Thursday, April 9th, 2020 

Famitsu Talks to Katsuhiro Harada About Pad Warriors, FPS Games & Cloud-Based Gaming


Famitsu recently did an interview with beloved TEKKEN series producer, Katsuhiro Harada, who is now general manager and esports strategy leader at Bandai Namco. In the interview, Harada-san talks about the growing number of pad-users he has seen at fighting game events, as opposed those who use fightsticks. Harada also talks about his history with FPS games (first-person shooters) as he was a fan of the original Doom back in 1993. Later in the interview, Harada offers his thoughts on the modern trend of cloud-based gaming and what the future may hold. Read some interesting tidbits from the Famitsu interview, below.

Katsuhiro Harada: I like FPS games, I started playing FPS on PC around the time the first Doom was out. FPS games weren’t out for consoles yet, so PC gamers played using mouse and keyboard. You see, FPS games themselves were specially made for mouse & keyboard.

However, once games from the FPS genre started to appear on consoles, we started playing them using analog sticks on pads. People on the Internet would say ‘FPS with a controller lolololol’ and that’s how I felt about it too. I used to think ‘How do you even play FPS games with a controller?’ But everybody adapted, and we started seeing more that are good even using pads.”

Famitsu: Then controllers gradually became the majority.

Katsuhiro Harada: If we’re going by player numbers then controllers are definitely the majority. You can’t ignore the feel of controllers these days for FPS games.

Even for fighting games, there are more players who play on pad instead of a stick. You can go to any fighting game tournament and you’d see a bunch of players with controllers. Sticks stand out more because pro players use them and such, but there are overwhelmingly more players on pad.

Famitsu: Especially in the preliminary stages, there really are many pad players.

Katsuhiro Harada: Exactly. And they’re even playing games like Fortnite and PUBG on smartphones now. At first, I thought to myself ‘How do you play on a smartphone?’ but it was unexpectedly simple when I tried it. Nowadays if you go on about ‘Mouse-only for FPS/TPS’ then you’d probably be treated as an elderly anywhere around the world. Probably.

Famitsu: What are your honest impressions of cloud gaming?

Katsuhiro Harada: The key word “Harada: the problem of time” is flying around in the game industry, which is different from the spread of new technologies such as VR. For example, VR means “this is absolutely time-consuming, There is an expectation that there will be an interesting world. "However, some people in the gaming industry have predicted the cloud gaming service more than a decade ago, not just a year ago. Ken Kutaragi, the creator of PlayStation, did not call it cloud gaming, but he said very quickly that "all platforms will melt into the network." Isn't it about 18 years ago?

Famitsu: You mentioned that the hardware would eventually run out?

Katsuhiro Harada: That's right. However, at that time, game developers could understand the story, but at that time the game hardware did not become a cloud yet, but how to provide games, so-called download sales, that kind of perception did. So far, it has been a good idea to do the game itself locally.

From that point on, cloud gaming in the future will return to the keyword “time issues”, but that is infrastructure. It's a matter of time in many ways. It also means "the future will come sooner or later", and the other means "if the time it takes to set up the infrastructure, the future will go away". Either way, it's the future that will come.

Also, for example, only in Japan, where infrastructure is in place, it is useless. The whole world needs to be organized at once. It is easier to make a game if the specifications and infrastructure are provided at a high level all over the world. We, the people in the gaming industry, are looking at when and where things will go.

So, I think that the keyword “time issues” for cloud gaming services is not only my personal expectation, but that everyone in the gaming industry can share it with “that's right”.

Famitsu: Is it something you can definitely see?

Harada: As the future. By the time our kids or grandchildren enjoy the game, it's natural and it's just about the beginning. For example, in fighting games, I often say that "the 2000s was a dark decade for fighting games," but the communication environment for arcade games is obvious, but it's the best. right. A single board in two housings is only the distance of the harness and exchanges input signals. When you started to be able to play online since that local fighting era, there was a huge gap and it was hard.

Since then, online has gradually spread, but considering cloud gaming based on that, of course, it depends on the environment, that is, the infrastructure. It has already seen how it will be prepared in various countries. I feel like one of the transitions that has happened several times since the dawn of the Internet.

Full interview in Japanese is posted at

           Keep it here on Fighters Gen for fighting game news.

Sources:  FamitsuKatsuhiro Harada (Twitter)
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