Soul Sacrifice creator Keiji Inafune hopes his game will appeal to Western audiences, because he doesn't believe Japanese gamers will be served well by games that are only geared toward them.
In an interview with the PlayStation Blog, Inafune said that Soul Sacrifice is being designed as a game that the West will enjoy but also one that will still sell well in Japan. Since it is intended to blur the line between East and West, he also sees its success as crucial to the health of the PlayStation Vita as a platform. "PS Vita is not going to benefit if you just have a lot of otaku games on it — you need something like [Soul Sacrifice]," he explained.
Inafune has become renowned in recent years for his criticism of the Japanese game industry, which he sees as stagnant and unwilling to adapt to the rapid changes in the West. He spoke with Polygon at this year's Tokyo Game Show about another game he is working on, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, which is being co-developed by Inafune's company, Comcept; the Japanese studio Tecmo Koei; and California-based developer Spark Unlimited.
"The state of the Japanese gaming industry hasn't changed," he said, "but with some help from Western developers and Team Ninja I want to prove that I'm making the industry better and heading in a better direction."
He acknowledged to the PlayStation Blog that he had a very different attitude back in 1986, when he was working on the original Mega Man at Capcom. "Twenty-five years ago," he said, "I probably would have thought that [Soul Sacrifice] was grotesque because I wasn't really aware of Western games."
If he had been exposed to a game like Soul Sacrifice at the time, he said, "I think I would've started earlier at trying to be aware of Western audiences."
Soul Sacrifice is being co-developed by Marvelous AQL and Sony Japan Studio, and is set for release exclusively on PlayStation Vita next spring. Check out our preview from Gamescom, and watch the Tokyo Game Show 2012 trailer below.