Inafune Trying To Build A Company That Rewards Developers For Good Games

By Ishaan . September 18, 2012 . 10:30am

After Keiji Inafune stepped down from his position at Capcom in 2010, he formed three new companies of his own, the most notable being a development studio named Comcept, which comes up with a game concept, and collaborates with external studios to execute on it.

 

Now that Inafune has struck out on his own, he says he’s starting to learn things that he couldn’t before—one of them being a developer’s viewpoint, as opposed to a publisher’s.

 

“That was part of the motivation behind me leaving Capcom,” Inafune says in an interview with Gamasutra. “I learned everything about the publisher’s viewpoint of the business from Capcom; now I’m learning everything about the developer’s side of it.”

 

Inafune says that he feels Japan is home to many talented developers, but the problem is that none of these developers have the power to put that talent to use, or that the companies they work for have failed to notice their talent entirely, which limits the kind of work they can do.

 

Inafune says he hopes to help change this, and that he’s starting by “digging up a lot of talent” from his collaboration with Marvelous AQL on Soul Sacrifice for the PlayStation Vita. Marvelous AQL and Inafune are also collaborating on KAIO: King of Pirates for the Nintendo 3DS.

 

Speaking with regard to Comcept, Inafune says: “I’m trying to make a company where the developers feel more of a reward for making great products. I’d like to succeed at that, and I hope that inspires other outfits to see if they can duplicate that success.”


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  • http://wwwdonicwebstartscom.webstarts.com/ donicx

    cool

  • Tales_of_Master

    So Inafune is now trying to create a haven for Japanese developers after seeing the dark side of the gaming world with Capcom….WOW Capcom scarred him bad O_O

    • Kaihedgie

       What makes you think this has anything to do with Capcom? Good gravy, you people can never let anything go, can you

      • Tales_of_Master

         I have nothing against Capcom, but I thought it was funny how extreme he is in trying to change the way developers are treated by their employers. It’s obvious that he is doing that because of how he was treated by Capcom. I wasn’t hating, I was just stating my observation.

        • Kaihedgie

           Again, what makes you think this has anything to do with Capcom?

          • http://chronotwist.deviantart.com/ JustThisOne

            “That was part of the motivation behind me leaving Capcom,” Inafune says in an interview with Gamasutra.
            “I learned everything about the publisher’s viewpoint of the business
            from Capcom; now I’m learning everything about the developer’s side of
            it.”

          • Kaihedgie

             Don’t see how that scared him off and I’m pretty sure his attitude for leaving was because of the industry as a whole, not just one company in particular.

          • http://chronotwist.deviantart.com/ JustThisOne

            @Kaihedgie:disqus Perhaps. But I’m just pointing that’s probably the reason A thinks that it has to do with Capcom. You have to admit, it does seem like that’s what he was implying. But I would say “scaring him off” is a pretty strong statement.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VW2SOKE43GW2JHDK3BULDCKX54 Zeta

            Because he’s been complaining about it for years.

    • http://chronotwist.deviantart.com/ JustThisOne

      I wouldn’t say it’s the dark side of the gaming world… I suppose he just saw things that he’d like to do differently. Now that he’s seeing things from developer’s point of view, he’s just changing it up.

    • SLick123456789111

       What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

  • Godmars

    Hopefully if a move like this doesn’t change the JP game industry, it can re-departmentalize it. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Mc-Devitt/100002626261475 Stephen Mc Devitt

    Inafune’s a good man. Capcom screwed themselves with the closing of Clover Studios and now PlatinumGames are on a winning streak with great games. Let’s cross our finger Yoshinori Ono will leave Capcom because he’s the last good person from Capcom since Seth Killian’s departure.

    Keiji Inafune, Shinji Mikami, Hideki Kamiya, Yoshinori Ono and Seth Killian. Without those five, Capcom is as good as dead.

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

      No one’s going to deny that Capcom have lost a lot of good talent over the years (just like other companies, including Sony and Square Enix), but to say that they’re “as good as dead” is kind of crazy. Capcom are expecting some of their highest profits this fiscal year.

      • nirvana123

        But Dragons Dogma didn’t meet what they wanted they wanted ten million copies solid if i remember correctly. Also DmC no matter what I think of the game and Ninja theory will not sell 5 million because no other game in the series has and the poor pr they have so I’m stumped. 

