Keiji Inafune On Japanese Developers And Why He Left Capcom

By Kris . November 1, 2010 . 6:56pm

inafune_megaman

In a lengthy interview with Japanese site, 4Gamer, Mega Man creator and longtime Capcom global development head, Keiji Inafune, surprised his interviewer with the announcement that he was leaving Capcom and his reasons for doing so. A commenter on the gaming forum, NeoGAF, has translated their discussion.

 

In the interview, Inafune speaks about his distaste for the lack of creativity and work ethic in Japanese game design, as well as why he’s interested in western-style game development. The following is a brief summary of Inafune’s views:

 

On Japan falling behind in game development:

 

In summary, Inafune believes the Japanese game development community has lost its will to create better games. "More. More. People always want more fun and prettier graphics, right? This is to be expected, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But that’s where a problem arose," he said.

 

He goes on to say that players’ demands have reached a stage where their expectations are so high, it’s impossible to fully satisfy them. Despite this, however, there’s no "risk" to creating a bad game, for individual developers working at Japanese companies.

 

"It’s not a system where you don’t get paid your next month’s paycheck if the game doesn’t sell," Inafune stated. "Even if it doesn’t sell, you still get your paycheck the next month. Because people are used to working in such a system, against such competition, the sense of wanting to make a better and better game has weakened. It’s like, "I’m just doing what I was told to do." "

 

On leaving Capcom:

 

By leaving Capcom, Inafune hopes to effect a change within the Japanese games industry through his own methods. He reveals that he feels he attempted for several years to restructure the way Capcom develops games, with regard to budgets and innovation, with little success.

 

This ties in to why he felt the need to resign from the company. As a high-ranking salaryman rather than a creator, he says, he had no incentive to innovate beyond certain limits. Inafune stated:

 

"For some years, I tried the same thing from within Capcom. Take this for example: I was the head of development. That means I was actually at the top of Capcom. I couldn’t go any higher. So it was best for me to just be a salaryman, not doing anything new so as to avoid failing, not doing anything outstanding, quietly dealing with what I was told. Because if I did anything brashly and failed, I would no longer be in that position."

 

On western developers:

 

"They’re also far and away more passionate. That’s one big reason," Inafune opined on western developers.

 

"As stated before in regards to IPOs, western developers are far more fragmented than in Japan; the lower tiers of western developers, I hate to say, are slaves. In an environment where it’s not unusual to get laid off, you have to do you work well, and make an effort to get noticed, they’ve made advances… Their level of drive is completely different."

 

And while western developers are rewarded for hard work and innovation, Japanese developers are not, says Inafune. "On the other hand, Japanese developers from top to bottom have the same feeling. Of course they’re not really slaves, but on the other hand, just because you made a hit, it doesn’t mean you’ll see anything for it."

 

Despite his admiration for overseas working methods, Inafune isn’t hesitant to point out what he feels are the weaknesses of western game developers either.

 

"[However] you can’t just leave them alone. Even with technical skills, they often lack adequate ideas and concepts for utilizing those skills," he said. "That’s exactly why I’m such a good match for them. (laughs) They don’t have to be a top-notch development studio. I just want to work with a team that has good potential and a positive work attitude."

 

Interestingly enough, Capcom’s top brass didn’t seem too moved by Inafune’s departure, as Inafune mentions that nobody commented on his letter of resignation: "Even when I submitted my letter of resignation, nobody contacted me about it. (laughs)"

 

"There should’ve been a, "Hey Inafune, do you have some time?" or, "What do you mean by this? I want to hear it straight from you." Nothing. Zero."

 

A huge thanks to João for the great tip!


Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Belenger

    I only have one thing to say:

    “Remember Clover?”

    • neon6

      You see it sounds like you guys don’t really understand how businesses work. If a group of developers are making games that, while decent, sell horribly at retail, then of course I got to cut them off. If not, then how many people am I going to have to lay off just to keep them going? This is probably why their newer company Platinum Games will go the same way, because they don’t know how to make games that sell. But all in the quest for high quality, right?

