A Man In The Middle Of The West vs Japan Development Divide

We hear a lot from Japanese developers (and Western pundits) about how the Japanese development scene is dead, but what about a Western developer who works for a Japanese publisher? What does he think?

Julien Merceron is Global Chief Technology Officer for Square Enix, the company behind the Final Fantasy series, giving him a unique position to comment on one of the industry's more popular topics of late.

"The game industry in Japan right now is going through a bumpy ride", he tells Gamasutra. "[However] I think a lot of things you see on the internet are exaggerated."

"Is it really that bad? Are they finding themselves in a situation that has no solution? I'm actually not sure at all."

Merceron explains that there are big cultural differences between Western and Japanese developers, from programming being "uncool" in Japan to the way Japanese developers approach things like story and characters in a very different way to American, British, Canadian or European developers.

In other words, it's not a case of developer vs developer. More like apples vs oranges. Merceron goes into a lot greater detail over on Gamasutra, so if you want to read more head to the link below.

MIGS 2010: Square Enix CTO On Working With Japan, Game Tech's Future [Gamasutra]