Hideki Kamiya, perhaps best known as the creator of both Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, recently gave an interview in which he said that the lack of access to classic games was hurting the games industry. Considering how difficult it can be to get hold of retro games that aren’t part of the popular franchises, he probably has a point.
In the interview with VGC, Kamiya was questioned about upcoming projects alongside the studio’s boss Atsushi Inaba. The interviewer asked him about the recent surge in the valuable retro games market, and asked what Kamiya, himself a collector, responded that the problem wasn’t the auction houses that are driving up the prices, but the fact that that’s sometimes the only way to get retro games.
“And the responsibility for keeping those games available belongs to the company that owns the IP. If people want to play a classic game and they can’t, because it’s not available on new platforms and can’t be found in its original form either, that’s like a threat… it’s holding game culture back. The people who own the rights to these games should be actively making moves to preserve game culture and making games available to everyone who wants to play them.”
When you think about it, repackaging classic games and selling them for a high price is a pretty restrictive way to offer access to classic titles. Anything that doesn’t have marketability to a new audience, like a Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda title, basically gets forgotten. As it won’t make its parent company any money in the repackaging, it’s not likely to be given the appropriate marketing upon release. Inaba added, in response to a question about Star Fox Zero, that they would be happy to bring the game to the Nintendo Switch and also bemoaned that those who didn’t have a Wii U couldn’t play it.