In the past several years, we've seen the rise of Western console game development in an industry where Japan had previously been the global hub of gaming.
This has led to some commentary and debate about which territories make the "better" games. But the Japanese director of the Smash Bros.
series and the upcoming 3DS game Kid Icarus: Uprising
says that what game developers should do -- no matter what territory -- is focus on their strengths.
"About the difference between Western and Japanese design, there's really a lot of opinions on this and this is just one of those opinions," said Masahiro Sakurai in an interview
with Time.com's TechLand. "But, I feel that Japanese game design and game development really isn't a good match for the big-budget Hollywood style game experience."
He added, "There are lot of different factors such as things like the team size and the way development proceeds and is communicated within teams. I mean, there are instances where this trend is more dramatic than others, where teams are either more well-suited to a certain style or not."
Sakurai was careful not to imply that he has a dislike for Western game design -- he said he plays Western games and enjoys a lot of them.
But, he added, "personally -- and this is something that Nintendo also follows the same philosophy -- I trend towards focusing on a gameplay mechanic and working on that mechanic. I start with something that's very, very simple but is perfected for its gameplay qualities and not try to force it into becoming a larger, more expensive big-budgeted experience."
"Unfortunately, a lot of developers get caught in trying to out do each other and what ends up becoming is a simple competition in graphics or in scale and whatnot," said Sakurai. "I think the most important thing -- and maybe my overall message for this answer -- is that developers just need to focus on what they're good at. And, while some may be good at these big budget experiences, others are not, and that could be telling of different trends between Western and Japanese game companies."