The president of Square Enix has spoken out about game development across Japanese studios specifically when it comes to creating games for western audiences. In an interview with Yahoo Japan, Yosuke Matsuda says that Japanese studios, specifically ones that belong to Square Enix, shouldn’t try and imitate western developers when it comes to making games.
Matsuda believes that Square Enix’s games generally sell well on a global scale and that is mainly thanks to the company staying true to its Japanese ethics and development cycle. He believes that gaming is now globalised and if you’re not globally recognised, you’re not in business.
Matsuda also has some strong feelings when it comes to game developers making games in Japan for western audiences. He believes that Japanese developers should not try and imitate western games as these studios don’t know how to make these games properly. In fact, Matsuda says that Japanese developers should just stick to making makes the way they know how to because the overseas market isn’t big enough to only develop for them.
“But interestingly, if Japanese developers try to imitate Western games, they cannot make good ones. The designs of the monsters, and the visual and audio effects, are all still somewhat Japanese. And players around the world know that this is what makes Japanese games good. Overseas markets are important, but it is not enough to only develop for them.”
Square Enix has a lot of experience when it comes to developing a range of titles for different regions. The company relies heavily on its western studios to make games for western audiences. However, the company’s Japanese studios also work on games that are almost all Japanese orientated. These are usually JRPGs or action games with Japanese features and styles.
When Square Enix’s Japanese studios develop games for the west, these titles usually do very well. Games like Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts etc are perfect examples of this. These titles weren’t developed for western audiences but still prove to be successful all over the world.