• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

What the hell happened to the Japanese and their culture of pushing the limits and innovation? They are just a shadow of its former self

.Pennywise

Banned
NOTE: because I know some people, lovers of the Japanese and their culture and games, will jump on my throat. This thread it's not to discuss if you like the stuff they do more or less. I don't care how much of a weeb you are, this is a discussion about Japanese gaming/technology and their footing into the XXI century.




There was a time in the '90s and very early '00s where looking at Japan was like looking through a window right into the future. You would see all this new technology only them would have and you couldn't believe how advanced they were compared to the rest of the world. It was dreamlike to just think of this country.

Consoles? All Japanese, SEGA, Nintendo, PlayStation. Each with their own take on videogames.

If you wanted to play new innovative stuff you'd better be playing some Japanese game.
All good arcades where only Japanese of course. And they would make awesome ports from arcades despite consoles not being powerful enough like the former (at least until the SEGA Dreamcast arrived).

More than an excuse of a story you say? Japanese games please.
New innovative combat systems? Japanese games.
Graphics that pushed the boundaries? Japaan bitch.

This in no way detracts the work of the western companies that did a good job also, but most of the good and new stuff came from Japan mostly.

Fast forward 20 years and here we are. 2022.
What the hell happened to Japan and their "keep pushing the limits" culture?

Seriously, it's the Tokyo Game Show right now and all you see are rehashes from the '90s. Like they couldn't get past and stood still, frozen in that era.
Just a ton of "remakes and remasters" (I'd be more comfortable calling them re-releases to be honest). No graphical pushing games (maybe less than a handful that just are on par with the times).
Absolutely zero innovation in combat systems. It's like they cannot get out of the turn based stuff, even if the game it's an action game.
Consoles that cannot run anything else but anime/cel shading stuff above 20fps. And looking at PlayStation you could see this difference clearly with Nintendo since PS "westernized" itself while Nintendo remains as Japanese as it could. PS has the best graphical games while the other... Ughh...

Why's that now the Western is pushing new technologies so hard, like VR, while Japan remains in their '90s bubble of little toys, childish storytelling, same art style everywhere, same old tropes, and zero innovation in every scenario.

And don't get me started in online play and internet adoption because oofff...

What happened to the Japanese?
 

Shifty1897

Member
The console gaming industry blew up (the second time) because of Japan. The reason Microsoft, Amazon, Google, etc took an interest in gaming was because Japanese companies grew the industry until there was so much money on the table that it was impossible to ignore.
 
Last edited:

Arcadialane

Member
One man still has it in him

 
Last edited:
Their own market shifted to DS and now Switch and while doing that they struggled through PS360 and even some partially the PS4 years and lost the edge on High End. Fox Engine looked great imho though and now RE Engine seem to be alright too.
Content though is bound to gameplay which has seemingly found most of its limits already and we might not see huge mind boggling leaps again. Even from VR to a neural interface might not be the same as previous first of its kind developments.
You just can't invent the wheel twice.
 

Hugare

Member
Game making is more expensive than ever and you can't risk all that money on innovative concepts that may not recoup the invested money

This is a answer that also works for the question "why we have so many sequels" and etc.
 

Astral Dog

Member
Joke's on you bud i think this Tokyo Game Show is fantastic! 👌

About that tech thing , HD generation hit many Japanese companies, when PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 launched there was a big change in gamers spending habits. Western companies were just best prepared and adapted quickly, Sony started releasing and advertising these big Cinematic AAA western games that shocked the world. then you have Nintendo, wich is one of the biggest Japanese publishers(if not the biggest), changing strategy, they been innovating in the hardware space, just not going after the high end market, after giving up that space to Sony/PlayStation since gamers obviously didn't wanted a powerful Nintendo machine anymore. So no more high end Nintendo games, they talked about increasing development costs for graphics advancing too quickly being a possible negative for the industry.

Japanese companies started taking less risks since their games were less favored in general, there was a lot of talk, Capcom for example about appealing to Western tastes and game design, Square Enix struggled a lot with their FFXIII trilogy. And of course many Japanese companies started to make good games for portable devices, since their form factor was convenient and they got super popular in the country.

