Japanese gov't plans game awards

Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry lays out a five-year plan to keep the country's console game industry from losing ground to foreign devs.


Today, Japanese language newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has settled on a five-year plan to promote the domestic console game industry. The plan is simply called the "Game Industry Strategy."

One of the most interesting features of this plan is that it would create an "Academy Awards of gaming," as The Yomiuri calls it, to commend outstanding game creators. The purpose of the awards will be to bolster Japan's game industry, which has steadily lost ground in the face of fierce competition abroad. The judges will come from hardware and software makers, as well as the game press. Award categories are yet to be announced, with the exception of the Minister's Award, the winner of which will presumably be determined by METI Minister Toshihiro Nikai.

Despite its goal of motivating domestic companies, the nominees will not be limited to Japanese developers. METI hopes to make this the most prestigious game-related award in the world, leading in theory to increased interest in Japan's game industry by foreign developers.

The Yomiuri states that while Japan has traditionally been a world leader in game exports, it has recently lost ground to US and European developers in the console market and is well behind Korea in online gaming. The government is therefore considering various ways to boost the industry's competitiveness in the international arena.

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