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Obviously part of the big "Hollywood style" thing is creating these games with western characters, and setting them in different countries; is that something that's just creatively interesting, or is that part of your worldwide targeting? Does one follow the other, or is it both satisfying, and also helpful from a sales perspective?
JT: Maybe one of the reasons for that is that both of us worked on Resident Evil 1, back in the day, and back then our goal was that we wanted to make something that was like a movie, and our goal was, we said, "Let's make a game that looks like a movie!"
And so we wanted it to look like a Hollywood movie. When we watch Hollywood movies, they're in spoken English, with Japanese subtitles; so that's the feeling that we wanted to capture with that, and that was how we set out to make that game.
YA: At that stage, in terms of the level of quality you were seeing, games were well below movies, but I think they've really caught up to movies now, and are much more respected along the same level as movies, these days.
You talked about the MT Framework... Has engine development been continuous, over the course of the lifespan of the consoles? Dead Rising shipped on that engine, but this is a couple years later, and the games are more advanced; I'm assuming that you have an engine development team, to improve the engine alongside the development of the games?
YA: Yeah, absolutely. We have a development team that work exclusively on the MT Framework engine, and they are constantly updating it, adding the latest technology, adding the latest tools, and making it available for our teams to use.
Is that a new way for Capcom to work? Especially in the past, Japanese studios, even within the same company, have been very closely guarding their technology, or the way they're working on a game. And Japan is famous for having game creators who are competitive in trying to push their own features, or having people working on one specific platform -- all kinds of things that don't make sense in the marketplace.
So has this been a real change, like a philosophical change, at Capcom, and how were you able to make that leap? In making an engine -- not only an engine that's multi-platform, but also that everyone in the company is going to be using on multiple projects.
JT: Yeah, that was something that actually came from the development teams, rather than from upper management. It was something that the developers thought of.
YA: Before the MT Framework, we were all working on games separately, and creating them separately, and it was a very inefficient process, to have lots of different teams separately developing tools to make games.
So we wanted to create something that would unify the process, and make it easier for us developers to create those games on a company basis, and improve the efficiency of our work, and make it easier for us to make better products. So that's where that came from.
JT: There are a lot of other Japanese developers who are opposed to that way of thinking.
But there's no real advantage in it, is there? Do you see any advantage in doing it the old way? Like, starting over again, or having two teams making two games on two platforms? It just seems that in this day and age, it's not really feasible.
JT: There's not an advantage, to it, certainly. I think where it comes from is that the developers in one team always want to think that they're the best, and that their way of making the game is the best way to make their game.
YA: So, actually, there's a lot of rivalry within teams working within the same company. Before, that used to be an advantage, and it used to be a plus point that you'd get rivalries between different teams who are working in competition with each other.
That did help improve the quality of the product, ultimately, but these days I really don't think it's an advantage at all.
JT: In fact, it's a disadvantage.