character designer and Cavia head Naoto Ohshima has told Gamasutra that Japanese developers are reacting to "the Hollywood-ization of the game industry" by moving into more realistic games from its "traditional strength", cartoon-like titles.
Ohshima is a Japanese industry veteran -- after contributing to early installments of Wizardry
and Phantasy Star
, Ohshima created the iconic character designs for Sonic the Hedgehog alongside Yuji Naka.
From there, the notable creator formed Artoon, developers of Blinx: The Time Sweeper, Blue Dragon
, and Yoshi's Island DS
, and now heads Cavia -- recently responsible for Capcom's Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles
, and currently working on Square Enix's upcoming Nier
As part of a larger feature interview with Gamasutra
published today, Ohshima discussed his own move into more adult-looking games with titles like the critically panned Vampire Rain
"Games are a part of the overall realm of entertainment, including movies and music and so on. I think that movies play a sort of big-brother role for the game industry.
The Japanese film industry has been around for ages, but once films from other countries began to see wide distribution here, Hollywood films very quickly became the most popular.
Within that environment, Japanese animation has managed to attract worldwide praise, which is great. But we're seeing a sort of Hollywood-ization of the game industry right now, and Japan's traditional strengths in cartoon-style games are going by the wayside."
Continuing, Ohshima explained that it's important for him and his company to diversify to reach a worldwide audience, noting:
"So in thinking about the future, I realized I wanted to do both "real" and "cartoon" games. Now, Vampire Rain got a negative reception from a lot of its players, and we regret a lot of things with that game, so in the future we definitely want to make games that excite people a great deal more."
The full interview with industry veteran Ohshima
is now available on Gamasutra, including lots more on the making of classic titles in the Sonic
series, as well as his current projects.