Here's an interesting tibit from the comments section of the first article:
[[quoteblock]] I asked some guys this question once! The answer was, pretty unanimously - when you pressurize something hard enough, it can become a gemstone. most of the time you just get dirt and rubble, but sometimes you get a diamond.
Essentially they're under so much crazy pressure that they sometimes create something amazing as an outlet for that pressure.
the last time I was in japan, I went out for drinks with a couple heads of two japanese companies that are both quite popular in the west. one of them invited us to visit his studio, since we were relatively nearby. He had to *move his bed out of the way* for us to get in the door. This says several things:
1) this is an office, and he was definitely planning on sleeping there and working more when he worke up, even as he was talking about his publisher not having paid his milestones *for a year.*
2) his entire staff was still working there, at 1 am when we went in. His bed being in front of the only entrance meant that employees would have to leave before the boss, which is frowned upon without an excuse, or literally step over his prone body in order to leave.
To talk about your Suda example, he is a business man primarily. In creating odd, unique content, he knew what he was doing there - it was a bid to make people notice his company, and it was a rare risk for a business man. But it was a calculated business decision that drove creative decisions.
With Team Ico, that really was a team that was able to do something different, but it's incredibly rare for that to happen. Consider Keita Takahashi talking about making Noby Noby Boy, as he did at GDC two years ago. He was talking about how executives were glaring at him as he walked down the hall because he wasn't producing something that people could identify - he was experimenting and trying new things because he had generated a hit product in Katamari Damashii, but then once he got to do what he wanted again, resentment abounded, and he ultimately left the company.
The crazy pressure of their environment, which is comparable to AAA crunch in the west *but all the time* can create some interesting things sometimes, but generally it squashes creativity and gets people to just do their jobs, or gets people to totally lose it, as Matsuno did after FFXII, or as you see in Ono (of street fighter)'s interview with simon parkin. And when you combine that with the fact that japanese game companies are still independently solving the same problems western companies have collectively solved long ago, you see why the AAA industry there might decline. [[quoteblock/]]
edited 26th Sep '12 5:53:34 AM by SgtRicko
Would you believe I never fully watched the original Indiana Jones trilogy? I gotta correct that someday.