Recently when discussing his role as a judge in the prestigious Game Designer Award, Masahiro Sakurai, perhaps best known as producer of Nintendo’s Smash Bros. games, admitted that he and the other judges do not have enough time to devote toward fairly judging the titles up for the award. The Game Designer Award is one of the Japan Game Awards bestowed upon one unique new title by the Japanese government every year.
Despite Sakurai’s unfortunate admission, he went on to acknowledge the importance of the award because he feels it helps to highlight originality in an industry where remakes and ports prevail. Sakurai went so far as to say that the gaming industry’s reuse of old titles is “at an unnatural level” and that original games should be praised specifically because of their originality. Here is a transcript of his comments:
“Is there any industry that relies so much on reusing and reusing their old titles as much as video games? Compared to other media like movies, dramas, animation, novels and comics, the glut of franchises and remakes is at an unnatural level.”
“Good games attract fans, and if you have fans, you have an advantage. You try to use that to make the title something bigger, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to give up on innovation. Popular, well-made games deserve praise, but titles that have some kind of unique creative spark to them also need to be praised in this way.”