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About the Movie
The Japanese video game industry led the world in creativity and innovation from the 1980's to the mid-2000's, but in recent years Japanese studios have been unable to keep up with advancements in technology, with many shifting focus away from risky projects and unique gaming experiences.Today, there are many players around the world who long to play games like those that inspired and excited them in their childhood. And for industry veterans and young talents who aspire to the pursuit of originality and creative freedom, going independent is the answer.Japan has a history of independent creators building lively communities, even within industries where large media companies rule. Comic Market, and events like it attract more than 1 million attendees yearly.For the last several years, the Japanese game industry has begun to recognize the power of independent creators and the momentum of the fledgling scene, and in 2013, the Tokyo Game Show created a pavilion to feature indie creators for the first time in its history."Will this be the beginning of a new movement?"With this question, we began our two-year journey through Japan’s Indie scene.Branching Paths is a mosaic of the developers, publishers and people who gravitate to indie games in Japan.
One of the best indie game dev documentaries around
Branching Paths offers a rare insight into the once-hidden world of Japanese indie game development. Beautifully shot and edited, this doc covers many interview subjects in both the Japanese and Western game dev worlds, and gives a first-hand look at the indie gaming festival that really spearheaded the Japanese indie moviement: BitSummit. Imagine if Lost In Translation was about indie game development in Japan and that's what this wonderful film reminds me of.