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Square Enix head encourages Japanese devs to focus on 'adult' games


Once again, Tokyo Game Show plays host to a panel featuring the heads of the largest Japanese gaming companies. This year's panel entitled "Strategies and Visions of Top Makers in the Global Era" featured, from left, moderator Asami, Capcom's Haruhiro Tsujimoto, Konami's Kazumi Kitaue, Square's Yoichi Wada, Sony's Shuhei Yoshida, and Namco's Shin Unozawa.

Last year, Wada's assessment of the Japanese game industry was grim, noting that the Japanese industry had "lost its position." This year, he continued talking about the changes necessary for the industry to progress. With sales of 4 million units of Dragon Quest IX sold in Japan so far, Wada admits that things are rather good for now. However, he pointed to a growing problem: Japan's lack of adult-oriented games. "There are not many publishers that create games for adults," he said. "In the West, they tend to believe it's cool to play games, even adults."

Wada lamented that the perception doesn't hold true in Japan. He pointed out the outdated ratings system in Japan, which forces many publishers to censor many games, or avoid Japanese release altogether. While he agrees that "game ratings [are] to protect children," he believes it must be revised in that market. Should Japanese companies commit to change, "we can possibly lead the global market," he said towards the end of the panel. Of course, "it's hard to bring about change. Change is yet to come."

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