Japan's video games industry is being unfairly grouped into one category when discussing the state of games development, Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase has told VideoGamer.com. In fact, a flourishing casual games market could indicate a radical change in direction for the video games industry in Japan.
"If we're only talking about epic titles, big budgeted and requiring a high level of technology - like Final Fantasy XIII, Tomb Raider, Deus Ex - yes, it is probably true that Japan has been in a position to produce fewer epic games like that, triple-A titles or whatever," said Kitase. "But on the other hand we shouldn't forget the fact that in Japan mobile games and social games have got an increasing share in the market. So I think in Japan what we've been seeing is a pluralisation of the whole industry. So in one way, yes, it is a bit of a decline, as people have observed. But in the other way, it's a rising, improving situation."
Kitase suggested that Japan should carefully consider future development of triple-A titles, instead focussing its efforts on the casual market.
"When we talk about the sales of more casual games - social games, mobile games - their sales performance has been really good in Japan. So I think we should make adjustments as to where we should invest our money and time, into what kind of games," said Kitase. "Our main focus has been traditional, big console games for a long time. Maybe it's time we should start looking elsewhere really. It's true that it's a challenging time when it comes to big titles."
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is certainly not a casual game, but will it be a hit? The game's out February 3.