Hideo Kojima believes that the Japanese games industry has been surpassed by Western developers.
"Unfortunately, overseas game production companies, which are well-funded and extremely skilled, have surpassed us by a couple of steps," said Kojima, who was speaking at an event to mark the completion of Metal Gear Solid 4's development, in comments reported by GameSpot.
"It was once said that Japan molded the world's video game [industry], but that's becoming a thing of the past. Sad as it may be, it's the truth."
Kojima also said that while casual games "have become mainstream", developers mustn't forget about hardcore gamers and he's been putting his back into making sure they have at least one more blockbuster to look forward to next month.
"I wanted to remind those gamers about the fun of video games. I know that we're going against the trend, but we've been working hard for the past four years so that the fire [of hardcore games] won't blow out," he said.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is due out on PS3 on 12th June. Check out our recent hands-on to see how it's shaping up.