Translation of an interview with legendary Japanese game designer, Keiji Inafune, where he announces his resignation from Capcom. If anyone doubts that Japan’s “soft power” is in jeopardy, this is an important data point.
KI: 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.
4G: …You’ve got to be kidding.
KI: Well of course, my actual staff asked me not to quit, but you would think that someone from management would want to at least try and stop someone with such skills from leaving, or even ask about it.
KI: That’s fine, though. I expected that. But for a company whose whole business is making and selling games, you’ve got to think that development would be the key point. If you ignore development, the company can’t stand, so that’s the way things currently are.
I can’t say that I haven’t been able to make lots of different things, but I would’ve liked for the development-side to be more trusted in making games.
4G: It isn’t?
KI: No. Not a single member of the board of directors understands games. I didn’t ask to be a board member, but if you don’t have someone who understands games in the position of making those final decisions, there winds up being a business-side that doesn’t understand games and development-side that wants to make games. I feel that’s the biggest problem Capcom will be facing.
4G: So what are the cons of using western developers?
KI: First, you can’t just leave them alone. Even with technical skills, they often lack adequate ideas and concepts for utilizing those skills. 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.
KI: So if I can, I want to change the Japanese game industry. I don’t want to abandon it. After I leave Capcom, I don’t want to, for example, just work for EA, Activision, and Rockstar. That would be abandoning Japan.