Asura's Wrath maker says mobile social games are 'all rubbish'

Hiroshi Matsuyama
Hiroshi Matsuyama

At least they're "junk" in Japan, according to Hiroshi Matsuyama (pictured), CEO of Fukuoka, Japan-based developer CyberConnect 2. During an interview with Gamasutra, the chief overseeing upcoming traditional console games like Asura's Wrath for publisher Capcom and a Naruto game for Namco Bandai, said, "Another thing that I dislike is social games. Everybody is talking about social this, and social that. Even Bandai Namco. I don't like that."

However, don't think that Matsuyama's ire for social games is uninformed--the guy has reached Level 250 in DeNA's Kaito Royale for smartphones. "They're not fun at all. But, I have to play it," Matsuyama told Gamasutra. "The reality is that it has over 3 million users, and it's true that they're making money. I need to be aware of those businesses, so of course I play them. GREE's Dragon Collection. I've played that, too. [Matsuyama pulls out two smartphones] This is my iPhone, and this is my Android phone, and I play these games on both of these phones -- but they're all rubbish."

Ouch, Matsuyama. Keep in mind, however, the CyberConnect 2 president is referring specifically to Japanese mobile social games. Though, Matsuyama name dropped Infinity Blade for iOS (and soon on Mobage) as a favorite mobile game of his. Regardless, Matsuyama appears to think that, frankly, both Gree and DeNA have work to do before their games are suitable.

This point of view certainly isn't unique to Japan, as designers far and wide in the U.S. have called social games out for shallow gameplay, predatory design or just not being social enough. It seems that, regardless of the fact that social games are making a killing, they have a long way to go before earning the respect of traditional game designers. That is, of course, as their colleagues leave in droves for the social games scene.

Do you think social games deserve the respect of traditional game designers in their current state? Should social game creators even be working toward earning that respect? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.

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