Yep in 360/PS3 generation they struggled a lot, recently there has been a resurgence and their games are popular and well liked again. Even though they have to share space with Western publishers and aren't strictly at the 'top' anymore.
 
Last edited:

DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
Where are all these western games pushing limits and innovation? This is not a japanese thing its an industry thing. AAA gaming is becoming stale with each passing year as a whole.
Fair point but please don’t turn this into a “western devs are just as guilty” thing. Historically Japanese devs never really gave a shit what the trends were in the west.
 

Ezquimacore

Banned
Japanese game are better than the trash western companies are doing these days. Give me nier automata and Bayonetta over God of war any day. Give me breath of the wild over Assassin's Creed. Give me resident evil 7 over uncharted. Give me Devil may cry 5 over God of war again. Give me super smash bros over that WB trash. Give me street fighter over killer instinct. I can keep going but overall the gameplay in most western games is trash and only impressive because of the graphics and motion capture.
 

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
It applies to the western market as well, if not noreso since all the innovations are just going into how to fleece your customers

Only refuge is indies and European developers. And Japanese games too sincefranklty they produce more good stuff than in the west these days. It's kind of what happens when gaming gets so mainstream
 
Last edited:

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
The farther you go back, games were more influenced by arcade machines. And lots of arcade games had awesome Japanese development. Even to this day, the last lingering arcade games are probably still issued by Capcom, Namco and Sega probably does some car games.

So when it came to home gaming, the Japanese made games always seemed more stylish, better looking and faster. While US/Euro games had grassroots gaming in PC, AMiga, Apple etc... which were big on depth but crusty in terms of playability. Gamers around the world were new to JRPGs too.

It's like the console game budgets were flipped. But now, western studios have the big money and gamers like things like real life sports games, realistic graphics, big open world exploration games.... which all seem the exact opposite of what Japanese studios and gamers want.

Back then the graphics were so crude and colourful, gamers had no choice. But as soon as console and PC amped up the power to get realistic looking games and in the 90s EA started detailed stat tracking and licensed leagues as standard, it changed everything.

Some reason Japanese gamers and companies stay true to their roots from 30 years ago, while US/Euro devs try new things and push gaming.
 

killatopak

Member
Where do you think Genshin and Raid Shadow Legends copied the waifu and husbando bait gacha?

I mean the term Gacha itself proliferating is a huge example.
 
Last edited:

DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
Question: “What happened to Japanese devs?”

Weeb GAF’s Answer: “but… but… western devs are even worse!!!”


Okay, so? I think it’s a really good question and I’d appreciate some honest and thoughtful answers instead of the Defenders of Japan trying to deflect blame.
 

Kataploom

Member
Game making is more expensive than ever and you can't risk all that money on innovative concepts that may not recoup the invested money

This is a answer that also works for the question "why we have so many sequels" and etc.
They innovate a lot though, we're having waves of souls-like title since years already, many of the most popular indie games from the west are souls-like titles... Now, when I see same suspects complaining about "innovation" from japan, I can't think in other thing than graphics, technology, etc. like... "Why RDR2 stuff is not made by japanese devs anymore?" (ignoring BOTW exists), and well, they innovate in gameplay playable stuff, no one have to break the mold each time because the industry matured a lot already tho...
 

MHubert

Member
Didn't Elden Ring just win Game of the Forever?
FromSoft is definitely changing the tides somewhat. I remember Miyazaki stressing the importance of raising salaries, allowing for much needed vacations and paying out proper bonuses for work well done to retain and nurture talent as a key philosophy going forward, at least since Sekiro, in an interview post ER release.
 
Last edited:

SmokedMeat

Gamer™
Innovation is dead unless you’re looking at the indies.

Everyone else just plays it safe now, including the big Japanese studios.

It’s just the way it is now.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
I think it’s easy to say “well, it’s just a AAA thing, they are more risk averse because budgets are so high!!”

But even a lot of the low-mid budget stuff is really bland and same-y. Look at e.g. Tokyo RPG Factory, FuRyu, NIS, etc.
 

Aldric

Member
FromSoft is definitely changing the tides somewhat. I remember Miyazaki stressing the importance of raising salaries, allowing for much needed vacations and paying out proper bonuses for work well done to retain and nurture talent as a key philosophy going forward, at least since Sekiro, in an interview post ER release.
FromSoft have been shitting out the same game for a decade, they're the perfect example of what OP is talking about.
 
