In an interview with Hiroko Tabuchi of the New York Times, head of Capcom R&D, Keiji Inafune, discusses at length what he feels is keeping the Japanese games industry from being able to globalise its products and attract a wider audience.
Inafune touches upon subjects such as investment, sticking to the formula and studying Western markets as part of his concerns. In a surprisingly candid statement, he then goes on to comment on differences in vision between himself and Capcom’s management:
Can you do what you want to do at Capcom?
I’d like to think so, but it’s becoming more difficult. I’m strong-arming a lot of things through, but I’m not sure how much more I can do. I don’t share the same management vision as the company.
I want to make games that travel overseas, but Capcom hasn’t taken globalization seriously. I want to study how Westerners live, and make games that appeal to them.
We’d like to point out that this doesn’t necessarily mean Inafune is looking to jump ship. He’s simply highlighting what one could gather from a little common sense — that when a company as a whole has been operating a certain way for over two decades, it’s difficult for a single person to change the vision of the entire organization, regardless of their position.
But Inafune has more to say. He continues, stating that he believes Capcom’s incentives are inadequate and says that it’s hard to tell just who’s in charge. He also comments further on the management:
“I’ve been fighting for many years now to change these things one by one. But the business side is resisting change. They think developers are stupid and don’t understand business. That’s why I can’t be on the board of directors.
That’s the difference between Capcom and Nintendo. At Nintendo, 80 percent of the board is from development. At Capcom, it’s zero. All the business side cares about is protecting their own interests.”
Inafune-san has a lot more to say on the growth of the industry and Capcom’s recent faults when it comes to globalization, so click over to the interview and give it a read.