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        Sega–as questionable as some of their decisions can be–sees enough potential in them to renew their contract after the initial 4-game deal. I’d like to think that says something about about Platinum’s profitability being better than oft perceived.

        • http://www.themogblog.com/ Edward Walton

          For the amount of marketing that Sega does for their own games that are actually pretty good, I’m sure Platinum Games did just well enough to make the cut. Platinum Games does have a cult following and they feel like another Atlus to me but just a different genre of gaming. :I Yes, I just compared Platinum Games to Atlus and I will stick to that.

          Now how Sega treated Resonance of Fate’s marketing, >.> I can’t forgive them for that…

      • http://twitter.com/Sieghardt Sieghardt

        sounds like you dont know how business works. A game that sells 1 million copies on a small budget can be a huge success, a game that spends millions on advertising aiming for 5 million sales and only getting 2 million shipped is a massive failure.

        This is something Inafune has never understood either

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hector-Cortes/100000351183370 Hector Cortes

        Um Vanquish and Bayonetta say they aren’t going down anytime soon (seeing as there both about to be million sellers). Plus with SEGA still backing them right now with a possible new deal I don’t think Platinum is going to be going out of buisness anytime soon. The gaming industry needs more guys like Platinum who bring new creative ideas to the table along with new IPs the gaming industry isn’t gonna survive on the same old IPs forever you know…

        • neon6

          Hey man, I’m just against that scrubby gameplay mantra they’re using for their newer games, but if you and everyone else are into that, then more power to you, Mr. Free…………

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hector-Cortes/100000351183370 Hector Cortes

      Honestly this is exactly why Mikami and all the Clover guys left as well in the first place because Capcom wouldn’t give them creative freedom to make the games they wanted to make and Capcom is basically following the same route to this day. So to me its no surprise to finally see Inafune leave Capcom as he was one of the last of the main original designers still left at Capcom and alot of the Japanese veteran developers are all wanting to create there own type of games and not make the same game over and over again (I mean think about it the Clover guys , Inafune , Yuji Naka, Itagaki the list goes on and on). The reign of the big Japanese publishers have a strong foothold on the gaming market is dwindling by the months with all these 3rd party Japanese publishers losing there best talent makers…

  • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

    Haha, that is just how it is for big companies, i wont really say anything about his attitued though, i will just wait to see what will he do now that he is “on his own” and see if he can act as highly he think he can do

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tien-Ron/100001474007360 Tien Ron

      THIS DUDE CREATED MEGAMAN HE’S THE FACE OF CAPCOM THATS ALL HIS CV NEEDS

      • Aoshi00

        He even LOOKS like the blue bomber.. not even a stinking goodbye, a little sad indeed..

      • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

        SO WHAT!?! THAT IS WHY HE HAVE TO STAY TIED TO THAT COMPANY MAKING THEM LIMIT HIS IDEAS!? COMPANIES ONLY CARE ABOUT MONEY, AND ABOUT STAYING OUT OF THE RED NUMBERS, KNOWING HOW THIS WORLD WORKS, I DONT FIND IT STRANGE THAT NOBODY SIGNED HIS LETTER OF RESIGNATION.Let’s face it, CAPCOM is not the same as it was when our favorite blue bomber was made.

        • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

          I honestly think most people in this day and age only associate Capcom with two things, Resident Evil and Fighting games. As I stated above (or below depending on the settings one has these comments set for), MM cant be more profitable than those others two series (or have higher sales).

          • https://twitter.com/#!/Ojsinnerz Firo_Prochainezo

            You should REALLY take a look at the amount of games Megaman has, as well as its popularity before saying something like that.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            If I am looking at the numbers right…
            The Resident Evil Franchise has more than ~43 mln unit sales.
            Megman is down at just ~29 mln.

            I wont even take the time to lump all the fighters into one sum that would exceed the sales of Megaman (Street Fighter itself, seems to have over 29mln sales too)

            I think from just this glance, with FAR FEWER games, RE is more popular than Megman.

