Mega Man Creator Keiji Inafune Leaves Capcom

Capcom’s Keiji Inafune, who is famous for creating the legendary Mega Man series of games and was recently promoted to the company’s Global Head of Production, resigned from the company effective at the end of November. However, due to his accrued vacation time, the resignation is essentially immediate.

In his blog post (JIS) announcing to fans his resignation, he explains that he’s “starting his life over”. He feels that after achieving his latest title, there was “nowhere else for (him) to go”, and that he could no longer perform the duties of a manager.

(Translation mine, and probably not very good)

“The job of the manager is to evaluate his subordinates and to speak his dreams. Anyone who can do these two things can be a manager… however, I no longer feel I can do these two things. The authority to evaluate subordinates does not allow one to speak his dreams”

Mr. Inafune, as a result of this, will not be able to complete his work on Mega Man Legends 3, the latest in what he calls his favourite Mega Man game. He revealed this in the beginning of an interview (JIS) with 4Gamer.net. After a lengthly introduction that I’m having problems properly translating, Inafune drops the bomb, right at the beginning of the interview.

“Thank you, but I am leaving Capcom.”

“… What?”

“I quit. An official announcement will be tomorrow, but I might as well put it out there now.”

He later tells them (courtesy of Kotaku) that he does not have the energy or willpower to continue, and that even though he doesn’t want to, he has to quit and recharge. He has stated that he will be taking on a new challenge, though he did not state whether that would be in the games industry or not.

In response, Capcom has told Gamesindustry.biz (reg required) that Jun Takeyuchi will be promoted and take on extra responsibilities, and that Katsuhiko Ichii will become the head of development, in addition to other corporate responsibilities being shuffled. This blow comes on the heels of Capcom lowering their financial outlook in response to a 40% profit decrease in large part due to the poor performance of Dead Rising 2 at retail.

Mr. Inafune has been increasingly grumpy with the Japanese games industry as of late. Back in 2009, he stated that the Japanese industry was “done… finished”, and at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, he stated that Japanese developers were “five years behind” their Western counterparts, and that he wanted to study how Westerners lived to better understand them. Regardless of whether you agreed or disagreed with his comments – I didn’t agree with them at the time – it’s obvious that Mr. Inafune was burnt out. What did it or why is up to speculation, but my feeling is that he’s an exceptionally creative man – he’s also the man behind Lost Planet, Dead Rising and Onimusha, and designed the characters for Breath of Fire – that just got tired of the corporate structure of a large publisher. His frustration has boiled over for years now, and it’s best for everyone – especially him – that he get out and – in his words – recharge.

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