GS: I guess there hasn't been much in terms of coming back to console here yet, but how successful do you think it's been so far?
Good. I think really what we're talking about is a meeting of minds
between East and West [within Hudson]. And so what we've done is shown
them what we can do. And of course they were like "Wow, great." You
know, this is obviously American and obviously very good.
GS: Right, right.
JG: When you get down to making hard decisions because of whatever the case might be -- time, money, you know, space, memory space, whatever -- you can have those battles. So far everything has been very good, and you know I think it's a great opportunity when you mix American style with Japanese game polish and game play. I think it's a really winning combination. And Nintendo's proved it a couple times so...
GS: How did Hudson in the U.S. become what it is right now? Initially I thought it came from the Japanese company, but it sort of sounds like it sprang up independently, or…?
JG: Yeah it did actually, for a number of reasons. I've always been very close with Chairman Kudo, and worked with him for 15 years over there and then three years here, but you know, I was sitting next to the guy. We're very close in business and in friendship. So he could trust me to come over here and I think that's really the key point is that he wanted an American company, not a Japanese company. Most Japanese companies come over and they're represented by a Japanese chief even though he's not doing the day-to-day work.
So that's a very major influence because now we give him pure American thought, ideas, creativity, games. Everything is really American and there's no buffer. Japanese companies often try to buffer their situations, because naturally business is up and down but there's more fear in a Japanese company, I think, and that's something that you want to put a buffer in between. So we haven't had to do that. And the Japanese at Hudson are very international thinking I would say and so they're allowing this. You know, it takes two. You can't send me over and not have anybody that's willing to talk to me because then you'd have the same mess.
So, we've been able to mesh on that and they've understood that they've got something authentic, and so we can work off of that. It's a nice base, unusual base as well.
GS: Yeah. How many developers does Hudson actually employ in Japan?
JG: Developers in Japan? Don't quote me exact numbers, but I think we're about 450 or 460 people, and out of that I would say probably 360 to 380 are developers. By that I mean either programmers, designers, working on the goods basically.
GS: And I guess you're planning to ramp up some development here?
GS: What is your goal?
JG: Well we already have development here in that we have...
GS: Mobile development.
Mobile development, yeah. And so we're using some of those sources and
also bringing in new sources to shape the creativity of the products
that we'll give to Japan. So we'll do some graphics for them and send
it over, and then go back and forth, and develop games jointly.
Eventually they'll probably be sending their stuff here and we'll be doing things so it'll go both ways.
GS: So you do a lot of asset sharing and things like that I guess.
GS: Where would you want to see Hudson [U.S.] in like five years, or maybe even ten?
Well, first and foremost, I think our business has always been
dedicated toward mobile, so we want to be one of the top five mobile
companies in the U.S. And I think that Hudson is the kind of company,
we have so much development, and so much archive development, that
there's a lot for us to do. And I know some companies are starving for
product and they come to us and ask us if we could license them some of
our stockpile, so we're sitting on a goldmine and there's no reason why
we shouldn't be able to capitalize on that.
On the console side, I think in five years, I would want Hudson - one of the five biggest might be a little aggressive - but you know one of the top ten console companies I think is a possibility for us. So we'd like to be thought of as a major supplier of games to the American market.
GS: Is the money there to support that kind of ramp up at this point? I know that Hudson had to scale down a lot.
JG: You know, they did. That's a different story, there's a reason, and if you want to hear that later, I can explain it. But what Konami has really done for Hudson is put great financial legs under us. And I think that as long as a company is profitable then the sky's the limit, assuming that you have the underlying trust which is always important.
So we have the trust, as long as we capitalize, as long as we execute, and as long as we're profitable, then there is every facility to do that, so I don't think money will be the problem.