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            True words. As unfortunate as it is seeing Megaman revert back to its 8-bit glory days is a sign that it’s become somewhat niche.

            EDIT: I am wrong. Megaman 9 & 10 sales are extremely good.

          • PersonaBull

            I liked it for the edit <3

          • PersonaBull

            “OBJECTION!”

            Most people =/= you

            Look up logic to back up your brash statements ever, please.

          • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

            This is a reply regarding about what you said about resident evil and megaman’s sales, below…First of all.. RE is not more popular than megaman…You know megaman have from 1 to 10 games, i know that with this 10 games it already surpass the RE series, and without counting all the other megaman games there are (battle network, from 1 to 6 GBA games, the zero series, i think is like 3 or 4 games, and the starforce, 3 games and the remake of 1st battle network, megaman legends…. and i know there are more)

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            If it has taken over 50 titles for the Megaman franchise to accumulate 28 mln sales, and the Resident Evil franchise just 13 titles to reach ~43mln, then that should in all realities show which franchise is the more popular one. That is essentially on average, only 560,000 people buying each Megaman game against no less than, on average, 3mln people buying each Resident Evil title.

            I do not think that more releases correlates to a series being more popular.

          • PersonaBull

            This is a response to, well he changed his name, so TS, about numbers.

            Those numbers are just that. You’re comparing a single main series to a universe of games. The people that buy RE titles are buying that single series, while many Megaman fans stick to their favorite series. I don’t know how exactly to explain this, and I’m hoping someone can help, but the variety of fans of Megaman games is what proves its large fanbase.

            Regardless of all that, it really doesn’t matter whether or not RE sells better. Megaman is most certainly in the top 3 of Capcom’s series. The man behind the Blue Bomber’s success leaving could easily be a huge hit to Capcom’s future.

          • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

            And how much money do you think they use to make a resident evil? Why do you think there are so many Megamans, a 2D side scroller needs a lot less people and budget than a full 3D good quality game like resident evil.When all they have to do with the battle network series is changing some dialogue, a couple of new things, and they make 6 games without much trouble, and getting good sales? (all 6 games got localized, this means they all sold well enough).Im 100% sure, that, even if RE has sold more units (dunno where you are getting the numbers though) Megaman has given CAPCOM, the company, more gross income. This proves that megaman is fairly more popular in various aspects, while RE popularity is only for RE fans.

            For example, there could be 10000 people fan of megaman, but 10000 people fan of megaman legends/battle netwoek/etc, so of course, not all the fans of the original games would buy these different styles of megaman, and obviously, there is a lot of people that buy these games just because they like megaman

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Sales Data: http://www.capcom.co.jp/ir/english/business/salesdata.html

            I think there are just more Megaman games because the olde style of gameplay just doesnt suit or cater to the dynamic nature of the videogame market, whereas Resident Evil has been the same style (generally, until branching out recently with on-rails), since as long as I remember.

            I just dont understand the reasoning that more games selling less overall average units sales means they made more income from it, than says a smaller series that sold more than double the amount. They cant honestly be spending 10′s of millions of development dollars on Resident Evil games, especially since the only big one this gen was RE5, a RE4 Wii port, and Wii RE’s….

          • PersonaBull

            Again, to TS,
            He already explained how. There’s a reason games on the DS cost about $30 and HD cost about $60. Production costs (CG, extended amounts of voice acting), matched with licensing for multi-platform rights adds up pretty quick. Half as many units sold with twice the gross income (Megaman games get sold out, I hardly ever even see them in the used game section) make for a compelling argument for popularity.

            But again, regardless of which is MORE popular, it’s been proven to be quite an asset to Capcom. Without the figurehead of Megaman, that asset will suffer.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Maybe that would be true if there were truly a plethora of DS Megaman games made (arent there only 3-6 anyway?), but, according to that chart, of 128 Megaman titles, Im quite sure the overall sum of production costs still far exceeds the Resident Evil franchise title, which RE5 would be the most costly most likely, and I would find sheer disbelief in that the three Wii REs (Of which one is a remake) would add to that cost greatly.

