Square Enix President Waxes About The Lack Of Young Developers In Japan

By Spencer . November 18, 2009 . 5:19pm

imageMany industry executives including Yoichi Wada, CEO of Square Enix, agree that the Japanese video game industry is on a downhill slope. But, why?


Wada has an idea which he explains in an excellent Ars Technica interview. “What I’m most concerned about,” Wada told Ars, “is that the game creator foundation is starting to become exhausted in a sense, because there aren’t as many younger creators that are aspiring to become developers.”


He isn’t exactly sure how this happened, but cites the movement of console manufacturers from Japan to North America as a possibility. Even though two of them, Sony and Nintendo, are Japanese companies Wada says, “But now Nintendo is practically the only console manufacturer based in Japan…so the console manufacturer as a hub is now missing.”


Perhaps, creators don’t have enough freedom to make the games they want so they leave the industry or lose their passion. Enigmatic and eccentric developer Keita Takahashi said in a separate interview with Gamasutra, “Or maybe I just don’t like where I think it’s [the video game industry] going. I’m not sure. That’s probably related to my second frustration. I just can’t perceive where the fun is in recent hit video games. I see nothing in them that resonates with me and, their success leaves me feeling confused. The things I find interesting and enjoyable just aren’t reflected in the popular games of today and, I feel like there’s not much room for my voice because of that.”

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  • Agree, i wish my country was better developed in this kind of stuff, but is not, i wish i could work in making games T_T

    • don’t make the same mistake I did. Go where your passions are. When you think of all the work needed to really get a career going, it’s thoroughly insignificant that you might have to move somewhere else. The world is your playground son.

  • JeremyR

    It’s just a symptom of Japan’s overall problem – not enough young people, period. They aren’t having children. Their population is aging and not being replaced. Indeed, their population is contracting.

  • Ereek

    I just can’t perceive where the fun is in recent hit video games. I see nothing in them that resonates with me and, their success leaves me feeling confused.I can agree with this, to an extent. I won’t name any names, but sometimes the popularity of certain big name titles absolutely baffles me. 10 years ago, I didn’t feel this way and could enjoy most of the “hit” games. Perhaps, though, it’s also a mix of the developers changing as well as what players demand.

    • Josh

      I agree with Takahashi. A lot of modern games aren’t fun, simple as that. People buy them anyway, graphics over gameplay, etc.

      It’s like Hollywood. Terrible movies are still successful if they’re flashy and heavily promoted.

  • Gestahl

    Mr.Wada, SquareEnix’s decline does not equal Japanese video game industry collapse. Please see the examples of From Software or Level 5 and stop bastardising (oh, sorry, westernising) Japanese games.

  • I don’t always want “fun” in my games. Much like I don’t always want “action” or “comedy” in my movies.

    Still, it doesn’t mean that just because he doesn’t see today’s games as fun that he can’t make ones that he does see as such. In fact, that should inspire him even more. Which is all the more reason I find his comment ridiculous.

  • answer to wada and takajashi claims : create a big indie development fest were those big names publishers try to find some new guys with great ideas, games must get back the old storytelling feeling…

    • am i connected to siliconera? i can’t login in disqus there…

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