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From Ninja To Viking: Tomonobu Itagaki Speaks
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From Ninja To Viking: Tomonobu Itagaki Speaks

July 25, 2011 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

It was interesting when your website popped up and explained your philosophy.

TI: Oh, yeah.

A lot of companies don't share their philosophy with the world but we see more and more of. Interestingly, I think some of the motivated Japanese creators who are, like you, coming into their own space, telling the world "this is what we stand for." Platinum Games did much the same thing recently.

Of course you understand that the current way people look at Japan is to say it's past its prime. You may have the self confidence to say that's irrelevant, but do you think that that motivates people to say, "Look, we're here, and we're fighting hard to prove ourselves in a global space!"?

TI: It's important to have the skill to express what you're doing, what you want to do -- you know, express yourself. I'm talking about social skills. I'm sure you're interviewing a lot of people, and maybe you meet people at parties, Japanese developers. Japanese developers, they don't have the necessary social skills. The American social skills, European social skills.

You know, maybe they don't have humor; they don't know how to joke around. Maybe it's a problem with their manner. So if those people don't have those necessary social skills, and if those people are the ones who are developing the game, no matter how much they try to make globally accepted, globally popular games, that work in different cultures, that might be very difficult.

Does that make sense?

It's also a matter of culture too, and I don't just mean in the sense of Japanese culture versus American culture. It's about having a broader understanding of culture versus being focused in on just liking what you like. I feel that a lot of game developers are very focused in only on what they care about.

TI: Yes, yes, yes. That's how it is.

You have to be able to bring through creative influences, without seeming like you're copying. You have to be original. And I think to do that you have to have a much wider understanding of what's going on.

TI: What you just said -- you're one hundred percent right. You shouldn't make video games by playing video games.

But if you look at what's at E3, a great deal of it is clearly made from watching other video games.

TI: Yes. I think that kind of thing is also needed. It's not like those things are pieces of shit, either, you know? They're fun -- some of them are fun. So I think they're a necessity. Not everyone has to be living on the edge like I am. I think that would be a problem too, if that was the case.

(Laughs) Yeah, maybe. But the people you like to collaborate with, the people that you bring into your studio -- how do you feel about what they have to understand?

TI: Of course, you know like I like powerful people. Really creative people, and those who are confident. But being confident is something that comes internally. It has to come from your past. Something that you know you can do, and you can do it for the future, and you can back it up. That's the kind of thing I'm looking for. And also I like the crazy guys too.

Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

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