Are these creative core concepts being developed by your company coming from you? Are they coming from your team? Are they coming from individual creators that you work with?
KI: You need to have the right foundation in the company before you can really get to that level. Right now, all of these concepts, basically, they come from me. Right now, the key point is to try and get the staff to be able to execute on my vision.
Once I get enough people that can execute on my vision, then of course, when they come up with concepts that make sense, I'll know that they'll have learned all they need to learn to be able to create their own vision and execute on that.
Right now, it's more of the training and learning process, and executing process. But of course long term, every good teacher, every good father, wants his students to be able to branch out on their own. That of course will be the long-term vision.
I think the Japanese industry has had a problem with that, in the sense that younger people are not rising up and becoming well known. There seems to be a ceiling. If you listen to something that Miyamoto recently said, he's trying to make people at Nintendo think about what's going to happen when he's not around, because right now they don't think that way.
KI: The biggest problem is they're never giving chances to the young guys. So, they're thinking, "It's just faster if I do it myself. If I do it myself, there's not the risk of it being a failure." They just don't really have the bravery to give the younger generation a chance. That is the biggest problem that I think is occurring within the Japanese industry right now.
If you look at the Japanese game industry in general, if you want to become a director, if you become a director by the time you're in your early 30s or mid-30s, that's pretty good in a major publisher or a major developer. But at Comcept, we actually have two directors that are in their late 20s. So ultimately, we're giving people their chances at an earlier time. They would never have gotten these chances if they were at Capcom or some other big publisher.
So, we truly believe about giving people chances, helping to teach them and helping to train them at an early age, rather than just being like "Oh, it's a hassle to do that." It's not convenient.
Is that what you think is the biggest problem facing the Japanese industry right now, or is that just one of the big problems?
KI: It's one of the problems. In Japan, there are a number of small problems like this that have added up to a big problem. That's just one. Obviously, there are problems with the companies, problems that we don't have enough creators, problems with younger developers not being given a chance.
There are a lot of problems in the Japanese industry -- the fact that we're not looking at the global market, looking towards America and Asia. There are all different kinds of problems that build up to be a big problem right now in the Japanese game industry.
You've kind of become the spokesperson for "the Japanese industry sucks" right now. Are you comfortable with that?
KI: [laughs] Yeah, I'm totally fine with that, because it's my personal feeling. It's how I truly feel. Ultimately, if that's going to make people to work harder in the game industry, they can call me the bad guy, they can say I'm twisted or demented, they can say what they want to. But if, in the end, it's going to lead to a good result, if it's going to lead to them working harder, becoming more international, making good games, that's fine.
Is there anything that gives you hope, that you've seen changing?
KI: I will be the person to bring hope to the Japanese game industry. I will be the one to show them that there are other ways to think about games. There are other ways to develop them.
KI: So, ultimately, if I work my butt off, if I show them there's a different way, then I think naturally, they will come. If you build it, they will come. If you show them there's a different way to think about game development, they will naturally support you, and more and more people will change their way of thinking. So, yes, somebody has got to stand up and try to make a movement, got to make it work, and then people will start to change their way of thinking. That's usually how that happens in life.