Calling out his countrymen for lacking "social skills" needed to succeed in the game industry, outspoken developer Tomonobu Itagaki (Ninja Gaiden
series) talks to Gamasutra in a new feature interview
"It's important to have the skill to express what you're doing, what you want to do -- you know, express yourself. I'm talking about social skills," said Itagaki, when asked about how the country is perceived as being "past its prime" in terms of game development.
"I'm sure you're interviewing a lot of people, and maybe you meet people at parties, Japanese developers. Japanese developers, they don't have the necessary social skills. The American social skills, European social skills."
He continued, "You know, maybe they don't have humor; they don't know how to joke around. Maybe it's a problem with their manner."
"So if those people don't have those necessary social skills, and if those people are the ones who are developing the game, no matter how much they try to make globally accepted, globally popular games, that work in different cultures, that might be very difficult."
He also added that a lack of originality is plaguing the industry. "You shouldn't make video games by playing video games," he quipped.
However, he conceded of games that ape other games, "It's not like those things are pieces of shit, either, you know? They're fun -- some of them are fun. So I think they're a necessity. Not everyone has to be living on the edge like I am. I think that would be a problem too, if that was the case."
The full interview, in which the famed developer discusses his relationship with THQ, the exodus of top talent from Japanese studios, and more, is live now at Gamasutra