tgs 2010

Capcom's Inafune: "Japan Is At Least Five Years Behind"

by Matthew Kato on Sep 19, 2010 at 05:20 PM

The world may still look forward to the annual Tokyo Game Show, but Capcom's Keiji Inafune sees it more as a funeral than a celebration. Echoing thoughts he had last year after the show ended, and even before TGS 2010 even started, Inafune believes the future of video games likes to the West.

In an interview with the New York Times, Inafune says, "I look around Tokyo Game Show, and everyone's making awful games; Japan is at least five years behind. Capcom is barely keeping up."

To Inafune, part of the problem seems to be that Japanese developers are too insular. "I want to study how Westerners live, and make games that appeal to them." If that's the case, apparently the Dead Rising producer thinks we're all extreme sports fanatics like DR 2's Chuck Greene, and we have a zombie problem.

Seriously, however, Capcom, with Inafune serving as the company's head of research & development and global production, is trying to do something about the situation. Apart from the wide appeal of games like the Dead Rising series, Capcom has previously stated it wants to branch out its outlook by utilizing Western development houses and embracing the online space.

Interestingly, Capcom's presence at this year's show was rather traditional, with the big news from the company having a very Japanese flavor: Super Street Fighter IV for Japanese arcades, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Steel Battalion (albeit for Kinect), Mega Man Universe, and more.

An example of Capcom's blended approach is the new Devil May Cry, which is being developed by the U.K.'s Ninja Theory (Enslaved). Perhaps its ability to cater to the West and its success or lack thereof will foretell Capcom's future.