Japanese developers weigh in on their E3 highs and lows

Famitsu magazine asked a range of Japanese game developers and producers what their time at last month's E3 show in Los Angeles was like in this week's issue. Some of the more interesting responses are as follows:

"The atmosphere of the Japanese game market is drifting further and further away from the American marketplace, and it gets me nervous because I'm wondering if we're even breathing the same air now. Games like Puzzle & Dragons which took Japan by storm are treated with a 'What's that?' kind of atmosphere at E3, I imagine. Meanwhile, the open-world and photorealistic games that draw attention at E3 get sort of brushed off in Japan; people say 'Oh, that's neat' and that's that. The fact that Japanese titles still have some impact at E3, even in those circumstances, is something to be happy about, but..." - Jiro Ishii, producer, Level-5

"I think that year over year, more company booths are taking a closed-theater kind of style where you have to sprint over first thing to stand in line for them, get the presentation, then sprint over to some other booth. That's the main choice now, and although I brought along some stuff with me this year to keep the drinks I was carrying cold and all that, trying to run around these closed booths in between business meetings and events and interviews was getting pretty tough. I'm definitely glad that the first parties had more open booths with lots of playable games on offer." - Yoshinori Ono, Street Fighter series producer

"I think Final Fantasy 15 will be the trigger that gets Japanese gamers to purchase new hardware, but with everything else it's games meant for overseas and there's not enough software for Japan. I'm looking forward to hearing about the new games being worked on for the PS3 and PS Vita by Japanese outfits." - Norihisa Kochiwa, producer on Hyperdimension Neptunia

"Killer is Dead received its E3 debut at the Xseed booth where it got main event-style coverage. If I had to compare it to pro wrestling, it was like the debut of Killer Khan in the WWF - going up to the ring at Madison Square Garden, taking on Andre the Giant, and immediately breaking his ankle with a kneedrop." - Goichi Suda, head of Grasshopper Manufacture

"Looking at how multiplatform is now the default for the titles each company is releasing, I'm starting to wonder if the game engines are the true next-generation platforms that we should be thinking about here." - Ken Narita, head of development at GungHo Online Entertainment

"I felt like a lot of titles on display lacked originality. Looking at screenshots, it's sometimes hard to tell which screen goes with which game. That's the sort of environment which really makes me want to create games that stand out for their uniqueness." - Yosuke Hayashi, head of Team Ninja at Tecmo

"You know, I think a lot of gamers and readers might not be aware of this. People like me who work in games and have been going to events like E3 for 20 years or so, you might think we know what's going on in the show floor by now, right? But we don't. Actually, designers and producers involved with a title being shown spend most of the time during the show inside interview rooms. In my case, my schedule was filled from morning until night with interviews, mostly from the US and European media, so even if I could get out on the floor, it was mostly when I was moving myself from one stage event to the next. As a result, really I'd say that people streaming the show over the net learned a lot more than I did." - Katsuhiro Harada, producer of the Tekken series

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