- We're certainly still fans of the Japanmanship blog, described as 'the unremarkable life of a videogame developer in Japan', and a recent post discusses the lack of Western developers in the Japanese game market.

Blogger JC Barnett notes ruefully: "When it comes to the number of Western development staff, artists, planners, coders, musicians, etc. there are no exact figures but from experience I’d say we are few, very few. I’m not terribly well connected, but I have a few ears spread around the industry. There are a few companies with their own foreign worker, some even have more. But what’s worse is that every so often a few of us just raise our hands, admit defeat and move back home or onwards to another country. We’re maybe not a dying breed, but we’re certainly coughing up blood."

Most interestingly, he explains why this might be: "Though the games made in Japan seem to have this exotic aura of excellence, the reality of working here is, thanks to scaremongering blogs like mine and others, not a secret anymore. Or rather, most of the interested people already had a pretty good idea about it, but it’s always a little daunting to have it confirmed from the inside. Bad pay [see pictured graph!], bad hours, bad working practices; the Japanese industry has an image problem. You can’t attract good staff if you aren’t offering an attractive deal."