Innovation also means bigger risks. Games nowadays don't cost 10 dollars to make.
Also...Elden Ring doesn't deserve to be in this conversation. It's a good game but in no way it innovates or pushes any limits, lmao.

It's a souls game in an unnoptimized open world game.

But it's interesting, TGS was a much more exciting time than the entire June month to me. September has been delivering big time and 99% of it all comes from Japan and asian coutries in general.
 

Ezquimacore

Banned
FromSoft have been shitting out the same game for a decade, they're the perfect example of what OP is talking about.
Elden Ring is my second goty (after Xenoblade Chronicles 3) and is literally the same souls game mixed with botw and Skyrim. Amazing game, but nothing innovative about it.
 
Last edited:

.Pennywise

Banned
Question: “What happened to Japanese devs?”

Weeb GAF’s Answer: “but… but… western devs are even worse!!!”


Okay, so? I think it’s a really good question and I’d appreciate some honest and thoughtful answers instead of the Defenders of Japan trying to deflect blame.
In fact, this a good showing of how much the Japanese culture of old has fallen.

That much that people defending them (WHICH I EXPLICITY STATED IN THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THE OP ITS NOT AGAINST JAPAN NOR PEOPLE LIKING THEIR GAMES) can only come up with with a "they do it too so it's not my fault" kind of argument.

Like, we all know Japanese were the best, miles ahead, but now they struggle to get with the times.


Please don't turn this into a western vs. eastern kind of shit. Alas, I know it's something that will organicly devolve into, let's try to not antagonize
 

.Pennywise

Banned
OP pretending the Switch and PlayStation don’t exist:
Cant See Cheech Marin GIF
Also:
Dragon Lighting GIF by Xbox
Your post speaks volumes since I EXPLICITY named Nintendo and PlayStation in the OP.

While it's awesome that you bring Elder Ring into the table, it serves as a great example of how a game that predates on the exact same design as a 13 years old game while adding something that games were already doing more than a full decade ago (open world) just shows and proves my point once again...

That being said, exception =/= rule
 

Ezquimacore

Banned
.

Like, we all know Japanese were the best, miles ahead, but now they struggle to get with the times.


Please don't turn this into a western vs. eastern kind of shit. Alas, I know it's something that will organicly devolve into, let's try to not antagonize
There's not a single western game this year better than Elden Ring and Xenoblade Chronicles 3. So wth are you even talking about.
 
Still waiting for an electric toyota/honda/lexus. I think the last electronic thing I bought designed in Japan was my Denon Receiver. I guess the PS5 counts but I don't know how much of that was designed in Japan.
 

Dr_Salt

Member
Question: “What happened to Japanese devs?”

Weeb GAF’s Answer: “but… but… western devs are even worse!!!”


Okay, so? I think it’s a really good question and I’d appreciate some honest and thoughtful answers instead of the Defenders of Japan trying to deflect blame.
This has already been discussed to hell and back. AAA gaming is creatively bankrupt because of the rise of development costs. Games cost too much to produce nowadays and you can't risk it making a novel concept that might fail and lose millions. This is why we get COD and RE year after year instead of lets say Killer 7.
 
Last edited:

SlimySnake

Member
Umm its not just the Japanese devs. Did you at E3 and Gamescom shows? Indie trash after indie trash. Last gen remakes, GaaS trash, all the major studios have gone MIA or are still making last gen games. Literally only have two next gen games shown so far. Tekken and Hellblade 2. Thats it.

That said, I agree that the Japanese devs have begun to just stop being ambitious and have become risk averse just like the mega corporations in the west. They are no better than Ubisoft, EA, Sony and Microsoft. Everyone wants to just release quick crash grabs. They value 'content' over quality. No one is putting in the effort to truly push boundries. Not in visuals, not in gameplay, and definitely not in level design. RE4 being announced as last gen is just proof of how lazy these devs have become. The game probably started full production in either 2020 after they shipped RE3 or 2021 after they shipped RE8. And they targeted last gen systems? Why?

