The consensus in the gaming world is that the Japan-based developers and publishers are in decline and that Western teams are now the main source of innovation, but one developer working for Square Enix believes that this is not the case.
Yoshihisa Hashimoto, who is part of the team that created the new Luminous engine, believes that his work and that which Konami has done on the new Fox Engine show that Japan still has plenty to offer in the coming years.
EDGE quotes the developer as saying, “I believe Japan is capable of producing interesting games, but looking at the influence, we are being pushed around by western games without a doubt.”
“Recently, it feels like the Japanese game industry hasn’t lost, and is gradually pushing back. For us not to lose, we really have to exert ourselves. But, I feel encouraged,” he adds.
Yoshihisa Hashimoto has acknowledged that the big AAA titles that Square Enix is focusing on, especially those linked to big franchises like Final Fantasy, no longer have the appeal they once had, but he still believes that there’s a market for high budget game experience for home consoles.
Teams will have to deliver better quality and more content in order to keep players interested in the long term, as more of them migrate to mobile experiences and to social titles.
At the moment, Square Enix is working on Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns, which will be launched in 2013 on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 and is supposed to wrap up the current story arc of the series.
On the PC, that team is also trying to make sure that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn launches without bugs and manages to gain a significant player base that will allow the MMO to survive in the long run.