Square: Japanâ??s game industry â??almost xenophobicâ??

Square: Japanâ??s game industry â??almost xenophobicâ??

By Rob Crossley

April 28th 2009 at 7:47AM

Squareâ??s Yoichi Wada calls for an end to Japanâ??s â??closed environmentâ??, adds that Square Enix may acquire more western groups

As Square Enix expands its presence in the west with the £84.3 million acquisition of Eidos, global president Yoichi Wada has criticised Japan's development culture for being too inwardly-focused.

“In the last five to 10 years, the Japanese games industry has become a closed environment, with no new people coming in, no new ideas, almost xenophobic. It is now slightly behind western counterparts,” Wada said.

Speaking to The Financial Times, Wada added that the Japanese games sector had started to lag behind the western region, and offered that foreign partnerships – and even influences – will be a forward step in revitalising Japan’s game businesses.

Described by Wada as another step in making Square Enix a global company, the Eidos deal will provide the Japanese giant with a strong foothold in the UK market.

The group had previously signed a landmark deal with Washington-based US developer Gas Powered Games, and has also begun publishing popular Western titles – such as Frontier’s LostWinds – in its native country.

“The combination of Eidos and Square Enix gives us a good platform from which to expand. In that process, we might decide to acquire another company,” Wada added.