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Inafune: Japanese creators are spoiled

Large corporations 'turning creators into salarymen', says Mega Man creator

Mega Man creator, and now ex-Capcom producer, has lashed out at Japanese developers, saying creators are spoiled by their employers' commitment to employment for life.

"The reason why I'm quitting is basically because I think that the game industry itself must change the way it goes about making games," Inafune told 4Gamers (via NeoGAF).

"You might think I'm being hypocritical, but the really big wall that the Japanese game industry is hitting is the changing of its creators into salarymen," he added, explaining that Japan's typical system of employers committing to lifetime employment of staff is spoiling creators.

"There are a lot of people who take their company's commitment for granted and don't work as hard as they should," he said. "I was in the position of being a naysayer, and yet was assured a paycheck the next month. No matter how much one is late or skips work, or even no matter how lousy a game is made, the next month's paycheck was always guaranteed.

He goes on to say that, in that system, developers are better off taking it easy. "Working as hard as you can is your own loss. Not working hard becomes more advantageous. But doesn't that get in the way of making games? You can't make good games by just taking it easy," said Inafune.

This was okay before, says Inafune, but the increasing expectations of gamers, along with the rise of competition and drastic increase in development costs calls for change.

"In the game industry 20 years ago, no matter what kind of game you made, you could sell 200 or 300 thousand copies. If you even made a decent game, it'd sell 500 thousand or a million copies. But those days are over."

Inafune says Western development is different. "Overseas there are more independent developers. For them, the goal is to make a hit, grow the company, sell it or do an IPO, and make lots of money. It's the American Dream.

"[In Japan] if you succeed, you don't get credit, and if you fail, it's your fault. Nothing can be done about it. The game industry isn't at a level where it can value creators and raise them up. It's the same at Capcom."