Square Enix reckons the Japanese game industry is “gradually pushing back”.
Square Enix technical director Yoshihisa Hashimoto told Japanese website 4gamer (translated by Edge) that, after a period of western dominance, Japan was starting, once again, to flex its muscles.
“I believe Japan is capable of producing interesting games, but looking at the influence, we are being pushed around by western games without a doubt,” he admitted.
So, why the optimism?
Hashimoto pointed to Square Enix's new game engine, Luminous, and Kojima Productions' new Fox Engine as evidence of Japan's commitment to pushing graphics.
Square Enix's Luminous Engine was shown off with the impressive Agni's Philosophy tech demo. And legendary designer Hideo Kojima recently unveiled a new Metal Gear Solid game, called Ground Zeroes, with a stunning demo built using the Fox Engine.
“Honestly, I thought it was amazing,” Hashimoto said of Kojima's work. “I also thought, 'We [Square Enix] won't lose to this though!' It was quite motivational.
“Recently, it feels like the Japanese game industry hasn't lost, and is gradually pushing back.
“For us not to lose, we really have to exert ourselves… But, I feel encouraged.”
In September Eurogamer traveled to Tokyo to investigate the state of the Japanese game industry and uncovered optimism amid a rapidly changing market.