NieR Dev Says Japanese Studios Can’t Compete With Western Techology

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"We Can't Keep Up With The Tech"

Story Highlights
  • NieR creator Yoko Taro says that Japanese studios have been left behind by Western technology.
  • This is largely because the Japanese developers aren’t very good at adaptability with overseas tech. 
  • Yoko Taro believes Stellar Blade is a great example of modern tech put to good use.

NieR: Automata creator Yoko Taro has stated that the Japanese studios are lagging behind Western developers in terms of technology. Speaking in an interview, he reflected on how Stellar Blade uses technology they can’t keep up with.

Why it matters: Western developers are laser-focused on providing the best-looking games possible, resulting in technology like the Decima engine and Unreal Engine 5.

NieR: Automata
NieR: Automata Was Great But Left Much To Be Desired In Terms of Production Values

Talking with IGN, he commended Stellar Blade and how it matches the technological advancements of Western studios. The developer further stated that he would love to see how Western gamers react to the absolute powerhouse that is Stellar Blade.

We can’t keep up with the level of technology anymore.

-Yoko Taro

Taking NieR: Automata’s example, Taro said that the game’s camera was very far-off and looked worse compared to high-profile Western games. This statement is indeed true when you see them putting out games like Cyberpunk 2077, Horizon Forbidden West, and Alan Wake 2.

Japanese studios have a history of using their own engines. Some of them are now outdated at this point, but the developers continue to rely on them. According to Taro, this is a big issue with Japanese studios, as they aren’t good at adapting overseas technology. 

Stellar Blade Takes Inspiration From Popular Titles
Stellar Blade Seems To Be Aiming For Western Visuals

However, that isn’t to say there isn’t any exception. Capcom has been brilliant and has kept up with the rest of the world. New Resident Evil and Devil May Cry games, powered by the RE Engine, have proved that even the Japanese studios have what it takes to match the Western teams.

Square Enix is another honorable mention in this aspect. The recent Final Fantasy games were brilliant in terms of visuals and gameplay. On the other hand, a game like Rise of the Ronin was panned for its visuals.

According to Yoko Taro, Stellar Blade will be an interesting entry since it seems to provide similar production values as the biggest Western games.

After the very positive reception towards the demo, more people than ever are excited about the game, including Yoko Taro, who believes it will be better than his own game.

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