Here's the difficult thing - how do you foster that creativity within your company? Certainly Kamiya will get to make his game, but what about the level designer, or the planner who's three tiers down who has his own idea? How will PlatinumGames be able to foster his creativity?
TM: First, we want to respect everyone's vision. However, given the size of development teams nowadays, they require large teams. What it boils down to is how well the teams can be managed, and how well that vision can be managed.
It's up to a producer like Inaba-san to guide the team in the best way possible and to figure out what is the best direction for the team and the company.
Do you have the structure within to allow someone who has an idea for a different game but who is not in the top tier to be like, "I really want to do this!" Do you foster that kind of creativity?
AI: Yes, we have a very complex process in place where... they have to present it to the producer. The producer then rearranges the presentation and shows it to the head of the company, and then the heads of the company have to decide on what to do. (laughter) But no, that's all lies.
But in all seriousness, we are totally open for idea people. They can come to me freely with new ideas. We're open to discuss anything.
So at first, even on Kamiya-san's game, the level designers might have a different vision for the game than him. But of course, if their output isn't high and they're not building the highest quality stuff, then of course their idea is going to be taken less seriously.
Naturally. I agreed with what you said earlier this evening. To reiterate it - when I grew up, all the best games came from Japan. That was it. They all came from Japan, and that was the end. In the last five or ten years, that has stopped being true. Gradually over time, it's gotten less and less true that the best games come from Japan. How can you really twist that?
AI: Of course, the vision is that we want to create games that have a worldwide appeal, but that still retain that spirit of Japanese game development that has the same sort of flavor that Japanese games have. But we still have to stand toe-to-toe and shoulder-to-shoulder with the big studios of the west and the big-name titles.
Personally, I feel that a lot of Japanese developers were too soft. They got too used to working on franchises, and they figure, "As long as I work on this franchise, we can make money, and everything will be fine."But it stifles creativity. To combat that, the vision for this company is to create new and unique titles, and to not rely on past success.
Before, western developers had very grand dreams when they were developing games. However, the console specs couldn't support these grand visions of designs that western developers have.
However, as consoles have caught up or in some cases surpassed a lot of PCs, it's possible for western developers to create games that have a great balance of really advanced technology and really advanced game design.
We don't feel that we're at the top of the industry, but we know that we have to catch up to where western developers are. Our hope is that one day, we could surpass the quality of the top western developers and take their place at the top.