          • PersonaBull

            Oh, look at you using big words!

            You’re still dodging my point. Your argument is pointless, especially when you keep letting everyone know that a series got as far as 128 titles. It’s quite clearly important and vastly popular, so losing a great number of fans with Inafune’s departure is a big hit against a well-established series that supplied Capcom with a constant flow of income.

            A cash cow just got tipped over in ol’ Capcom’s farm. Ignoring that fact as “no big deal” because the company has a couple more is disgustingly oblivious to the current state of the world economy.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            A big number of fans lost? Assuming that, Megaman is truly such a prolific series with large amounts of people buying each game making it more popular than Resident Evil, I have great difficulty believing that the average consumer is abreast with the knowledge of who the man behind Megaman production is, let alone would know or be fazed by the fact that he has left Capcom for different things. Series still thrive without their original executives, certainly the team that works and manages the Megaman franchise is capable of handling things without the big man.

            I still think that Quantity does not correlate to popularity. Maybe I would buy it if the Megaman series was just straight up Megaman 1 – 128, instead of branching the franchise off into 20 different spin-offs, that probably have their own fanbases with people never playing the original megaman. At least in the more condensed Resident Evil case, there is high chance that the people, same people have played all Resident Evil mainline titles.

          • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

            Wait lol, im confused now… PersonaBull is talking to TS or TO ME OR TSUNAYOSHI TO ME OR WHAAAT!? AHHH TOO MANY POST EVERYWHERE, *brain explodes* i hate this Disqus system where the reply disappears

          • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

            i.. i never talked about losing fans… argg if you talking to someone else please put it in the upper part of what you writing, i dont even know where is the last post and what you are talking aboutt

            lol this is a puzzle

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        Megaman cant possibly still be that large, impactful, or as profitable as other Capcom series…we cant over estimate it.

      • puchinri

        Well technically, he didn’t create Megaman. He just had a very large part in the creation of the first game (and the rest is history).

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hector-Cortes/100000351183370 Hector Cortes

        One of the most common misconceptions about Megaman that people keep thinking is that Inafune was the creator of Megaman when wasn’t the creator at all he was a designer on the series he wasn’t the actual creator of it why do people always think he’s the creator when he isn’t -_- (yea he’s been a producer on the series but that’s because he’s been at Capcom for 23 years working on the series so obviously he’d move up).

  • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

    Wow, the company didnt even try to contact him or something…I think here in the “west” the companies would have at least spoke to him to be sure he was sure of resigning.

    Thats an interesting viewpoint to think of companies here, or at least workers being slaves; there are layoffs left and right (at each season as well). Oh well, unfortunately consumers drive this dog eat dog world. Though is the result of such fierceness and rampant layoffs, that of less high quality better games being made, are more duds being unleashed to consumers?…

    Ultimately, I hope he can find a western developer or something, since that seems to be what he truly wants…maybe someone under SCE worldwide studios, in America or Europe…

  • http://flailthroughs.blogspot.com Flailthroughs

    I’m used to hearing about companies taking creative people for granted, but man- nobody even contacted him? Sad.

    • Exand

      After he ran around bashing the bean counters at Capcom in various mediums, I’m not surprised. Would you contact someone who was obviously trying very hard to burn bridges?

      Not that I don’t agree with some of the things he said. I just don’t think it’s the best way to go about things, regardless of how you feel.

  • joesz

    eastern,western better then them or the way around.where’s the boss when you need her.

    this guy sounds like a suck up in this interview,instead of trying to improve himself and the company, he just left like this… like a coward.

    see if you can find an operation that can westernize yourself,maybe then you will be happy.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      I don’t know what to say.

      • joesz

        Why? did I say something wrong?

