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access_time August 19, 2012 at 12:56 PM in News by John Speerbrecker

Are Journalists Too Soft on Japanese Developers?

In an interview with CVG, the creative director of Assassin’s Creed 3 believes that the press seem to have their kid gloves on when dealing with Japanese developers.

His argument is that when the story lines that come out of Japan, they more often than not seem to be complete gibberish but the press seems to forgive it and in some cases embrace it. At the same time, western developers are held to a much more strict criticism from them. It is to be assumed that he might be referring to the gaming press out of the west.

So is he right? Its tough to say yes or no in this case because he uses very limited examples for his argument.

He explained: “Just think about how many Japanese games are released where their stories are literally gibberish. Literally gibberish. There’s no way [a western developer] could write it with a straight face, and the journalists say ‘oh it is brilliant’.

“Then Gears of War comes out and apparently it’s the worst written narrative in a game ever. I’ll take Gears of War over Bayonetta any time.

“I just think the simple question should be; is the story any good?”

He has a point to his argument but if we were to boil it down to if the story is good or not, it is very difficult to separate something like that from the overall work.  You might have an amazing story, but if the game is total garbage, it won’t matter. In short, all the pieces must fit to complete the puzzle.

Without going into a rant about this topic, I have seen some journalists be a little too forgiving to Eastern  developers, I have also seen them too soft on Western developers. For some critics it is hard to be tough on these people because they are working with them so closely during the cycle that they do feel some obligation to the developers that they work with to not offend. In the case of East vs. West, it also comes down to whether the story is something that they like. That is the beauty of it.

Personally, I don’t feel that consumers care about this topic one bit. They just want to read observations from someone that they agree with. It might be a little to strict or soft on certain developers, but the person that goes into the store and drops sixty dollars on a game, could care less if someone is complaining about life “not being fair.”  #firstworldproblems




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