Citing disappointment with Bionic Commando, Capcom president Haruhiro Tsujimoto said that he has reevaluated the role Western developers will play in the company’s games. At a recent Q&A session he said:
Our experience with Bionic Commando has demonstrated the difficulty of outsourcing the development of new title to overseas companies. We are considering ways to separate the roles of activities in Japan and overseas. We plan to develop new titles primarily in Japan. Overseas companies may be used mostly to develop titles for existing game series with well-established characters and universal themes. Overseas companies will also handle certain parts and/or lineups of such games.
Japan is a pretty xenophobic culture (though that’s changing somewhat with the younger generation) so I’m not at all surprised by these comments. Having said that, there are a number of Eastern-Western partnerships that have worked well. In Capcom’s case, Bionic Commando has become too important if it’s going to affect the company’s future development strategies. While I generally prefer games developed in Japan, I think it would be foolish not to explore true collaborative efforts that combine the best of both regions.
What do you think of Tsujimoto-san’s stance on Western developers?