What kind of dev sees the goldmine that is the next gen CPU, IO and SSD, and says nah, im gonna design around a 1.6 ghz netbook CPU and 20 MBps harddrives. An unambitous one. A dev who has lost all credibility. A dev who simply wants to collect checks and retire. These are not the same guys who made MGS2 a technical showpiece that brought E3 to a standstill. They are not the same guys who revolutionized the third person action adventure genre with Ninja Gaiden, RE4, DMC, and Demon Souls.

I love what the Tekken dev said yesterday to IGN. They threw away all the character models and assets from Tekken 7 and started from scratch because they remember the time when Tekken 3 on PS1 and Tekken Tag Tournament on PS2 were snynonmous with pushing boundaries. They focused on visual fidelity because they realized that the series was known for its visual splendor as much as its gameplay. They are literally the only ones who have shown any desire to push boundaries. Everyone else is on sleep mode. RE4 last gen. FF7-2 is next gen but literally using last game's character models. It's clealy a fake next gen only game like deathloop and ghostwire tokyo.

Kojima, a couple of SE teams, a couple of Capcom teams, Team Ninja, Platinum Games and Fromsoft are the only devs who are making AAA games out of Japan. And they are all just coasting. No one seems to want to do anything with these next gen consoles. It's bizarre. You have everything you've ever wanted in a canvas and you are using last gen tools. Makes no sense to me.
 

Dr_Salt

Member
Umm its not just the Japanese devs. Did you at E3 and Gamescom shows? Indie trash after indie trash. Last gen remakes, GaaS trash, all the major studios have gone MIA or are still making last gen games. Literally only have two next gen games shown so far. Tekken and Hellblade 2. Thats it.

That said, I agree that the Japanese devs have begun to just stop being ambitious and have become risk averse just like the mega corporations in the west. They are no better than Ubisoft, EA, Sony and Microsoft. Everyone wants to just release quick crash grabs. They value 'content' over quality. No one is putting in the effort to truly push boundries. Not in visuals, not in gameplay, and definitely not in level design. RE4 being announced as last gen is just proof of how lazy these devs have become. The game probably started full production in either 2020 after they shipped RE3 or 2021 after they shipped RE8. And they targeted last gen systems? Why?

What kind of dev sees the goldmine that is the next gen CPU, IO and SSD, and says nah, im gonna design around a 1.6 ghz netbook CPU and 20 MBps harddrives. An unambitous one. A dev who has lost all credibility. A dev who simply wants to collect checks and retire. These are not the same guys who made MGS2 a technical showpiece that brought E3 to a standstill. They are not the same guys who revolutionized the third person action adventure genre with Ninja Gaiden, RE4, DMC, and Demon Souls.

I love what the Tekken dev said yesterday to IGN. They threw away all the character models and assets from Tekken 7 and started from scratch because they remember the time when Tekken 3 on PS1 and Tekken Tag Tournament on PS2 were snynonmous with pushing boundaries. They focused on visual fidelity because they realized that the series was known for its visual splendor as much as its gameplay. They are literally the only ones who have shown any desire to push boundaries. Everyone else is on sleep mode. RE4 last gen. FF7-2 is next gen but literally using last game's character models. It's clealy a fake next gen only game like deathloop and ghostwire tokyo.

Kojima, a couple of SE teams, a couple of Capcom teams, Team Ninja, Platinum Games and Fromsoft are the only devs who are making AAA games out of Japan. And they are all just coasting. No one seems to want to do anything with these next gen consoles. It's bizarre. You have everything you've ever wanted in a canvas and you are using last gen tools. Makes no sense to me.
The answer is money and it always comes to that at the end of the day.
 

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
Umm its not just the Japanese devs. Did you at E3 and Gamescom shows? Indie trash after indie trash. Last gen remakes, GaaS trash, all the major studios have gone MIA or are still making last gen games. Literally only have two next gen games shown so far. Tekken and Hellblade 2. Thats it.

That said, I agree that the Japanese devs have begun to just stop being ambitious and have become risk averse just like the mega corporations in the west. They are no better than Ubisoft, EA, Sony and Microsoft. Everyone wants to just release quick crash grabs. They value 'content' over quality. No one is putting in the effort to truly push boundries. Not in visuals, not in gameplay, and definitely not in level design. RE4 being announced as last gen is just proof of how lazy these devs have become. The game probably started full production in either 2020 after they shipped RE3 or 2021 after they shipped RE8. And they targeted last gen systems? Why?