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

          Capcom have never once said they expected Dragon’s Dogma to sell 10 million copies in any of their earnings forecasts. The game’s producer joked about it once, but it was very much a lighthearted comment that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.

          Now, ultimately Dragon’s Dogma did sell under expectations (2.5 million, if I recall correctly), but on the upside, they have a new brand that they believe can grow in popularity, and in the long-term, that’s what’s important.

          I also have no idea where you pulled the 5 million number for DmC from. 

          DmC Devil May Cry is expected to sell over 2 million. No one has mentioned anything even near 5 million. Do your research if you intend to get into these kinds of discussions, please.

          • nirvana123

            It was what i remembered Im sorry i just researched it now and your right.

          • Shaun Huseman

            I actually believe it was 1.5 million for Dragons Dogma (and it honestly may have done that much, or close to it anyways).

            DMC was 2 million. Which I hope fails miserable due to the doucheness of the story and character attitudes (goes for the enemies as well). The whole thing feels very juvenile. 

        • Godmars

          How is ten million a realistic number? Nevermind DmC’s 5 million especially considering “fan” reaction.

          If Capcom is honestly setting those kinds of goals then all they’re going to do is linger, especially if all they can do are minor tweaks to Monster Hunter.

      • DietSoap

        Capcom also expected Dragon’s Dogma to sell 10 million and DmC to sell 5 million (about twice as much as the best selling Devil May Cry game, despite all the Devil May Cry fans hating it), and I seriously doubt they expected Street Fighter X Tekken to flat out bomb. I wouldn’t go off of what Capcom expects, unless it’s to assume the opposite.

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

        @twitter-15803207:disqus @nirvana123:disqus @godmars:disqus All three of you could do with more reading/Google search skills and less baseless arguments. Here:

        RE6, DmC and Dragon’s Dogma forecasts: http://bit.ly/LuYaz3

        Maybe you should try actually looking things up next time, instead of starting up a debate based on false information.

    • SLick123456789111

      I’d also say too that PlatinumGames(Clover) “benefited” from the departure from Capcom.
      Besides being able to flex their creative juices , they are now in a pretty good standing relationship with Nintendo.
      It doesn’t get much better or higher than that in this industry.

      Now we’ll just have to wait & see how successful Inafune becomes. Which I’m sure he’ll no doubt succeed just as how PG’s has overtime.

  • Shaun Huseman

    I love how people act like Inafune is some gaming god. He preaches innovation and new mechanics, yet out of all the games he does now, the only one that looks good is Soul Sacrifice, which isnt really a new concept. And his other games do nothing new.

    His new Zombie game with ninja’s? That sure isnt a huge bunch of cliches is it?

    • ZEROthefirst

      So appearantly because you think only Soul Sacrifice looks good that means he must be bad at this right? You’ve played all of these new games he and his company are working on too, to know exactly how they play and feel as well I’m guessing?

      A zombie game with ninjas, oh no it’s a bad thing because of it’s cliches! So here’s the easy thing to say: “I haven’t played any of these games yet, so I’m not going to run around and complain about something I don’t know anymore. As long as the gameplay is solid and it’s fun then that’s all that matters in a game.”

      • Type9

        Shaun Huseman said cliches were a ‘bad thing’ or did he say that they aren’t new/innovative?

        • Shaun Huseman

          Thank you. I never said cliches were a bad thing. As someone stated above, and what I agree with completely, is that because something has been done before, doesnt mean it is bad at all. Also like someone pointed out, 99% of anything is pretty much derivative. 

          And Im perfectly fine with that. What Im not fine with is a developer calling out other ones who make much better games than he does and also backs it with actual product. Inafune is correct about business models in the japanese games industy. Its archaic, leads to less productivity and coordination in this day, and costs way more money and leaves them a step behind still when it comes to the technical side of things. I still definitely feel Japan is way ahead in story mechanics and character development/presentation compared to cookie cutter/macho/make your own hero blandness that is in the West.

          But when Inafune says games developers do nothing new and arent innovative enough, or dont go out of their comfort zone, I call utter BS. Especially if he wants to make that point, he is doing a horrible job of doing so by his own actions

           

    • Paradox me

      I don’t remember him explicitly preaching innovative gameplay mechanics, but rather expressing his interest in seeing Japanese developers leave their comfort zone and become more ambitious as they were in the past.

