Kaname Fujioka, director of the Monster Hunter games since their inception, has stated in a new interview with Polygon that he feels energy is lacking from Japanese gaming at the moment, and he “wants to get that energy back.” He talks about the experience of meeting overseas gamers enthralled by Monster Hunter, and seems to imply that the same enthusiasm is missing from his Japanese brethren. In the interview, Fujioka also discusses his early days as an animator, revealing that he got his start around the time Street Fighter 2 was gaining in popularity, which caused him to gravitate towards Capcom.
Upon its release in Japan, Monster Hunter 4 became nothing short of a sensation, shipping over 3 million units in its first month of sales alone. The game revitalized the already booming 3DS, helping the console move 298,000 units during the first two days of Monster Hunter 4’s release. If that isn’t kicking energy back into the Japanese gaming market, we don’t know what is. Here are Fujioka’s words about the Japanese market’s lack of energy:
“To be honest, I don’t feel the current Japanese game market has a lot of energy to it, and I want to get that energy back. I think the only way to do that is to keep making fun games and keep energizing and exciting the gamers.
“Lately I’ve been running into overseas gamers at MH4 events and stuff, people with these MH t-shirts who go all the way to Japan for these things. I love seeing that, and I wonder if we can expand on that. It’s hard enough to launch a game in Japan alone, but for games like Pokemon that become worldwide hits, that energizes Japanese games across the board. I think there are qualities to Japanese games that only Japanese people can come up with, and I think it’d be great if we could expand on how we bring those strengths to the international arena.”