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Yoshiki Okamoto: Japan's Game Maverick Speaks


May 2, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 8 Next
 

CN: As a company, do you focus on the Japanese market, or are you focusing on more of a global market with your titles?

YO: I definitely keep an eye on the global market myself. However, as a company, Game Republic's focus has to follow suit with the needs of the publishers that hire us. We're aware that America has the biggest market, that Europe is the second largest, and that the Japanese market is actually really small. But when we work with Japanese companies, we're usually asked to develop games that will sell well in Japan, and we have to respond accordingly.

CN: Was Folklore originally made for the global market, or was it a title Sony intended for the domestic market in Japan?

YO: I think it was designed from the start as a game to be sold internationally.

CN: The American players I've talked to have really seemed to like it. Have you been satisfied with the success of the game?

YO: There were a number of problems with the timing of the release, so no, I wasn't that satisfied with how it turned out. This might be me being selfish, but I really wish we'd had more time for development. Also, the Sixaxis didn't have rumble functionality while we were working on the game.

But then, shortly after we'd released it, the DualShock 3 came out with both rumble and motion-sensitivity. Until then, we'd been assured the controller would never have rumble. If we'd known from the start that rumble would be possible, it would've affected the development process.

The controller would have shaken when you got hit during battle, or rattled if you stepped in a trap and then quit as soon as you got yourself out of it. There are all sorts of things we could've added in.

But we were told we'd only have the Sixaxis, so those ideas got left out. Then, at the last moment, they told us we could add in some rumble features if we liked. And the feeling was sort of like, "Really? At this point? Okay, I guess we will." It was a development filled with a lot of nagging quirks like that. The problems boiled down to poor timing, I think.

Yukiko Miyajima Grové: So then, Sony isn't very forthcoming with information like that?

YO: Not at all. I mean, it's natural that they want their products released under the best circumstances, and we can only go by what they tell us. We'd love them to give us any information they can a bit early, but they don't play favorites. Of course, there's always the internet. (Laughs)

If they let us in on some secret a day before they announced it, we couldn't do anything about it anyway. But sometimes, looking at the net, you can find these things out ahead of time.


Article Start Previous Page 3 of 8 Next

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