      Perhaps his current lineup won’t change the face of the Japanese industry (which is something gamers put on him following his statements), but he is following through with at least one of his points of criticism: creating new brands. 

      It pretty much goes with the territory of starting fresh, but he voluntarily left a prominent position at Capcom to do so. 

      Also, maybe wait until we actually see what YAIBA is all about before we write it off, m’kay?

    • SirRichard

      Inafune preaches about how the Japanese games industry is dying and that it needs serious reform more than anything else, mate, and he isn’t alone in that line of thought on that side of the industry. He’s also talked about the need for innovation, but that isn’t what he’s focused on.

      As for why people like him, well, take a look at the long list of titles he’s worked on or had a hand in. Every other major Capcom franchise bar Monster Hunter owes something to him, be it just fighting to get the thing greenlit or for actual work such as character design. He’s worked as a producer or executive producer on basically every other major Capcom release up to the time he quit, and even did so on more minor titles like Ghost Trick.

      Plus, he created Mega Man and most of its subseries, Onimusha and Dead Rising. His reputation is well-earned, like him or not.

    • Anime10121

      And you can judge his games better than other people, because? Need I remind you, his titles have yet to be released, and neither Kaio or Yaiba have had anything more than concept videos released, in fact Yaiba doesn’t even have a full title yet. Soul Sacrifice is the ONLY one that has actually had actual gameplay from an actual game shown, the other two were merely concept videos, nothing more, nothing less.

      How can you call a concept video, which barely showed anything at all “a huge bunch of cliches”?  Newsflash, 99% of ideas nowadays take inspiration from existing genres/materials.  It is extremely rare for something to break the mold and be completely innovative, considering all the ideas, properties, and products that have been released in the last century or so.

      While I am a fan of Inafune’s Capcom products like the Megaman X, Legends, Zero, and ZX series, and (the original) Dead Rising, I’m not going to judge ANY of his new materials, until, you know, THEY ACTUALLY RELEASE (especially, at least until gameplay trailers are seen instead of just concept videos)!

      • Shaun Huseman

        Ah, so you mean to tell me that when someone discusses a game and gives their ideas and express what they want to be like, that it doesnt give you a grasp of how the game will be or what it will be about? Nonsense.

        Inafune has preached about innovation. He has shown none.

    • TheRealMalek

      Gaming god ? no.. Guy who knows what he’s talking about yes.

      Maybe his games aren’t inovative, good looking, etc…

      But aren’t you forgetting something, like, really important ?

      F U N. if games are fun to play i can’t care less about the rest…

      • Shaun Huseman

        Oh please, not you Real Malek, but Luna Kazemaru, peopel bolster Inafune up to ungodly proportions because of what he says. Yes, he made some good games when a company was backing him. Now that he is on his own, he hasnt done ANYTHING worthwhile, besides Soul Sacrifice looking good, but like I said, it’s only a different take on Monster Hunter. 

        He spouts off so much stuff from his mouth yet he doesnt follow it himself. His work since he left Capcom speaks for that.

        And thats all good and well if you play games for fun. I play them for fun as well, but also to get something out of them in the way of story. So far, Inafune has shown me neither.

        He doesnt speak as a whole for the Japanese industry. In fact, besides their business models that need to change, the Japanese games industry is EXACTLY the same as the Western market. I love how people act like Skyrim/Mass Effect/Assassins Creed (while good), are these innovative products that just spawned. All they are, ESPECIALLY Skyrim/Fallout, are the same exact western gameplay styles that have been done for years, just with a newly added coating of paint.

        • SirRichard

          What, you wanted him to magic games out of the air as soon as he left Capcom? Mate, his Comcept company isn’t even two years old and it’s already working on putting out a PSV exclusive and a 3DS exclusive while still looking for talent. That takes time, especially when you’re a brand new company. He doesn’t have Capcom’s resources any more, he didn’t just bring staff with him to the new company. Devkits needed to be acquired, engines needed to be established/licenced, partnerships needed to be made (with Marvelous and Sony, for instance), basic design work needed to be done before development could start proper. For both games, and they’re on different platforms, remember.

