Keiji Inafune steps down at Capcom
Keiji Inafune is stepping down from his job at Capcom, where he holds the position of Head of R&D Management Group and Consumer Games R&D Division and Contents Management Division. His departure will mark the end of an era that began in 1987, when Capcom hired the 22 year-old as an illustrator.
In his long career, Inafune has been a major figure at Capcom, where he’s influenced a number of the company’s key franchises, such as Onimusha, Dead Rising, Resident Evil 2, Lost Planet and Street Fighter 4, to name just a few.
However, he will be remembered, above all else, as the “father of Mega Man.” This statement can be misleading, because he didn’t actually design the character, contrary to popular belief, but he has been heavily involved on most of the Mega Man games, and there have been many.
“It would probably be good for me to sit gracefully in this seat and become a leading figure in the industry, however, I cannot do this. Settling down means death for a creator. As long as you are a creator, you cannot settle down.
Capcom is truly a good company. I love Capcom. Probably more than anyone in the world. However, it’s not always the case that your hopes are realized. Just as it was with the girlfriend I loved long ago.
There was a chance that I could continue to be Capcom’s power. I bet on that chance until the end. The means of both Capcom and myself to be happy. That was surely possible. However, now that chance is completely closed off.”
Inafune appears to rule out the possibility that he’d return to Capcom in the future:
“Capcom must, from here on out, walk without Inafune. I too can not depend on Capcom.”
The exact reasons behind Inafune’s departure remain unclear, as does his future destinations. But it is clear that he has been dissatisfied at Capcom, and with the Japanese industry. Only last month, he claimed that “Japan is five years behind” the rest of the world, and that “Capcom is barely keeping up.” However, during the same interview he spoke of his desire to lead Capcom and Japan out of the mire by introducing more of a Western influence to Capcom. We wonder what has changed.