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          I wouldn’t say he left “like a coward” after sticking it out at the company for so long when he was clearly under a lot of pressure and tried to effect change. Being stuck in his position doesn’t sound envious at all. :/

          • joesz

            I didn’t really wanted to say that he’s a coward(I love this guy) but…do you really see a big difference between the eastern and western games?both are the same at all points, being repetitive or not they are all the same in development and everything.The only thing I can notice in here is that most people in the world have a westernized mind and are used to western things(even in games).

          • http://www.themogblog.com/ Edward Walton

            I disagree. During the PS2 era I spent quite a bit of time with Japanese developed games. Almost every game I loved and enjoyed was from a Japanese developer. All the games I currently still own are from a Japanese developer. Now we move into the PS3/360 generation and I have to say that my like for japanese developed games are dwindling. For every Japanese developed game I own like 2 or 3 Western games. Granted, thats leaving out my PSP which have a vast majority of Japanese developed games.

            What I’m trying to say is that for me personally, my taste haven’t exactly change but some things I just can’t take anymore. I love fighters, rpgs, adventure games. I even take to a puzzler every now and then. For some odd reason or another, I just fell out of touch with Japanese games.

          • Feynman

            It’s not necessarily the games themselves. The biggest issue Inafune has is the development process used to create games in Japan, as well as the culture surrounding the business. When your company is blowing millions of yen every years on 700 internal employees working on just a couple games because of the industry’s “if you’re hired you have a job for life” philosophy, it creates a very conservative environment that breeds stagnation and actively stifles creativity, and risk is avoided as much as possible.

            If you read the entire interview, you’ll see that he didn’t just “leave like a coward.” At one point he offered to leave Capcom and form his own company that would be contracted by Capcom (similar to the way Sega has a contract with Platinum Games), allowing him a greater degree of leeway with which to take risks and exercise creative control. Capom turned him down.

            Inafune is right about the Japanese gaming industry needing to make changes to it’s core business practices. They’re using the same development methods now that they used 20 years ago, and now it’s doing more harm than good.

            Where once companies like Square produced all kinds of bold games with risky innovations, such as Parasite Eve, Einhander, and Vagrant Story, nowadays they churn out safe sequel after safe sequel, cheap cell phone game after cheap cell phone game, dropping a triple A title once every few years or so – and even those are compromised to be as mainstream and ‘safe’ as possible.

            Japan used to be practically synonymous with console games, but nowadays Japanese games are barely a blip amidst a sea of western-developed titles. The sheer bureaucratic weight of the Japanese games industry has, with a handful of exceptions, created a nation of developers that are slowly smothering to death under their own weight.

    • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

      Uhh…? Like a coward? Wouldnt it be all the contrary? instead of staying there making games and staying economically stable, with a good position, and reputetion, he decided to advance as a developer and start with a blank sheet, risking in losing all this reputation he have worked so hard to get, and start something new.

      He could just stayed there until the day he died making what he was ordered to and staying between the way CAPCOM wanted to do things

      • http://www.facebook.com/AllenSmithee Samuel Smithee Bateman

        The triple A title once every few years is what bugs me most about Blizzard. I don’t see how anyone can admire those guys… They just thrive off one game forever, and maintain an online thing, and there’s practically NO originality in them, from my perspective.

        Although that might be painted by my disliking their games in the first place.

  • neon6

    The biggest question hanging in the air right now for Capcom is: what will be the fate of all their Mega Man sequels?

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      You’ll find out in… Marvel vs Capcom 3: FATE of Two Worlds?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmy-McKee/100000472580937 Jimmy McKee

    again, What will happen to Mega Man Universe?

    • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

      Why would anything happen to it? I cant imagine the Megaman teams to be dissolved.

    • PersonaBull

      Mega Man Universe is already pretty far along, compared to Legends 3 which just started out, basically.

      I don’t think you’ll have to worry much about MMU, for the most part.

