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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Avatar image for darksaber91

kore wa atsui desuyo! Sephiroth: oho, what made you stronger? Cloud: I don't want to tell you!

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Avatar image for carcrazy426

Wow... The Japanese government is putting on their own award show for games and the U.S. government it trying to hurt the game industry so they can "protect the children", in other words, make themselves look good. If only the U.S. had a government that wasn't so full of themselves and actually get something done once in a while.

Avatar image for StillWingless

...if only our government was so supportive of the industry here. it would be nice hearing more acclaim and less legislation, for once.

Avatar image for anamnawshad

Nintendo will win all of them:)

Avatar image for WildRabbit

This is very interesting indeed and I think there should be a equivalent award ceremony in the North America and Europe as well. There could be awards for of course, best Game, best Gameplay, best Level design, best Publisher and bring it one step further for raising the names in the industry. We all know Schafer and Molyneux, but what about up and coming designers? It would be really cool if the gaming industry would head to the same direction of being renowned regarding Game Designers and Developers. Who are, or better yet, will be the Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg of the Gaming industry? I think that would raise the stakes of respect the non game playing public towards the gaming industry.

Avatar image for capthunt

Nice! Way to promote games, but their biggest problem is that they need more online games that the rest of the world enjoys.

Avatar image for faridmon

thats why i love japan and the japanese games, they do everything to make the game so perfect and wierd, unlike the western devolopers (except for Ubi and Monoloth) they jus think about marketing and sell crap. bellieve me,90% of my collection is japanese games.

Avatar image for thefjk

Nice strategy... bring all your competetors to your level!

Avatar image for jakeboudville

very interesting..

Avatar image for chikahiro94

@LiliShake No, it doesn't. However, games are an *absurdly* safe political target. Politicians pray for such easy "issues"; ones that they can harp on and on about, that are one sided, and nobody is seriously going to oppose. I guarantee they'd change their tune should it be opportune to do so. "Hello? Utah? Yeah, EA calling. We're a multi-billion dollar company and we'd like to relocate our staff and studios to your fine state. Oh, and we're projecting growth over the next 10 years, so we'll need to hire more people. What can you offer us?"

Avatar image for TavLok

sigh* My government is persecuting our game industry. Japan's government is going to honor it's game industry. Of course there may not be much Japan's government can do. Japanese developers are pretty much sticking with their tried and true formulas for making games. Something seriously needs to happen with Japanese gaming. A fresh breeze through a very stale creative environment would be welcome. Even Japanese gamers themselves have lost interest in console games. They are devoted to their portable units now with no looking back.

Avatar image for LiliShake

chikahiro94: Hopefully the US and the rest of Europe will follow. Lawl. The American government hates video games.

Avatar image for JLCrogue

A little bit of competition will be good for the overall industry.

Avatar image for chikahiro94

@MasterAsh42 The Japanese are perfectly capable of playing "follow the leader" and "me too," remember - a lot of their stuff doesn't make it over here. The cost of translation/localization is a "crap barrier" of sorts (the disadvantage being small budget/niche titles don't make it over, either) - no publisher wants to go through the expense of bringing over something they know isn't that good, or average at best (its a lot easier to see that after the title is out and you see sales figures and reviews). The reason you see so much crap here is the crap was developed here - if you went over there, you'd see their garbage that never leaves the country. Good to see Japan is taking Korea seriously and is following Korea and England's lead (both have programs to actively encourage domestic game development). Hopefully the US and the rest of Europe will follow. BTW - do you not like those genres? Or do you not like the endless clones? Just curious...

Avatar image for Slaveways

good idea i'd watch it

Avatar image for azafirster

a good step for japan to make that kind of award, gives the creators something to look forward to for their hardwork.

Avatar image for gamer_10001

This is the kind of things games need, one, really big awards show like the movie's Acadamy Awards.

Avatar image for MrPuzzlez

Nice. Too bad OUR country can't recognize greatness when they see it.

Avatar image for SilverDeath

I hope that Japan acts more fair when it comes to foreign nominees, they aren't exactly a nation known for it's tolerance of foreigners.

Avatar image for samuraibambi


Avatar image for Ryosagi

I just hope they're fair to other developers, ie US and Europe, when it comes to these awards. I can see a few nominated, and none actually winning. Also worried about corruption in this, like a company paying blah blah blah to have a certain game win and crap like that.

Avatar image for peeweeshift

Japan gest everything cool.

Avatar image for bcolter

Interesting support on the surface... I wonder what kind of financial incentives are happening in the background???

Avatar image for dEaThAwAiTs013

Now if only the American government was just as enthusiastic about gaming as the Japanese... Instead, we have Hilary Clinton and Jack Thompson.

Avatar image for jinyu123456789

MasterAsh42 is right, japanese games is the sh*t i can't imagine a gaming world without japanese games.

Avatar image for daqua_99

Wish they would do the same in Australia ... though there are roumers of an event like E3 in Perth ...

Avatar image for MrShenmue

This sounds great. I hope they dont focus too much on the newer games and developers out there. People like Yu Suzuki, creator of the Shenmue series deserves an award at an event like this. Lord knows miyamoto and kojima will get a barrell full of awards.

Avatar image for Trigun1

Why does other governments support video games and the U.S. always seem to bash them?

Avatar image for mnmnanu


Avatar image for MasterAsh42

Wow. . .I hope the push pays off, because I shudder at a future of decreased Japanese presense in the industry; a future with shelves 99% lined with stagnant FPSs, driving fare, urban sandoxes, and sports titles (as opposed to the current, oh, 80%).

Avatar image for Zeromind_Eric

I love Japan.

Avatar image for UntoldDreams


Avatar image for _Sam_

seems interesting

Avatar image for Baroque-Legacy

Very, very cool!

Avatar image for GaughanZero

Am I right to believe this is the only official gaming awards seeing that the government of Japan is backing it instead of a Tv program or channel?

Avatar image for TintedChimes

nice, does anyone know what the profile levels mean, please PM me about it.

Avatar image for aussenbagen

Sounds a lot better than G4 and Spike TV's pathetic attempts at awards.

Avatar image for thisissami

at least some governments know that games are actually beneficial...

Avatar image for Reetesh

Great!! A REAL awatd show, No more celebrities who know nothing.

Avatar image for kai05

hmm thats a positive spin from "the man" the gaming community is actually getting its support sweet!

Avatar image for crazymonkey128

finally a serious game award show

Avatar image for RPGgamer_awsome


Avatar image for fantasyfacade

I was actually thinking about when something like this would happen. It sounds good.

Avatar image for magus704

That is so cool. They should have something similar to this for the other two major markets. A professional award show, not some stupid "edgey" thing like the Spike TV awards, would be something that might give our industry some credibility.