What kind of dev sees the goldmine that is the next gen CPU, IO and SSD, and says nah, im gonna design around a 1.6 ghz netbook CPU and 20 MBps harddrives. An unambitous one. A dev who has lost all credibility. A dev who simply wants to collect checks and retire. These are not the same guys who made MGS2 a technical showpiece that brought E3 to a standstill. They are not the same guys who revolutionized the third person action adventure genre with Ninja Gaiden, RE4, DMC, and Demon Souls.

I love what the Tekken dev said yesterday to IGN. They threw away all the character models and assets from Tekken 7 and started from scratch because they remember the time when Tekken 3 on PS1 and Tekken Tag Tournament on PS2 were snynonmous with pushing boundaries. They focused on visual fidelity because they realized that the series was known for its visual splendor as much as its gameplay. They are literally the only ones who have shown any desire to push boundaries. Everyone else is on sleep mode. RE4 last gen. FF7-2 is next gen but literally using last game's character models. It's clealy a fake next gen only game like deathloop and ghostwire tokyo.

Kojima, a couple of SE teams, a couple of Capcom teams, Team Ninja, Platinum Games and Fromsoft are the only devs who are making AAA games out of Japan. And they are all just coasting. No one seems to want to do anything with these next gen consoles. It's bizarre. You have everything you've ever wanted in a canvas and you are using last gen tools. Makes no sense to me.
Slimy don't you understand? It's a conspiracy. They're developing crossgen specifically to piss you off. They're creating a personal hell based around you. All you have to do to break the simulation is praise crossgen. Then games will become next gen exclusive.
 

jakinov

Member
Japan was never that advanced. Their speciality for decades has been interating very well not innovating.

In regards to story, combat systems and graphics, I wouldn't call Japan a leader in any of thoe things in the past, everyone was arguably pretty great at those things. Diffenret countries might have focused on different types of game play, types of stories and might have chosen different art styles which can result in differnet people tihnking certain things are the bee kneess because it checks their boxes.

Japan's game industry has been declnining for a while. developers are too focused on Japan. They create content for themselves and don't learn from the rest of world or try to compete with them. Kojima was critisizing the japan industry for this probably a decade ago. From technology side, Japan doesn't care about computer technology as much. They pay developers like crap because it's not a high regarded proffession even as a non-gaming dev. The pay is comparable to janitors. People that could be good at development might never go into the industry and the ones who are in might not get the same kinds of support system and learning potential.
 

Fbh

Gold Member
Mobile happened to japan.
People started loosing interest in home consoles and traditional games, and Japanese devs realized that making games that are glorified slot machines where people can spend money to get a Jpeg of a "rare 5 stars" waifu was 10X more profitable with a much lower investment and risk.

Remember Konami? The company with tons of cool an innovative games like Silent Hill, Castlevania and Metal Gear? The company that was oh so dumb to let Kojima go?
They just had their most profitable year ever, with a F2P mobile Yu Gi Oh game and pachinko machines
 

MHubert

Member
FromSoft have been shitting out the same game for a decade, they're the perfect example of what OP is talking about.
I was mostly referencing how being a game dev or artist in JP is generally tough and underpaid.

Whether or not they have been shitting out the same game for a decade is a moot point since ER is generally praised for breathing new life into a tired genre, and each of these 'samey' games seems to sell more and more with each iteration. But on a purely technical level, yea you are right.
 

Naked Lunch

Member
I had to check the date on this thread to make sure it wasnt a necro bump.
Japan had a rough go at it during the PS4 XB1 era for sure - but its night a day difference now.
A game like Street Fighter 6 is a perfect blend of old and new. Elden Ring and Sekiro have nothing even in close in the entire industry.
As for tech - I can point to something like DokeV (I think its Korean actually). I dont think Japan was ever at the height of gaming technology - just gameplay and the way you play games.

The OP keeps mentioning to 'get with the times'. Western games are stuck in open world, battle royale mode. Its funny the OP mentions combat when outside of FPS games - western combat gameplay is almost guaranteed subpar and the weakest part of their games.
 
Top Bottom