Cliff Bleszinski, the creative director of Epic Games and the man behind franchises like Gears of War, has shared his thoughts on the current stage of Japanese games and revealed that many of them should feature some sort of multiplayer mode in order to attract Western players.
While Japan dominated the gaming industry back in 1980s and 1990s, the last few years haven’t been so kind to games coming from the Asian country, which are now overshadowed by many Western titles.
According to Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski, this is due to the reluctance of Japanese developers to implement multiplayer modes in their creations.
"My advice to Japan is that in a disc-based market right now, you cannot [ignore multiplayer]," he told Gamasutra
, but quickly added that, "I'm not saying tack multiplayer onto every game."
Bleszinski exemplified his statements with two recent games, Shadows of the Damned and Vanquish
, made by Grasshopper Manufacture, one of the most active Japanese developers in recent years.
"[Shadows of the Damned] dialogue had me laughing out loud, just even the key-door systems in there,” Bleszinski said. “It was a beautifully crazy game with really fun gameplay, but no multiplayer co-op experience in there. I'm not saying tack on versus; there's a billion different ways you can do some sort of 'players interacting with other players.'"
"And if you're going to make a third-person shooter... the fact that Vanquish didn't have a multiplayer suite was a crime," he added. "That IP, it was pretty good as far as being Western, but the gameplay was great, the vibe... and I've often said on record that if Gears is the kind of Wild, Wild West coal train chugging along, that Vanquish is the Japanese bullet train, with style and everything. And there is absolutely no reason I shouldn't have been zipping around, doing the mega slides, diving up in the air in an arena with other players."
He does note that some developers from Japan are taking steps to rectify this problem, congratulating From Software for Demons Souls and Dark Souls
, two RPGs that featured a different kind of online experience.
Do you agree with Bleszinski’s observations or do you think Japanese games will make a comeback sooner or later?