Japanese games won't get better until developers start trusting players more, according to Jean Kellams of Platinum Games. Kellams, writer and international coordinator for the Japanese developer, responded to a NeoGaf forum thread regarding the differing success of Japanese and Western games in a multi-tweet epistle on risk, execution, and most of all, friction.
Kellams said gamers look for exceptional games in a crowded market, an aspect that is risky to strive for without the massive budgets of Western publishers. He said Japanese developers have to focus on the ideas and themes they can do best and then communicate about them.
"Where Japanese games need to get better is reducing friction," Kellams said. He added that the tendency of Japanese developers is to actually add friction and bog down the game experience.
"Culturally, Japanese design is about being inclusive. They don't want anyone left behind, so they will add friction to an experience," he said. "Can I take your order. Hamburger. Hamburger is a piece of meat, two buns, ketchup and mustard. Are you sure you want a hamburger? Yes. That is friction. Western games stop when the user says hamburger. They assume that user intent is initially correct. [Japanese] games should too."