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GDC organizers debut a few excellent Japanese talks, including Keiji Inafune speaking about crowdfunding Mighty No. 9, a Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn postmortem from Naoki Yoshida, and more.

Game Developer, Staff

February 14, 2014

4 Min Read

Passes for the Game Developers Conference 2014 are going fast, and today we're announcing even more sessions for the Main Conference that you'll want to check out. Today we’re showcasing a few of our excellent Japanese language talks, which will feature live translation provided by Japanese localization firm 8-4. Highlights include Keiji Inafune sharing his experiences crowdfunding Mighty No. 9, a postmortem look a the redevelopment of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn from producer/director Naoki Yoshida, and more. Now in its 28th year, GDC is the world's largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event, and will once again take place at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California during March 17-21, 2014

Lessons learned from crowdfunding Mighty No. 9

Fresh off their success Kickstarting the Mighty No. 9 project, Comcept CEO Keiji Inafune and 8-4 Executive Director Mark MacDonald will take to the stage at GDC 2014 to talk about what they’ve learned from crowdfunding a Japanese game, and share their thoughts on other trends in the Japanese game industry. During the talk, coyly titled Meanwhile, In Japan, Inafune and MacDonald will reveal how Western and Japanese partners came together to manage one of the largest game Kickstarter campaigns of all time. Attendees can look forward to learning more about the advantages and challenges of developing modern Japanese games for a primarily Western audience, as well as how Japanese developers and players are responding to new business models, like crowdfunding or free-to-play economies. There will also be a bit of discussion about Japan’s burgeoning independent development scene.

Exploring the Japanese indie scene

Speaking of Japanese indies, BitSummit director James Mielke is giving a great English language GDC talk about where the Japanese indie scene came from, where it is now and where it’s headed next. Mielke’s session, Exploring the Human Element of BitSummit, will contrast the Western indie scene’s burgeoning success and status with the relative anonymity of Japanese indie developers. Mielke plans to explain why people still equate the word “indie” with “amateur” in Japan, and showcase the Japanese indies who are responsible for changing the status quo of Japanese game development, despite the fact that Japan’s mainstream media outlets rarely acknowledge their existence. According to Mielke, those wondering if Japan has lost its identity in game development may yet find hope in this new generation of indie game makers.

Behind the scenes of Realm Reborn

Finally, don’t miss Square Enix’s Naoki Yoshida’s GDC talk about his experiences relaunching the troubled Final Fantasy XIV as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. During his presentation, titled simply Behind the Realm Reborn, Yoshida will analyze the causes of the MMORPG’s initial failures and disclose some of the behind-the-scenes reasoning surrounding the decision for Square Enix to relaunch the game. Yoshida will also share stories about the process of creating a sprawling MMORPG title in just under three years, and touch on why Square Enix chose to commit to a subscription business model. Previously-announced Japanese talks include Yu Suzuki's Shenmue Classic Game Postmortem and an Animal Crossing: New Leaf postmortem from producer Katsuya Eguchi and director Aya Kyogoku titled How to Turn a New Leaf at the Animal Crossing. Other GDC 2014 talks focusing on the Japanese game market include a postmortem of Sony's rain titled simply Come Rain or Shine: rain Postmortem, a talk from the Vice President of IGDA Japan about how to pull off philanthropic game jams titled Revival From the Great East Japan Earthquake by Fukushima Game Jam, and a Puppeteer postmortem from Sony Japan's Gavin Moore titled Opening a Creative Pandora's Box: Puppeteer Postmortem.

More essential GDC details

Earlier GDC 2014 announcements include the lineup for this year’s ‘Doing It On The Table’ board game exhibit, the news that Irrational Games co-founder Ken Levine will be giving a GDC talk about Narrative Legos, and the winners of the Game Narrative poster sessions. Developers on Papa & Yo, Ryse, and Destiny will also be giving talks. All of the announced talks are now available in the online GDC 2014 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week and later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App, coming soon. GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21, 2014 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. You can register for the event by visiting the info page on the official GDC 2014 website. For more information on GDC 2014, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech

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