          It sounds to me like you’re just really annoyed by what’s he said about the Japanese side of the industry rather than anything he’s done, going by your rant at the end there. No-one said he spoke for the whole industry (no, not even I, “he’s not alone” isn’t everyone), and you clearly haven’t heard much about the Japanese industry if you think it’s exactly like the West. Go look up Square Enix’s higher-ups talking about the differences between them and Eidos Montreal, or any other article on this site about Japanese devs commenting on their Western partners, it’s rather enlightening.

          • Shaun Huseman

            Then maybe he shouldnt talk so big before he even has anything to show. That’s his problem. He is the one who decide to leave the company an start it up. Lofty ideals arent the only thing that gets a game made Im afraid. 

            Ive heard plenty about the differences. And what it boils own to is the architecture of how game developments works on the business side of things. You sound like one of the people who thinks all Japanese developers should do things exactly how Western developers do. So pretty much focus on graphics first and gameplay second. Whereas its the other way around with the Japanese. The biggest problem with the Japanese side of things is that they need to coordinate teams better and have them work in tandem, sharing their findings and preparing more on the technological side of things. Western companies arent any more likely to take huge risks than Japanese game companies.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            He seems to have multiple games in development; I at least remember Kai’O and Soul Sacrifice. For a new small company, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were resource limitations relative to their ambitions – but don’t quote me on that.

            My point is, sure, he hasn’t produced a “proof” of sorts for his ideals, but bagging on that point alone seems to be a mere temporary statement; his games are gonna come out sooner or later. Actually, he has already released J. J. Rockets, which (being a mobile game) I assume will fund his big projects.

            I have nothing in particular to say about his perspectives (yet). He’s free to have some ideals, even if he can’t back them up immediately. That’s just how ideals are: They’re not easy to achieve/maintain. If it’s taking him a tad longer to reach that goal, I’d rather watch on silently (if not encourage) instead of saying “Why aren’t you there yet?! Why aren’t you there yet?!”.

          • SirRichard

            So what you’re saying is, it’s his fault entirely that his new company needs time and resources to impress you? He talks big to promote his games, he’s far from the only industry head to do that and nowhere near the worst when it comes to talking big (see: Peter Molyneux about any of his games ever). You haven’t given him a chance to do anything yet, mate, at least wait for one of his games to come out before saying he’s the worst.

            “You sound like one of the people who thinks all Japanese developers should do things exactly how Western developers do.”
            And you sound like one of those people who think they can do no wrong and that the West can do no right. Prove that the West does graphics first and then gameplay. No, what Capcom producers had to say about a small British company doesn’t reflect on every developer in the West, it reflects on that developer. East and West both have their problems, I’m not even sure why you brought the latter up.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      Man got to love when people like this post like they know what the hell they are talking about. Since when did any of us say he is a god? He is speaking major truth in the Japanese side I’m sorry you can understand this.

    • revenent hell

      Im not an inafune fan myself. Honestly I think he is just a  buffoon.

      I dont disagree with certain aspects of certain statements of his in particular how people in this business in japan should be treated better(my words not his),personally ive just attributed this to their culture and as such that is what needs to change the way things are but anyhoo

      I think not just for the video game industry but all business’ need to be innovative and bring new and great ideas to the table(for wich happy employees do this hint hint) and not just be content with what is but I dont think that means completely becoming something else entirely since when Inafune speaks I also feel he makes it sound like the Japanese companies should become more westernised and I totally disagree there 100%. I dont play to many games from my own country and I dont realy like to many of them either I think when a game is made no matter what part of the world its from brings that charm of their corner to it to the rest of the world you know? Just because western games for one reason or another are selling well dosent mean it will always be so. 
      Western concepts are fine if you like them but when he makes mention of eastern vs weatern concepts it makes me think hes trying to get Japan on a current fad that has hit and I dont think it should be this way,it shouldnt be following a phase of what sells it should be about creating new ones.

      While many people take what he says any wich way they want I just find him to be redundant myself, he preaches endlessly about this or that and while he may have a game or two that looks good and playable I dont think they appear to be setting any sort of bar themselves but following in the paths of what will produce an income. Thats not thinking outside the box its just iplementing what is currently selling and that is not innovative to me even if the idea of “sacrifice” sounds cool its nothing more than using health for skills at the end of the day and perhaps permadeath I havent kept track overly much on his games as of late. Being a follower is not being a leader.

