Friday, March 07, 2008

Retrospective: Interview with Feel Plus President Ray Nakazato

An old interview I found by accident, from all the way back in May 7, 2007.

An excerpt:

"Gamasutra: What do you think it will take Microsoft to succeed in Japan, not necessarily financially, but in terms of really winning over the audience?

RN: Online. I don't know what's going to happen to PS3, so it’s (up in the air). Right now, in Japan, the Nintendo DS and the Wii are very successful, so many developers and publishers in Japan are focusing on the DS and the Wii, and very little on the PS3 and the Xbox 360. So eventually, most of the Japan-made games will be on either handhelds or the Wii.

They were ready to invest in the PS3, but the PS3 wasn't as successful as people thought, and it's expensive to develop PS3 games, so a lot of publishers now only do a couple of PS3 games, and many DS and Wii games. Then a little Xbox 360, because the 360 is successful in the United States. But its presence in Japan is small.

That was one of the reasons AQI started: to be uniquely positioned as a new publisher and developer. We invested heavily on 360, when no one else was doing that in Japan. We’re a 360-heavy company now. Back then, AQI thought the system would be more successful in Japan, but of course it wasn't actually successful. But, it turned out to be quite successful in North America, so our positioning is still OK. We make games for 360 not so much for the Japan market, but for the global market. Not many people do that.

Capcom does that, and does it successfully with titles like Dead Rising and Lost Planet. But very few companies invest in the 360 and very few do PS3 games. So what I’m saying is that you'll see a lot of Japan-made DS and Wii games in the next few years, but very few high-end games from Japan. For those high-end users, they’ll have to buy more Western games, even in Japan. I think they will start to get used to Western games more, if they want to play high-end games."

Additional information on AQI:
http://www.aqi.co.jp/en/business.html

AQ INTERACTIVE INC.

The AQI Group consists of our company, three development studios - ARTOON CO., LTD., cavia inc., and feelplus Inc. (all are consolidated subsidiaries) - and an US-based marketing services agency XSEED JKS, Inc.

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