Facebook Files: Where Will Keiji Inafune Go Next?

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In honour of Inafune and his accomplishments, this had to be the discussion of the week, now that the shock has worn off and everyone’s had a chance to think.


Now that Inafune has stepped away from Capcom, where do you think he should go next, given his talent?


Ishaan wrote:

This is a funny story: Just last month, Spencer and I were talking about Inafune and how unhappy he seemed at Capcom after we ran that New York Times interview he did and sounded off on their management. At the time, we joked about how he’d eventually quit and go straight to Level 5, where he’d have his own Global R&D team, called the "Inafune Eleven."


So let’s talk about this a little more seriously. Where do we all think Inafune’s going to end up?


I’m going to stick with Level 5 because he’s expressed interest in them before. Level 5 are also just starting to move ahead with their global publishing plans, so entering at this point would allow Inafune to help shape the company’s global reputation from the ground up..


It would take some of the heat off CEO, Akihiro Hino, as well — at the moment, he’s L5’s only visionary. There’s plenty of room for Inafune to grow, and eventually, if he still cares, to even join L5’s board of directors.


Samwise wrote:

Hmm, Level 5 would actually be a great place. I’ve seen people say like "He’s not Japanese enough to work there" but I got two things to say to that: First, why is there no room for his action games? Y’know, a new taste at Level 5’s output.


Second, is just what you say Ishaan, he’s not really that un-Japanese, he’s just a nice guy. And I could easily bet that a lot of his Western-er things are just a cause that he loves American movies (you see this a lot in Dead Rising), and also isn’t that how Capcom has been going with everything? Pretty much a whole face of Japanese development has been going that way.


I just really dislike personal attacks on friendly guys because people aren’t fond of his games. I can’t enjoy Mega Man games (except Legend), but he’s such a nice guy who’s done so much, I can’t help but respect him.


Patrick wrote:

Personally I’d love to see him go to Grasshopper Studios and start working with the twisted mind of Suda 51. He’s negative views about Japanese game development and I think Suda 51 is probably the most innovative developer in Japan right now, but his mechanics are usually a little off. So I’d love to see a game with Suda 51’s crazy style and innovation, and Inafune’s solid game play mechanics.


I’m just wondering how this is going to affect Megaman Legends 3. Was he ever even working on the game?


So, where do you think Inafune will go next? Fire away in the comments, and remember to be respectful!

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Image of Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.