But Yosuke Hayashi is confident the challenge will fuel a change for the better
Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi has described the state of the Japanese games development industry as "desperate".
Talking with Gamasutra about the relative flop that was the studio's recent Ninja Gaiden III, Hayashi has stated his belief that Japanese studios must return to making culturally Japanese titles, rather than try to ape the 'Hollywood' Western blockbusters that currently dominate many nations' sales charts.
"It seems like we made a Japanese hamburger for the West," said Hayashi of why Ninja Gaiden III failed to beguile critics and consumers.
"I feel like maybe, as a Japanese developer, we need to make good Japanese food," added Hayashi. "That's what people are wanting from a Japanese developer. What we made, it's an okay burger, but it may not be what people are wanting."
And, according to Gamasutra's report, Hayashi said the Japanese developer community is "desperate".
"All Japanese developers are right now treading water, and doing everything they can just to basically stay above water," he suggested, as well as highlighting the lack of distinctly Japanese games at E3 and other global games conferences.
That, however, is something Hayashi believes presents an opportunity.
"Maybe if the industry is going for that Hollywood blockbuster direction, we can offer something that's different," he said.
Hayashi also expressed a belief that the future of development in Japan may be improved by today's pressure to improve.
"Everybody is so desperate to stay there and stay alive that you're going to get answers for how to move forward and how to make things work in the future," Hayashi offered.