      I think no matter where a game orriginates  shaing ideas and implementing new ways and such is fine and does nothing but bennefit the community as a whole but when he speaks of it its not the feel I get from him and I disslike the way he comes across.

  • riceisnice

    But what is a good game? One that is genuinely beautiful with rich art, storyline, gameplay? Or just one that makes the money?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VW2SOKE43GW2JHDK3BULDCKX54 Zeta

      Considering Inafune’s grudge against Capcom for their business practices, I doubt he was talking about money.

    • Peace Legacy

      “Good” is extremely subjective when it comes to gaming, one’s “good” can be another’s “crap”
      With different in values, cultures, things like rich art, storyline and even gameplay to a certain extent, can produce a mix reviews
      Therefore, to simplify matter, good game should just be a game that is enjoyable to its TARGET AUDIENCE GROUP. If it can achieve that, then it has done a good job fulfilling its purpose, therefore, can be a refereed as a good game.
      This is also one of the reason why I had problem with Keiji recently. I used to respect him greatly (since he is the one who help create my childhood favorite series), yet his recent ideology in gaming have left a sour taste in my mouth.
      He thinks that Japanese dev should create game that not only appeal to Japanese people, but also worldwide, for $ sake.
      While there is nothing wrong with that, what he then decided to do was to create games that is clearly Western (Lost planet, Dead Rising, Megaman Universe), then, when he left the company, what he produces so far are mostly western games with japanese dev (except for Kaio, but there is not much information about that yet).
      This is fundamentally corrupt since gaming should not be view as a product, but a cultural piece.
      Let’s use an analogy for example, Japanese cuisine is enjoyable within japan, with some niche market internationally. Since it doesn’t appeal to Western people as much as Western cuisine, does that mean Japanese cuisine should start adapt, compromise, creating specialize foods that cater to the West’s taste?
      There is nothing wrong with that in a business perspective, but what Keiji is doing essentially damage Japanese gaming Culture, something that should be of higher priority than simply $$$

  • Pedro Tavares

    Inafune shut up and get a game out already, I’m pissed at you for apparently dropping Kaio, we haven’t heard anything of it since tytou annonced the game…

    • heartless141

       Soul sacrifice is coming soon.
      please appreciate good people =/

    • DietSoap

      “Marvelous AQL and Inafune are also collaborating on KAIO: King of Pirates for the Nintendo 3DS”

      Why do you people insist on commenting before reading? Good grief.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      Learn to read before you post

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Do you read the article here?T_T

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Ok

  • SirRichard

    It’s good to see him trying to do something new, trying to slowly change his end of the industry in some way. And it’s even better to see that he’s actually going about and doing something to achieve that, I can only hope he holds onto talent better than his peers.

  • http://chronotwist.deviantart.com/ JustThisOne

    He’s making a lot of promises that sound hard to keep, but you gotta give the guy some credit for trying. And because of that, I’m not sure what to make of the comments below. Why be so quick to judge when his games aren’t even out yet? I feel like everyone should just wait and see what he has to offer. That’s what I’m going to do.

    As for rewarding the developers… I wonder how he plans to do that, or what he even means by that. Does he mean raises and promotions? A steak dinner every night? A feeling of triumph for creating a genuinely great and innovative game? Maybe I’m just stupid, but I don’t feel like he’s being very specific.

  • http://epiclyamazing.wordpress.com/ AzureNova

    Inafune is awesomesauce. =^_^=

  • Learii

    he working on Soul Sacrifce right? i wish i can share my idea with him as well lol

  • http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/21421.html?type=4 Kashell

    Stay solid, Inafune.

  • SLick123456789111

    Inb4 “Takes Notes Capcom” comments. . . Because they wont. . . So stop it lol.

    Good on Inafune for trying to do good business.

    Will have a 3DS by the time Kaio comes out I hope. So no rush Inafune.

  • 果林

    Inafune wins developer reward of the year @.@

    • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

      I don’t particularly doubt his abilities, but let’s let his big projects be released first before calling that.

  • Chris Lane

    You rock Inafune

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