Wouldn’t Western studios be better today than Japanese studios at making Japanese games?

For a long time I didn’t have too much money so to play cheaply I got interested in emulation (not good) and I discovered a lot of games from the 90s.
With the announcement on March 10 of the tribute of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: turtle in time” with the game “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Sredder’s Revenge” by Dot Emu, I rethought the remake of “Panzer Dragoon” by a Polish studio, of “Street of Rage 4” and of “Monster boy Dragon’s Trap” by Lizard Cube (French studio) as well as the new opus “Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom” made by Game Atelier (another French studio), “Sonic Mania” by Head Cannon and PagodaWest Games (based in Los Angeles) …

Wouldn’t Western studios be better today than Japanese studios at making Japanese games?

How many Japanese licenses are sitting in boxes when Western fans are ready to buy sequels or remakes?

  • Act Raiser 
  • Breath of Fire  
  • Castlevania 
  • Demon Crest  
  • Final Fight  
  • Megaman 
  • Prehistorik Man 
  • … 

It’s as if the Japanese studios were unable to quantify the economic stakes of their catalog. Westerners have to go to Sega to make a new Alex Kid “Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX”.

The only ones that really have a heritage side to come to mind are Square Enix and Nintendo, which are the only ones to regularly offer remakes or sequels. I won’t quote Capcom, because they can make you the same Resident Evil 10 times, but other licenses like Megaman are completely forgotten when it was one of their far series. We arrive at 20 years of Megaman XD, one of the best-selling episodes on GBA and nothing planned.

Many Japanese companies do not manage to capitalize on their catalog because, either those who took care of these licenses had promotions, changed boxes or disappeared … and they do not ask themselves the question of saying :

“Wouldn’t people be happy to find this character again?”

Yet they have the numbers. Namco is well aware that Pac Man is very well known in the US just as Bandai-Namco knows they sell more Dragon Ball figures today there than in Japan.
So why only a few licenses like Mario, Dragon Ball, Final Fantasy and Resident Evil benefit from this resurrection?

Konami was surprised by the sales of Bomberman on Switch but it has been years, 10/15 years that the West has been asking for a new one!

One of the best-known Smash Bros jokes is that Nintendo treats Pac Man, Megaman, Sonic and Solid Snake better than their own publishers and sadly that’s true.

There is a real wealth management problem in Japan.

Maybe it is because they have a different way of thinking. For example when they do exhibitions on manga, what matters mainly is the final work, the manga and not the artist or the preparatory drawings.
In the West we hold a lot more or original boards and the research work of the creator of the comics which can sell very expensive at auction.

After Japan is a country regularly ravaged by earthquakes, where “everything” is regularly destroyed and to be rebuilt. Could their non-attachment come from there?

It can also come from Buddhism which is an important part of the foundations of Japanese culture. In its precepts it is said that nothing is eternal, that all is vain and that the beauty of things rests on their fleeting side.
Yet today, thanks to social media, the Japanese artists who made the pop culture of the 80s 90s realize the attachment there was for their works outside of Japan.

Kinu Nishimura, Illustrator who worked at Capcom alongside Akiman on a little known little series called Street Fighter, is now rediscovering some of her drawings thanks to Western enthusiasts who bought lots of old magazines and posted on their networks scans of illustrations including herself and Capcom had no more originals.

I don’t know if that will ever change there but in any case for me the return of thoses old licenses, whether thanks to a remake or a sequel, still enchants me.