  • PersonaBull

    After reading that, I can understand completely what he’s trying to convey. He isn’t obsessing over the west or catering to the west. He’s clearly sad that the drive for excellence he used to experience in Japan has faded into a day-to-day job which gives no feeling of merit or reward for excellent/innovative work. Historically, in that sense, he could be seen as wishing for a more Japanese oriented company. In East Asian counties, what was more important was not how easily you could put two-and-two together just to be done with it, but how hard you would work towards your goals. In Inafune’s eyes, these Japanese game developers are doing the minimum amount of work with the only motive of keeping their steady paycheck.

    I don’t know about you guys, but that concept seems pretty familiar to my working experience in southern New Jersey, US.

    It seems more like Inafune wants to work with motivated, hard working people with dreams of making great things, not simply hopping project to project and dumbing games down to make deadlines and shove crap out the door with the excuse of “we can add in DLC later if it sells well enough.” He knows Western companies do the same, but he hopes it wont take nearly as much of an uphill battle to turn out greatness from people who genuinely want it.

    That’s how I understand the situation, anyway.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    If he really works as hard as he says to achieve breakthroughs, I’d very much like to see a project where he has complete creative control.

    • http://www.facebook.com/AllenSmithee Samuel Smithee Bateman

      I don’t think that’s exactly what he wants.I think he wants his programmers and the like to say “Hey boss, here’s a good idea!” and he’ll say either “That’s great, now suck it!” or “That’s terrible, suck it twice!”

      (note: I don’t think anything negative about Mr. Inafune, I just think fellatio is funny)

  • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

    “And while western developers are rewarded for hard work and innovation, Japanese developers are not, says Inafune.”
    Wow, it’s bugging me but I remember reading an article about this on Gamasutra by another notable Japanese developer. I forgot who… but it seems to be case, unfortunately.
    No acknowledgment from the higher-ups about his resignation. That’s pretty harsh for someone who was has been putting himself out there in the public and then heading projects in just these past few years.

  • http://shinleejin.deviantart.com/ ShinRekka

    I freakin’ love Capcom but man, it seems like the higher ups over there really must be something else. And wow……..around 700 people working only on 4 titles internally? It finally makes sense on why Capcom always uses a lot of external developers nowadays…….they put too much people on 1 project. With 700 people, you can make at least 7-10 different games(depending on size of the game) but with around 175 people per game, it will surely be cramped and restricted. I guess because of what happened with Clover sadly, Capcom decided to keep it safe and tone down on what creativity they had last generation……..which sucks from a fan point of view while over at Capcom, is much more safer. I mean who doesn’t feel that the Capcom of today is different from the Capcom from the past…..it’s clearly visible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

    Somehow, these comments seem to be contrary to a lot of the other things he’s said in the past. “Lost Planet 2″ was too Japanese, for example, he once said, saying that is why it didn’t sell. Yet, here, he says the problem with Japanese developers is that there’s no risk/reward system.

    I don’t know…this seems…well, let’s just say there’s two sides to every story and this is only his. If I knew nothing of the situation and then read this, I’d feel completely sympathetic towards him, but considering what he’s said the last couple years, this seems like him coloring things in a favorable light for himself.

    • PersonaBull

      It seems contrary when you word it a certain way, but if you look at it (at least how I see it), he’s not saying anything contradictory at all. That was merely an example of the boring, flat, reused nature of Japanese games he sees. “too Japanese” didn’t mean it in the anti-Japan way, rather that they turtled back from a successful, inventive start in Lost Planet to what Japan was more used to, experience-wise. They didn’t want to take the series in the direction it was going, and threw it right back to their comfort zone: japanese gaming. I believe that’s how he meant it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

        I don’t know. The focus, almost exclusively on multiplayer seemed like a very Western element, since the most requested feature of the majority of Western games is multiplayer. As well as the removal of an actual character based (an Asian character, no less) storyline seemed to appeal to the Western mentality that most Japanese storylines are too confusing.

