Keiji Inafune Reveals Capcom's Past Development Secrets

This isn't strictly Mega Man-related, but given who it focuses on and what he is talking about, we figured the relevance was enough that you might be interested. Keiji Inafune, former Capcom employee of 24 years and who is often hailed as the "Father of Mega Man," recently addressed Kyoto's Ritsumeikan University's film school students in a speech, which was part of a series of "Creative Leadership Seminars" and reported on by Famitsu. There, he would delve into the past and reveal some of the development secrets held by his one-time employer.

One recollection of Inafune's was a time when the creation of anything but sequels at Capcom was forbidden. At the time, the company's management was concerned with risks and had a rule in place which required 70 to 80 percent of new games to be sequels, with the remaining percentage being original titles. In practice, however, "any suggestion for a new title would not receive approval."

Inafune put this rule to the test with Dead Rising and Lost Planet. He expected the proposals to be rejected by management, and they did not disappoint when they saw the prototypes in presentations. As we all know by now, though, Inafune ignored their rejections and saw to it that development continued on the two original titles, a move he feels ultimately saved the company.

He went on to explain that at Capcom, each portion of a game's development cycle receives its own budget, including a budget for creating prototypes. Inafune managed to use this to his advantage by exceeding the "prototype" budget for Lost Planet by 400 percent, believing that by reaching that level, the game will be halfway through development, making a denial by management less likely.

Fortunately for Inafune, Lost Planet and Dead Rising proved successful by selling millions and raising the company's stock price. Had his gambit failed, he expects he would have been "fired for war crimes."

Inafune would go on to express his belief that overseas development was an area of major importance for developers, noting that Lost Planet, Dead Rising, and Street Fighter IV sold 2 million overseas and 200,000 in Japan. He also believes that Japan needs to be aware that while it appears these games are not selling well domestically, it is the correct amount when one takes into consideration the share of Japan's market in the world. "One should not look at a game that becomes a big hit in Japan and mistakenly think that you can still succeed with just selling to the Japanese market," as Andriasang explains.

While one typically thinks of overseas development as referring to North America and Europe, Inafune said developers should think more about the Asian market, China in particular.

All said, it's an interesting look at the structure that once existed within Capcom, parts of which (such as the budget) may continue today. In fact, this would seem to help speak to the importance of the success of the upcoming Mega Man Legends 3 Prototype Version.

Come to think of it, it's interesting in itself that with such a policy towards sequels versus original titles, Inafune would have such a difficult time getting Mega Man Legends 3 going in the first place... though this would explain the surge of Mega Man Battle Network titles we had for a while there, among other things.

Source: Andriasang (via GoNintendo)