Final Fantasy creator explains the decline of Japanese developers in the 2000s

While for a long time Japanese developers dominated the market with series such as Final Fantasy, Mega Man and Castlevania, they began to be considered decadent sometime in the 2000s. According to Hironobu Sakaguchi, one of the creators of Final Fantasy, this happened because of one change in the way the console market works.

In an interview with IGN, Sakaguchi explained that, for a long time, Japanese developers had an advantage over others because of communication barriers. According to him, it was much easier for them to contact Nintendo and Sony to get details about their hardware and create higher quality games. “As a result, Japanese games were considered more fun, but when it became easier to develop for the hardware, things quickly changed.“, he explained.

Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi agrees with Sakaguchi, stating that western developers gain the upper hand as console hardware makes its way to PC. “Japanese developers could no longer rely on their specialties as console developers and had to dominate PC development.“, he stated.

Cross-platform gaming also influenced developers

Another reason for the perception that there has been a decline in the quality of Japanese games is the fact that Cross-platform releases have become more frequent and necessary. As a result, developers no longer had a way to specialize in a single platform and learn how to deal with its limitations.

Sakaguchi also supported it Cultural differences contributed to this perception and differentiate the types of games played in each country. According to him, while Western children usually have their own spaces early on, in Japan it is more common that “the whole family sleeps in the same room“.

These small cultural differences can be seen in the games we play today. […]. I believe that celebrating my Japanese cultural background is what draws people to my games in the first place.“, he stated. Sakaguchi left Square Enix in 2003 and has since been dedicated to Mistwalker studio, whose most recent work is the RPG Fantasian, currently exclusive to Apple Arcade.


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Source: Kotaku

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