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 Mega Man  Creator, Key Exec Inafune Quits Capcom

Mega Man Creator, Key Exec Inafune Quits Capcom

October 29, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

October 29, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Mega Man creator and 23-year Capcom veteran Keiji Inafune has left his position as head of global production at the company, apparently with the sentiment that he's done all he can do in that position.

"A manager's work means evaluating your subordinates and speaking your dreams," wrote Inafune in a blog post entitled "Sayonara", as translated by consumer weblog Kotaku. "Anyone who can do both of those can be a manager. I thought that when I came here, and I still think that now."

Inafune, who also led creation of franchises like Lost Planet and Dead Rising, among others, began at Capcom as a character designer. Through his long tenure at the company, he rose to the key position of research and development head as well as global production head: "There's nowhere higher for me to go," he writes.

In recent years, however, Inafune became known for his candid criticisms of the Japanese game industry, somewhat infamously stating that it's "finished" at last year's Tokyo Game Show. Just in September of this year, he said he felt Japan was "at least five years behind" its counterparts in the West, and that the titles he saw on offer at this year's TGS were "awful."

As Capcom's struggled with disappointing sales of its titles and the strong yen, he's been critical of his own company in particular, stating the veteran publisher is "barely keeping up." His departure follows yesterday's announcement of the company's declining profits, plagued by a strong yen and disappointing sales of its titles, especially the recent Lost Planet 2.

"I'm leaving Capcom with the intention of starting my life over," he writes in his farewell post. However, he says he has no plans to take a hiatus from game development; although he doesn't illustrate specific future plans, he's recently been clear about wanting to "study how Westerners live, and make games that appeal to them."

Inafune is not the only major Japanese development figure to dictate a clear desire to work with Western paradigms; yesterday as Capcom reported its financial travails, Bethesda Softworks parent ZeniMax announced its acquisition of Resident Evil originator Shinji Mikami's new Tango Gameworks studio, a move that brings Mikami into its employ.

"People that really know me, can see where I'm coming from," writes Inafune. "I'm not a regular dude. It's probably because I'm strange."

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