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Xenoblade Chronicles X Director Says He Prefers Western Games

Time has an interesting interview with Tatsuya Takahashi the director behind the recently released JRPG Xenoblade Chronicles X on Wii U. Takahashi revealed to the publication that he doesn’t have much interest in current Japanese anime and games and he doesn’t play them either, other than for research. He’s much more interested in western games, movies and TV shows, which is certainly very interesting.

“Except for a subset of titles, Japanese RPGs are budgeted so they’ll make a profit off sales within Japan alone,” says Takahasi. “It seems to me that building the entire world of the game itself (making it open-world) is considered one must-have element for Western RPGs nowadays, but that just can’t be done in the current Japan scene. But lately, I’ve started to wonder about whether this is really just because of budgetary issues. I think this is probably due to differences in cultural tastes, but in the current situation, it’s difficult to take content created in Japan and have it accepted in the West. As a result, you can only create things scaled to make money within Japan alone, and it becomes this negative spiral.”

“Japanese tastes are unique compared to those in the West, so if you focus solely on gamers within Japan, you’ll always find yourself running into this problem. (I think this is easy to see when you notice that FPS-style games sell only around 100,000 copies or so in Japan, as opposed to 10 million worldwide.) This may be a surprise to hear, but I don’t have very much interest in “current” Japanese anime and games, and I don’t play them, either. (I do get hands-on with them for future reference, though, and I still love older games that came out 30 or so years ago.) Most of the movies, TV dramas, novels, and games I pick up are made in the West. I don’t do this deliberately; that just turned out to be the kind of thing I like. As a result, I’ve come to the realization that it’s best to try and organically make the kind of things I like, or want.”

“We’re also seeing mobile games flourish in Japan while the console market declines, but the type of audience playing mobile games in Japan now has never bought my games, not since even before mobile existed. I consider the entire world to be my main field of battle, so I don’t worry about that at all. I also think that other companies’ RPGs, those with the potential to fight it out on the world market, aren’t going to be threatened by the state of mobile within Japan. That’s the kind of thought process that led to the completion of Xenoblade Chronicles X, and I hope that people will be willing to give it a try.”

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15 thoughts on “Xenoblade Chronicles X Director Says He Prefers Western Games”

  1. Well that’s inspiring. I showed some love and bought the collectors edition. I really hope this game makes a profit because it is amazing Imo. It’s just not a well known title and isn’t marketed that’s the problem

  2. Well, i’ve been enjoying the game so far. Picked it up Friday or so and already logged 22 hours into that giant world. No, I still don’t have a Skell License yet (>_<) but i'm still having a pretty good time! I hope the next Nintendo machine is pretty powerful for a home console and that he gets to go nuts making his next game for it with a big budget and support from Nintendo, because clearly he creates great things.

  3. “This may be a surprise to hear, but I don’t have very much interest in “current” Japanese anime and games, and I don’t play them, either.”
    Nooooo, Takahashi. We would have neeeever guessed it.

  4. I hope he keeps making jrpg’s though. We have enough “western” rpg’s and frankly I’m about burnt out on open world games. I want a linear, story based experience, with turned based combat,(or the Xeno combat) and likeable characters. I have always loved these type of games more than the Skyrim’s or the Fallouts for some reason….

    Just because a game is open world does not mean it’s going to be good, western or japanese. I heard Just Cause 3 is nothing special. Arkham Knight is nothing special… Dying Light…..Numerous other open world games are just meh….If I compare these open world games to the likes of Bloodbourne or Arkham Asylum, or Dark Souls, they don’t even hold a candle….

    Open world games were a trend IMO. A trend that is dieing…. There can still be good open world games, but having a huge open world does not guarentee the game will be fun, like some developers think…

      1. HollowGrapeJ (Da Ji- Deadly Servant Of Lord Orochi And Cunning Fox Woman Of Whom You Are Simply Inferior To)

        If you really only played it for that bit of time, I don’t really think it would be fair to call it “horrible”. You probably just haven’t to get used to it. Either that or it’s just not your kind of game.

    1. Too bad 90% of AAA games in the west are all dumb dude bro shooters and macho RPG with bad character design. “Look, another generic knight with more focus on the facial hair and skin texture than the actual fucking armour and clothes!” YAWN! Then agaaaaaain, many Japanese RPGs games are just moe moe shit anime where 99/100 of the characters are all females with only a different hair colour and a gimmick personality to tell them apart.

      Hmm. I still personally like Square Enix, Atlus and Namco Bandai’s RPGs tho. Pretending FF13 never happened. Classic Dragon Quest and FF is fun and some strategic gameplay from Atlus is pretty cool too. IMO. I also like Pokémon but I enjoy the collecting elements and exploring more than the fighting there.

      There are good games made in the west and there are good games made in the east, just as there are bad games made everywhere. And everyone likes different things sooo. Keep playing whatever the hell you enjoy playing and try to forget the rest. Not everything can be a hit.

      1. I am going to say that I prefer Chrono Trigger over ALTTP any day of the week as CT is a much better designed game.

        But that’s me.

    2. let’s be honest the JRPGS at the moment are awful and are Japanised version of some wetern RPG where some of them took inspiration of JRPGs from 2000-2003. FF13 is the perfect illustration of my opinion.

      I think JRPGs are good at story driven and character development. Western RPGs, tend to be less story driven cause they encourage exploration and request the player to pay more attention to details and be more multitasking. The theme of western RPG are more adult theme than JRPGs.

      Western RPG does not have the character development (B movie characters) as the JRPG one and focus more on actions, and CGI.

      Eastern (or JRPG) are typical characters trait who cry most of the time and have some homo tendancies (cloud) or/and weird clothes. And let’s not forget that JRPG like fightin games tend to have teenager half-naked (12-15 yo) with big boobs (wish also make me wonder about Takahashi-san ‘s answer).

      I do agree with him about JRPGs used to be better 20 years ago. It simple, who do you care the most about? Sephiroth (FF7) or Lightining (FF13)?

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