The narrative for this console generation has largely been: “Japan has lost it”. Why exactly Japanese developers have lost it is up for debate. Many point to antiquated design philosophies and poor online integration. I’m not entirely sure what happened but after watching FFXIII do a relative face plant this year, it’s hard to argue that Japanese devs are no longer the innovators and taste-makers they where in previous generations.
This years TGS has three keynotes, two (EA, Microsoft) are from western publishers. The third is from Capcom. The publisher seems to be the most forward thinking of their Japanese contemporaries. In its keynote Capcom continues it’s east-meets-west mantra and made a few announcements.
Dead Rising 2 DLC starring Frank West was announced, along with Capcom’s acquisition of the Vancouver based developer of DR2.
Asura’s Wrath was Capcom’s only original IP announced. The game is Japanese developed but uses Unreal Engine 3. The quicktime events are cause for concern but the game makes for one helluva trailer!
Ninja Theory director Tameem Antoniades tells the crowd “We’re taking a younger Dante, that incorporates the youth culture of today, from fashion to music to street art, etc.” (Ugh.)
Also earlier in the day, (yesterday?) Shinji Mikami and Suda 51 announced the fruits of their mutual labor, Shadows of the Damned. Published by EA via their partners program, the game looks to control similar to Resident Evil 4 but spiced up with Suda’s crazy salsa. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out.
TGS has many more announcements and hopefully surprises in store. While I’m sure this year or next won’t see Japan return to its past industry dominance, hopefully this will be the start of it achieving parity with its western counterparts.