with different styles, different companies, different mindsets, different approaches to gaming and so on, names that are ancient old or fresh and new.

    The actual industry is a different matter, it has its upsides but also lags behind the west on some technical aspects, but the talent is still above the west.

  39. Carlos Roberto
    Carlos Roberto
    May 2, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Lol, Keiji Inafune, visionary.

    A reminder he directed Ninja Gaiden Z.

  40. OverlordZetta
    OverlordZetta
    May 2, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s really that feasible anymore. It might have been a few years ago, but with where we are now, if we cut off DLC completely, we’d probably need to significantly raise the prices of games (like 50% – for every ten people that don’t buy DLC, there’s one guy that buys all of it, and we’re all going to have to make up for the loss of that guy blowing his paycheck on LBP and DOA costumes), and considering how many people already opt to wait for sales, I can’t see it working.

    Something’s gotta give, but neither side looks willing. It’s funny, but I think the main reason Nintendo “does DLC right” is because they never have sales and can get away with leaving their games at launch price, or close to it, for years until they stop producing them, at which point the price just goes up. With the competition, they have to account for sales and so on.

  41. guest
    guest
    May 3, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Never had a problem with DC and I played it for like 75 hours. Dragon’s Crown was made by a bunch of artists who love making games. Pretty much all the ingame assets are hand drawn. The combat is fun too, lots of little nuances and combos you can do with each character. Like elf who can fly all over the place and stay up in the air for long periods of time. Fighter can do air combos, Dwarf can juggle like a beast etc. You may dislike the flashes and explosions, but you can’t deny the gameplay is good.

  42. Wand
    Wand
    May 5, 2015 at 11:22 am

    You are clearly trolling

  43. Wolfe
    Wolfe
    May 5, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    To hear it from the western outlets, Japan has been dead for over a decade. Just like Nintendo, supposedly. And hey, we gamers have been ‘dead’ since last August.
    I guess that makes me a revenant of some sort.

  44. Steven Sanchez
    Steven Sanchez
    May 6, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Here here. I love Senran Kagura and I will buy every game they make :)

  45. Hannes Steenkamp
    Hannes Steenkamp
    May 6, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    “I’m hoping they’re just bullshitting about changing the design of Cindey
    (Cidney?) and make her sexier (or give her a twin) to irritate
    complainers.”

    I was on KIA a few days ago and someone posted a link to a gamespot Q and A article i believe which claimed something along the lines of “we are happy with Cidney’s design.” Or something like that.

    Point is they are not gonna change her design no matter how embarrassing it is for you having your parents/friends/gf walk in on you while playing the game :P (yes that was an actually complaint)

  46. Hannes Steenkamp
    Hannes Steenkamp
    May 6, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Same here with the Grand Strategy CK 2 and Europa Universalis 4 (waiting for HOI 4).

    I don’t own a console and Japanese titles are so rare on steam. Glad they started porting the older games over though (like Hyper dimension Neptunia Rebirth). Have always been a fan of JRPGs

    Yeah agree with the jealousy and envy, but think it’s also got to do with the political correct train of thought going on in the west. The west always wants to act like they have the moral high ground and tell Japan what is and what’s not acceptable. (just look at the Distructoid bitching about increasing the size of Lighting’s breasts in FF 13). I am growing really tired of it.

  47. DariusQ
    DariusQ
    May 8, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    It was Japanese development which reignited interest in video games way back in the 80’s and that’s where my tastes have always skewed. But over the last generation as development shifted from Eastern to more Western ideas my interest in the industry has waned. If we are headed towards another gaming industry crash (not likely, but hypothetically) I’m almost certain that Japanese development would once again keep the soul burning.

  48. DariusQ
    DariusQ
    May 8, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    For every one of the games you mentioned I feel the exact opposite. Different taste, but I find it unlikely that these franchises would have become successes if they’d started as Western developments.

  49. DariusQ
    DariusQ
    May 8, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I can’t name a single western game developer who’s work I enjoyed nearl as much as the numerous Japanese developers who are still in the industry. OK, maybe Michel Ancel. But that’s it.

  50. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    May 9, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Dean Dodrill?