Arc System Works: No East, No West, Only Gamers

Arc System Works: No East, No West, Only Gamers

Blazblue director says industry should dismiss notion of east-west divide and just make games they want to make.

BlazBlue director Takeshi Yamanaka has dismissed the notion of distinct western and Japanese audiences, saying instead: “I only see gamers.”
Blazblue director says industry should dismiss notion of east-west divide and just make games they want to make.

 

BlazBlue director Takeshi Yamanaka has dismissed the notion of distinct western and Japanese audiences, saying instead: “I only see gamers.”

Yamanaka’s comments form part of an interview in our new issue, E224, in which we visit Arc System Works to discuss the state of the Japanese arcade scene, changing business models in the digital age and modern fighting game development.

Asked if he ever considered taking BlazBlue in a direction that would appeal more directly to western tastes, Yamanaka flatly declares: “Absolutely not. If you want to make a game that appeals to the west, you might as well have westerners doing it.

“Personally, I don’t view users according to their nationality, but rather as gamers. I make games for people who like them. If there are people who like fighting games with Japanese-animation-style motions and a fantasy setting, I’m making the game for them.

“I don’t understand why some of us in the industry want to draw a line between the Japanese and overseas industries. I see only gamers, with various tastes.”

Yamanaka’s comments come as the days of Japanese developers focusing their efforts on western audiences appear to be coming to an end. Last month Namco Bandai followed Capcom in saying it was shifting focus back to domestic shores after titles aimed at western gamers met with disappointing results.

E224 should be hitting subscriber doormats in the next few days, and will be on shelves on January 18.

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