Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has voiced his views on the Japanese games industry's recent 'obsession' with worldwide success, questioning whether it's even necessary.
"Do we really need to succeed worldwide?" he asked in an interview with Japanese Famitsu magazine.
"That's what I'm really wondering about. Everyone talks about overseas, overseas, but nobody's really thinking about what needs to be done if we want to succeed. We get obsessed with thinking about worldwide because we've had previous success with games and anime worldwide, but none of those successes matter nowadays," he went on.
"When you're making a game, it doesn't matter what nationality the team is -- I think there was a lack of understanding among Japanese developers on that issue. It all comes down to the team you have. Even if I brought in the best developer in the world, it won't result in anything if nobody around him understands what he says," said Kojima.
He goes on to admit a gap in quality of development between the East and West. "It's hard to feel this when you're in Japan, but there is a gap opening between the West in terms of pure quality," he said.
The problem isn't just with games but with Japanese firms' structure. "Everything needs to be separate, down to the office and pay structure," he adds. "There are loads of talented developers overseas, but you can't get them unless you spend the money ... It's the difference between what you pay a Hollywood star versus a Japanese film star."
Kojima says that while Japan wants overseas success many developers still fail to understand the cultural differences.
"To put it in an extreme fashion, Americans like games where you have a gun and you're shooting at space aliens," he said. "If you don't understand why that's fun, then you shouldn't be making games for the world market; you don't need to. I mean, Japanese people might say 'Why space aliens?', but Americans will counter with 'What's with these games featuring these feminine-looking boys fighting in Japan with these huge swords?' It's no wonder the target audience for a lot of games is getting so compartmentalized."
One of Kojima's best productions - Metal Gear Solid 3 - will be re-released on 3DS later this year with improved visuals and 3DS effects.