Skip to main content

Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Fez creator Phil Fish declares: modern Japanese games "just suck"

"You can quote me on that."

Outspoken Fez creator Phil Fish has declared: modern Japanese games "just suck".

The Canadian indie developer made the comment during an open Q&A following a screening of Indie Game The Movie at GDC, attended by Develop.

An unknown Japanese developer asked the panel, which included Fish and Braid creator Jonathan Blow, what they thought of modern Japanese video games.

Fish replied: "your games just suck."

Following the Q&A, Fish took to his Twitter page to follow-up on his comments.

"At tonight's IGTM Q&A, some Japanese guy asked us what we thought of modern Japanese games, and I said I thought they sucked," he wrote.

"So I guess I'm some kind of big racist now.

"I'm sorry Japanese guy! I was a bit rough, but your country's games are f*** terrible nowadays."

Then: "Well, you know, not ALL of them. Just... a lot of them."

He then rejected the suggestion that he had made a blanket statement about Japan.

"No I didn't. I made a statement about modern Japanese games. Not the country, not the culture."

Fellow indie dev Blow "totally agreed" with Fish's comment, apparently. Blow reportedly called Japanese games "joyless husks". "I'm not seeing anybody form a lynch mob about that," Fish noted.

And, as the Twitter comments continued to mount up: "holy s**t, this thing is really blowing up, eh?"

And then, quite possibly a joke, in reference to Spy Party creator Chris Hecker's infamous "the Wii is two GameCubes duck-taped together comment: "Japanese games are just two western games duct-taped together."

And, just in case there was any doubt on Fish's position: "I stand by what I said. Most modern Japanese games are terrible. You can quote me on that."

Fish isn't the first developer to question the quality of modern Japanese games.

In 2010 Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune, then of Capcom, said the Japanese game industry was lagging five years behind the West.

"I look around Tokyo Games Show, and everyone's making awful games," Inafune said. "Japan is at least five years behind."

And a year earlier, again at TGS, Inafune said: "Japan is dead."

Read this next