        • malek86

          I’m not so sure about that. Monster Hunter has all the characteristics you said (focus on multiplayer, no real storyline), and it’s definitely a big hit among japanese players – in fact it’s one of the most successful franchises in Japan in recent years. LP2 was basically MH with guns. They went from a relatively generic shooter (LP1) to something they thought japanese players might like better (of course, being a mix between japanese and western, as it often happens it didn’t work for neither). That’s probably what PersonaBull meant.

          • PersonaBull

            More or less, pretty much. Instead of expanding on their relatively generic shooter with new ideas specific to the title, they went back to a stand-by formula to throw into their relatively generic shooter, throwing off their established fanbase.

  • http://twitter.com/forweg1 Seth Weisend

    Wow, maybe Inafune can work on the 30,739,694,080,521,844th western-developed WWII shooter!!!!!!!!!11!!!!! The game can depict the slaughter of millions of evil Japanese civilians by righteous American military heroes. Perhaps the game can be titled “Enola Gay”. Good luck, Mr. Chalabi, er, Inafune!

    • PersonaBull

      “Q.: How else should Japan’s gaming industry globalize?

      A.: It’s actually too late to start entering the U.S. market now. That will take years. The next big market is China. My sights are on Asia.
      We need to learn from Korea. We need to go to China.

      Japan is isolated in the gaming world. If something doesn’t change, we’re doomed.”

      Isolation does no good. What’s so wrong with the guy being upset at stagnant, played out, overused gametypes?

      PS, in what way is Lost Planet or Dead Rising an American military game?

  • kylehyde

    Well it appears that we have some interestings points, in some I agree but in other definitely no.

    Is true that in the last years many of the big names in japan has lost their magical touch and that the westerns companies have produced games acclaimed by the critics. Unfortunately theres a very sad aspect about the western development, and is true, they work as slaves, just to mention the recent case about the rocktar’s wifes who denounced how her husbands get exploted. But about the reward, well I think that I’m not at all agree.

    I know that in the last years many western products have been succesful in critic and sales, but for some strange reason at the few months or even weeks or days, I read that part of the staff that maked that “innotive game” gets cut out. I heard comments about thats a natural process, but in my opinion this is less ethical than the japanese practice (in fact some people who worked in read dead redemption get fired after the game npd reports of their first, which were really good).

    Also, I don’t agree with his admiration of reward/punish, I think that he is wrong if he think that a practice like will work. Is true that if you give them everything, then they won’t make effort, but the same can be applied if he acts like a tyran.

    A counterpoint about his look of the japanese industry is level 5, just look at the kind of offices that they give to their employees, Heck that offices looks more comfortable than my home. And still, is one of the companies that has many games that are succesful. Also, theres a lot of innovation in them.

    The problem is not the that market want better graphics, the problem is that they believe that and have put too much focus on that area and in many times, they forget the most important thing, the games have to been fun. Is true that he mentioned it, but I don’t known if knows the kind of fun that we expect.

    • malek86

      Japanese developers aren’t too much better off, though. I remember reading that they have a lot of workhours, and a pretty small salary.

  • http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=2704923 Buntar0

    Read the full interview, sheds a lot of light on Capcom’s structure.

    The whole thing confirms some of the suspected worst case scenarios: giant teams, super expensive games, little to no room for flops, outsourcing not just an option but needed.

    No hope for a return of “old” Capcom under the current circumstances.

  • [The Hunter] Doomrider

    Oh, I forgot to include my username in the mail. Many many thanks to Cheesemeister from NeoGAF for all his work. Glad you could mention it here, it’s incredibly interesting stuff and people should definitely read it.

    And it makes me feel stupid for the way I felt about Inafune and for a few things that I said. I still think he said some things he shouldn’t (I remember something about him badmouthing one of the teams, and it sounded really bad), and he seems a bit full of himself here and there (maybe I’m reading it wrong), but as soon as he explained how the whole thing works, I understood him.

    Not being able to realize your ambitions because everyone else strives for mediocrity, how frustrating is that? His statements about Japanese gaming being dead also make sense now, as do those about westernization.

