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From Simple Comment to Full Rebuttal

Alex Hutchinson's comments on the "subtle racism" in favor of Japanese games has made its rounds on the internet, much like Keiji Inafune's comments last year. A commenter from the Edge coverage of the event made his voice heard and Edge saw fit to give him the opportunity to elaborate on his earlier statements in an opinion piece. The author, Erlend Grefsrud, co-founder of Strongman Games, explains why there is room for more than one style of game development and that each one brings something unique to the table. I highly suggest giving it a read.

The "Subtle Racism" of Game Journalism?

Alex Hutchinson, Creative Director at Ubisoft, in an interview with CVG:

How big is the challenge of keeping Assassin's Creed fresh and interesting as a franchise?
We were reading reviews about Revelations and a few people were asking whether this was the end of the franchise, and we were thinking 'er slow down'. I mean, I'm no huge fan of Metacritic but the game got an eighty on there. That's not too bad really.

But the way we see Assassin's Creed 3 now is as a franchise, like Mario or Resident Evil, that will have its ups and downs.

Why do Nintendo get it right? It releases a new edition of the same franchise every year and no one bats an eyelid. Why?
You want my real answer? I think there's a subtle racism in the business, especially on the journalists' side, where Japanese developers are forgiven for doing what they do. I think it's condescending to do this.

Yeah. Just think about how many Japanese games are released where their stories are literally gibberish. Literally gibberish. There's no way you 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.

It's patronising to say, "oh those Japanese stories, they don't really mean what they're doing".

I wish I could forget that the gaming industry is a bag of dicks, but they just keep talking.

Japanese Elephant in the Room

This is intended as an addendum to the Develop article on Phil Fish's modern Japanese games "just suck" comments from GDC 2012 and my previous rant on the subject.

The "unknown Japanese developer" as it was widely reported has (finally) been revealed to be Makoto Goto. He has posted a series of heart-warming tweets thanking people for their support of him and Japanese games in general.

Languish: Japan's Video Game Decline

The Incredible Adventures of Mr. Fish

Earlier this month the 2012 Game Developers Conference (GDC) took place and game devs from around the world came to give and hear speeches on game design. One such panel included indie developers featured in Indie Game: The Movie. It was there that a Japanese developer from the audience asked the panel what they thought of modern Japanese video games. According to Develop, the reply he received from Phil Fish was a short and rather unsweet, “your games just suck” followed by a barrage of criticisms aimed squarely at the developer’s home country. It’s what some people would consider rude and makes Mr. Fish look like a complete ass. Yet there seems to be a large group of people that regret the way in which he replied to the question, and yet do not necessarily disagree with what he was trying to say.