Today, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida held the keynote speech at Bitsummit in Kyoto, and during the panel he mentioned a three-fold strategy to boost the popularity of indie games and indie developers in Japan.
The first point involves publishing a lot of good indie games from overseas in Japan. Japanese gamers are not yet used to buy games digitally. Releasing good games every week helps breaking them into that market.
The second part of Yoshida-san’s strategy is to have famous Japanese developers tackle the western market and to bring back historical IP. Keiji Inafune, Yu Suzuki and Koji Igarashi were brought as successful examples. According to Yoshida-san, there are many western gamers that have grown with Japanese games, and will gladly buy those old and glorious IP if they’re brought back to life.
Finally, the third part of the strategy involves Japanese indie developers tackling the virtual reality market with content only they can make. Japanese gamers are used to the idea of playing with virtual reality characters and idols, while many westerners still find it embarrassing. Yoshida-san thinks that Japanese indie developers can really do great in this space if they approach the worldwide market with confidence.
Yoshida-san also mentioned during his keynote speech that Japanese indie market developerd a bit late compared to the rest of the world, but now it’s doing well.
Bitsummit is proving to be definitely interesting due to the breadth and variety of content showcased by the many indie developers at the show. It’ll be interesting to see if Yoshida-san’s strategy will be applied and will really manage to boost the Japanese indie scene.