According to Tomonobu Itagaki, the Japanese game industry is dying. Itagaki, who created Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive, should know -- the guy is practically synonymous with Eastern gaming.
According to Itagaki, the death of the Japanese game industry won't be due to crappy games, but rather a larger, systemic problem with the Japanese Socio-political system.
“Japan failed to import capitalism, or rather, it failed to understand the lessons of capitalism, of the free market economy," Itagaki told Edge."What I’m talking about isn’t just limited to the games industry. I’m talking about what has happened in Japan since the ’60s. Japan’s destiny – the destiny of this era – was already determined then.”
According to Tomo, Japan didn't capitalize on it successes back in the 1960s through the 1990s.
"In the years they were doing great, they had to prepare things. The infrastructure, education, the things you need to do to continue to be that way. But the older generation failed to do that," He said. "But don’t think I trust those people who are trying to change things now. It’s not a good idea to trust people who are yelling things have to change. They’re salesmen, just salesmen with something to sell."
As for the future of Japan, Itagaki was asked if he's interested in running for office and replied:
"Yes. There have been some offers for me to become a political candidate in Japan, and we do need a strong leader."
Itagaki even thinks the Japanese people will accept him as a leader, in spite of his aversion to wearing a suit!
Personally, I don't feel that Japan losing its place as the ultimate video-game-making country has as much to do with global politics as it does with a lack of innovation in Japanese games, as well as a marked difference in taste between Japanese and Western gamers. Japanese culture doesn't seem to support the kind of competitiveness that American gamers crave in multiplayer shooters, and that's where (a lot) of the gaming money is these days.
What do you think? Is Japanese gaming dying? Why?