This latest jimquisition got me thinking and I realized there's a lot I have to say on the topic of Japanese publishers I haven't put all down in one place before. So here it is I guess.
In Capcom and Square's cases, it's all entirely about sales projections and a thorough misunderstanding of the western market on the part of their analytics people. They massively overprojected on estimates to make investors and higher ups feel good about western releases then threw devs under the bus for not meeting these ridiculous projections. games like DMC4 (one of the best selling launch games) were considered failures for not being several orders of magnitude bigger than any of their previous games had set precedent for.
Shinji mikami was told nobody liked Resident Evil: Remake because Capcom was told it would make more than it did, Tetsuya Mizuguchi made a cult classic in rez and only just recently discovered there was any following for his game at all whhen he said to a western journalist he was disappointed that nobody liked it. All of this because Japan's big publishers treat their talent like crap and let people who have no reasonable understanding of the west dictate their directives.
In some ways that's a good thing because capcom and Square being shitty is why we sudden.y have a handful of great, fiercly independent Japanese devs like Mistwalker and Platinum, but is still sad because it leaves everyone still attatched to the publishers in the same, closed off, shitty boat. And it still managed to come over and bite at western developers too with Eidos putting out several blockbuster selling games and getting slammed by Square for not doing better than their already excellent performance while their Japanese division squandered time and money on the first version of FFIV (only to have the guy who fixed it, Yoshida present a scathing breakdown of all the mistakes made on the original at GDC.)
Japanese publishers have been poisoned by their own arrogance coming out of the last generation and an obsession with statistics and analytics provided by people who play with the truth as it suits them. And it's taken them too long to start to break away from this and admit it. There's so many hurdles and mistakes to be avoided that we need to see, like is Capcom going to keep outsourcing games to western devs? If so, then this time when they sink millions into developing a cutting edge engine, are they going to bother providing english documentation (unlike MT framework) so the majority of their games can actually use it? Is Square going to pick up games almost entirely already made for them then complain they weren't profitable enough when they sell millions for investment like sleeping dogs again?
Japanese game developers have always been strong, but it's about time Japan started listening to the people in it's own industry who've been shouting for years about the mismanagement of these companies, because it's not just the west that's been pointing out the problems with them. Half the reason Sony has had the miraculous turn around they have over the last generation is because after the vita they stopped trying to dictate everything and actually started giving their US/European divisions a voice in the directions they take. I just hope it's not too little too late because there's great IPs and talented people that could be put to so much better use if they were only managed better and given more communication. While companies like Platinum will remain as lions of the industry that publishers and platformers will always find time to work with, the tradition of ignoring and mistreating it's most talented workers until they finally leave, in a culture where loyalty to your company is the expectation, will only continue to weaken publishers.