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Yoshiki Okamoto: Japan's Game Maverick Speaks
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Yoshiki Okamoto: Japan's Game Maverick Speaks

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

CN: You worked on the title Dark Mist for the PlayStation Network. Do you think downloadable games are a good place to work, or do you want to continue working on high-level boxed games? How do you view the market for the two different formats?

YO: Well, the number of downloadable games being made fluctuates based on what publishers want. We really received a lot of help from SCE when our company was getting on its feet. We might feel a game like Dark Mist won't be the most profitable choice for downloadable content, or even all that necessary due to the slow PS3 hardware sales. We're happy to make it for them though, because of what they've done for us.

CN: It's an interesting title because it combines aspects of shooting games as well as dungeon RPGs. Those types of shooters seem to have gotten very popular for downloadable games. What are your thoughts on the genre?

YO: From my own personal perspective as a gamer, I'm not all that interested in them.

CN: Obviously, it's good to make games that satisfy the market. Is that what you try to do when creating games for your company? Do you make games that inspire you, or games you think will become popular?

YO: Honestly, it's a bit of both. This is actually sort of difficult to express. The companies that hire us tell us what sort of game they'd like us to make, but it might not be something that's in high demand from a market standpoint. So no, we don't necessarily take on work based on what might be popular.

However, publishers like Sony may ask us to make a shooting game, another company to make them a racing game, and a third company to make an action game. The money spent on all those games in total is Sony's way of trying to meet the demands of the market. The games we make may not meet the demands of the market on their own, but they may still be necessary. Sony might feel they need to come out with a certain kind of game only because they know the competitor has plans to do the same.

On the whole, those sorts of things don't have much to do with us. We understand that as a developer, we're sort of one cog in a larger machine. So we don't usually tell the companies who hire us that we want to make a different sort of game than they'd planned. We're glad to have their business, after all, and in many cases they've helped us out in the past. I don't feel we've properly paid these people back yet, but I hope we become able to someday.

Game Republic's Every Party

CN: You also had some work from Microsoft at the beginning of the Xbox 360 lifespan with Every Party. How do you feel about that relationship now?

YO: Actually, we're not involved in any projects with Microsoft at the moment. For Microsoft Japan, I think the market has been even a bit worse than they were hoping, so their strategy now is to sell as many consoles as possible. It's also assumed that RPGs are what's needed to expand the Japanese 360 market. That genre isn't really my specialty, so we've put things on hold with them for the time being.

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