Itagaki criticizes Japanese videogame development


Just last year Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune took a few shots at Japanese videogame development. Now Tomonobu Itagaki, of Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden fame, seems to be following suit.

Itagaki is currently working on Devil’s Third with publisher THQ, and the game designer expressed how U.S. videogame companies function differently.

"But then again, in the U.S., more so in the U.S. than in Japan, I think there are a lot of top management people who actually know how to make games," he said. "I think there are more people here like that, than in Japan. I think it’s a good thing."

Itagaki then went on to state how Japanese management seems to be clueless when it comes to actual videogame development.

"In Japan, management people, they sort of pretend they know what they’re doing," he explained. "Those management people, they say, ‘I love games,’ but they don’t know how to make them. So the kind of instructions that they would give to the employees would be, ‘Okay, you’ve got to make it by when, and it has to be within this budget, and you have to sell whatever many copies.’"

According to Itagaki that kind of method is the "opposite of practical."

Japan’s creativity was another topic highlighted by Itagaki.

"In Japan, in this industry, they are lacking not just in technology, but the important thing is the creativity and ingenuity," he said. "They’re lacking in that. So they complain a lot, they say a lot, but then they don’t take action."

The future of Japanese videogame development seems more and more uncertain with designers like Inafune and Itagaki going independent. It should be interesting to see what kind of games come from the country in the next few years.



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Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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