AC3 Creative Director: Japanese Developers Get a Free Pass from Journalists on Bad Story-Telling

In a recent interview with Computer & Video Games, Ubisoft's Alex Hutchinson, the creative director of Assassin's Creed 3, said that games journalists are engaging in subtle racism when they give Japanese games a free pass on bad or odd story-telling while putting Western games through the ringer. When asked about why Nintendo can get away with endlessly reiterating the same basic stories with games like Super Mario Bros., Hutchinson offered a blunt response.

"You want my real answer? I think there's a subtle racism in the business, especially on the journalists' side, where Japanese developers are forgiven for doing what they do. I think it's condescending to do this," Hutchinson said. "Just think about how many Japanese games are released where their stories are literally gibberish. Literally gibberish. There's no way you could write it with a straight face, and the journalists say 'oh it is brilliant'."

"Then Gears of War comes out and apparently it's the worst written narrative in a game ever," he continued. "I'll take Gears of War over Bayonetta any time. It's patronizing to say, 'oh those Japanese stories, they don't really mean what they're doing'."

We'll have to wait and see if his words come back to haunt him or if other Western developers agree with his assertion that Japanese-developed games somehow get a free pass for storytelling…

Source: CVG by way of GII

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  1. 0
    beemoh says:

    Or: games are for gameplay primarily, not story- and largely, the the Japanese games we see here in the west do a better job of concentrating on the former than the bigger Western games do.

    Case in point, to use the games referenced in this article, Gears and Mario.

    Mario basically doesn’t have a story- so there’s nothing there to criticise. Meanwhile, the writer of Gears 3 did a load of interviews prior to release about how everyone else is rubbish for not doing story and that the story she was doing was going to be amazing- which is pretty much to actively invite criticism.

    Yout can’t go “Oh, we’re going to do a thing” and then complain when people call you out for not doing the thing well.


  2. 0
    Mastermune says:

    Is it just me, or do I feel some bitterness out of these comments? unfortunately I feel like some of this comments can go both ways just as they are many rubbish stories in Japan so they are in this side of the world, plus many of the games he mentioned really only have the story for a setup, that's it we don't delve deeper into it and have a lot of fun with them.

  3. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Japanese games getting a free pass on crap story telling?  Nope, I haven't been getting that impression.

    Metroid: Other M, many of the later Final Fantasy games, even Bayonetta was not praised for its story.  And neither is Super Mario but save for the RPGs, those aren't typically meant to have compelling narrative, just setup.


    Andrew Eisen

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