Metal Gear Solid and game industry legend, Hideo Kojima, has said that Japanese developers are currently “lacking the motivation” to succeed. After watching a TV program focusing on foreign exchange students studying Manga at Kyoto Seika University, Kojima was intrigued by the ambition and dedication of the western students.
(All quotes below have been translated by the fine fellows at GamerZines)
“The TV Show put the spotlight on female students from Europe and US,” Kojima wrote in his first series of Twitter updates. “One lady mentioned she was inspired by Ranma and began studying Japanese and applied for the Manga Department in her University. She looks over her classmates’ work during lunch break, heads to the bookstore after class, and reads a little of it before a purchase. She then goes to Karaoke to sing her favorite anime songs. She really likes Manga!”
“The Game Industry is very similar. The West is very motivated. The younger generation of Japan is losing. The designers and to-be-designers in the West have the focus, ambition, and ability to make their dream become true. So it is not the Japanese technology or culture that is losing, we are lacking the motivation.”
Kojima says that there have been fewer and fewer Japanese students who study across the ocean in other countries, with “very few” at universities like Harvard or MIT. “The engineering population in Japan may be in jeopardy,” he comments. “We should first review our education system here in Japan.”
Kojima’s key to success? Motivation.
“Lately I have come to conclusion that, with highly motivated foreigners… it doesn’t matter where they are from, working with highly motivated individuals is the only way to move forward. I am tired of taking care of people who do not have the passion.”
“Time is used differently between people who have and don’t have motivation. They are willing to learn and study on their own,” Kojima said, before relating the statement to two of his own workers who schedule their day properly to make sure they have time to read a book or play a game around their workspace.
“Saying you don’t have time because of work, using work as an excuse, will not help you grow. Creating abilities, at it’s core, is reliant on your love for the creation.”