    But to try and change such an established system is probably impossible. Even more so by himself. Maybe he can open people’s eyes, and it can grow from there… I don’t believe it will happen, it’s not realistic at all, sadly.

    I was so ignorant about this stuff that it’s not even funny.

    It’s also rare for a Japanese developer of his caliber to be this outspoken… I wonder if that will end up harming him in the future. I hope not. And I hope he realizes his vision, regardless of how well they will sell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AllenSmithee Samuel Smithee Bateman

    Man, he’s looking to be a total boss. He echoes a lot of my opinions, and I agree with pretty much all of that.

    The guys at Capcom are losers, why not say goodbye?!

  • FireCouch

    “players’ demands have reached a stage where their expectations are so high, it’s impossible to fully satisfy them.”

    That’s completely true. People who play games are such spoiled dicks lately.

    • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

      Oh yeah, I totally was gonna comment about that but then seemingly forgot.

      I think players demands are quite easily achieved, it is really just 5 things they want
      1) Gorgeous Graphics and games fully voiced
      2) Lenghty and Satisfying Single Player Modes
      3) Enjoyable and Lasting Multiplayer Modes
      4) Innovation
      5) Costless or low cost lasting meaningful DLC

      Well thats what I gather from all the articles Ive read on this here site. Incorporating those demands in every game isnt a herculean task, I think.

      • http://twitter.com/Ale598 Ale598

        Don’t talk like your demands are the demands of everybody else. I for one has learned to play “mediocre” games just because I like the art style or story, like FF14.

        • Sakurazaki

          He’s obviously not referring to you, then.

        • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

          Based on feedback, I would say that fans demands…were not met…with FF14. Positives for that game come with so much criticism, or are often met with people saying, wait 6 months or wait until it hits the PS3.

  • Jaxx-Leviathan

    His co-workers didn’t bother talking to him about resigning? Wow, he must have been some major ass around them… or they are shallow people who doesn’t care for their colleagues.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zura-Wig/100001588424455 Zura Wig

    I hope he gets to work with a company that embodies both Eastern and Western developers…he seems like he’s ready to accept both culture’s ways of making games.

  • Tokyo Guy

    Ah this is quite a quagmire to reply to…For what it’s worth the Rockman series is one of my most favorite game series of all times, and indeed the titular character one of my most favorite characters ever. I have either owned or played all of the Rockman games, and done so via legal ways at that. With that said, I really don’t care about the departure of Inafune. The fact that it took him this long to suddenly realize how Japanese companies work either says a lot about his aptitude or else it’s a front for an entirely different reason. Japanese companies are all about doing what you’re told and undeserving promotions. People usually get where they are here through seniority and subservience, not through initiative and competitiveness. And yes, he is entirely correct: the people who make these companies what they are are almost never actual valued or rewarded for doing such. They get lifetime employment and the benefits that it entails, and the company gets the real rewards.Why it is that it took Kenji Inafune over 20 years to realize this is a total mystery, and hence my earlier comment about there being other issues behind the scenes, ones that he isn’t speaking about. I’m not sure if he speaks English, BTW (can anyone confirm?) and in the event he doesn’t, it’s going to be mighty hard to work for any foreign game company when he can’t even communicate, despite being such a “valuable asset” as he feels himself to be. Platinum Games and Level 5 stand as a direct counterweight to his claims that things have stagnated. I dare anyone to play Bayonetta or Vanquish, for example, and tell me these are “sub-par” games made by zombie employees. Hell, just look at Sega and how many Yakuza games it’s made in the past few years: that’s not apathy, that’s dedication. Play Solatorobo for the DS (which despite being less than a week old has already been slashed in price) and tell me that isn’t just plain brilliance. And seriously, is there anything more ironic than Kenji Inafune-a man who’s entire career revolved around churning out the same game dozens of times over-complaining that the Japanese game market lacks creativity? Why not take a look in the mirror before signing the obituaries of the many Japanese companies that DO actually put out some amazing software.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos

Popular