Hideki Kamiya: “Japanese Devs Should Be Proud of JRPGs
Hideki Kamiya: In a recent interview with the Japanese gaming Site Gamer, Hideki Kamiya, director of the hit game The Wonderful 101, asked Japanese developers to look back on their past successes in creating some of the most popular JRPGs in the world today. During the interview he said, “Japanese developers should be proud of how they have crafted and cultivated the JRPG genre. Fans of such games are loyal and appreciative, to the point they’ll clamor for more entries in series that have been dormant for years.” Kamiya went on to say, “Consumers are smart these days, and they know their stuff, so it’s important that Japanese developers don’t become complacent in their successes. Because there will always be a new challenger or trend coming up, and if developers don’t strive to be the best then they’ll always be lagging behind.”
Kamiya is not alone in his words of encouragement. Satoru Iwata, former Nintendo President and CEO, has also championed the need for Japanese developers to stay true to their established roots while also embracing the changing demands of the modern video game industry. In an interview with Wired, Iwata said, “Japanese developers need to maintain the unique, signature elements that distinguish Japanese games from others while creating games for the global market. Otherwise, they’ll end up as third-tier developers catering solely to the local market.”
It’s clear that Hideki Kamiya and other veteran Japanese developers are crossing their fingers that the future of their industry holds the same wondrous magic it did when the JRPG genre first debuted. To that end, Kamiya suggests that current developers and hopeful game designers should continue to strive to create their own distinct visions of what the JRPG can and should be, opportunities for young, underappreciated developers to showcase new creative ideas. Supporting such talent, Kamiya believes, can only strengthen the genre as a whole, driving it forward into the future.