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D3's Takenaka: Next-Gen Learning Curve Hurting Japanese Industry

Talking to Gamasutra as part of an in-depth new interview, D3 Publisher of America COO Yoji Takenaka has been discussing the state of the Japanese game biz, sugg
Talking to Gamasutra as part of an in-depth new interview, D3 Publisher of America COO Yoji Takenaka has been discussing the state of the Japanese game biz, suggesting the "learning curve" of PS3 and Xbox 360 development "is hurting the industry" in Japan. Takenaka explains that the expense of development has something to do with it: "It takes money -- 10 or 20 million dollars for the first title on the PlayStation 3. I think Japanese publishers are treating 360 like a second or third format, or not thinking about it, except for bigger publishers. That learning curve is hurting the industry, I think. At the same time, Nintendo's business model is great. Selling hardware at a low price point... it's very affordable, whereas 360 is more expensive, and the PlayStation 3 is initially a big loss. That's why I think Nintendo's gaining more share. It's like 70 or 80 percent of the business is Nintendo, now, in Japan." So can the challenging learning curve be overcome? And what will the big picture look like when it is? "I think, going forward, though, Japanese developers and publishers will make 360 and PlayStation 3 games. I'm talking about probably big ones -- probably the best top five or top six companies -- because more technology is available, and also they had a hard time developing new technologies, but they kind of came over the curve. I think people are shifting development to a PC base now, so they can get PlayStation 3, 360, and PC together for their worldwide business. I'm waiting to see a lot of great games coming out from well-known publishers in Japan for worldwide business." In the full feature, Takenaka talks beyond Puzzle Quest, the title that put the publisher on the map in the U.S. to the early 2008 release of its Digital Extremes-developed Dark Sector, providing a candid and in-depth look at the little-known but significant publisher's business strategy for next-gen development (no reg. required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

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