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Inafune: Japanese devs 'need to accept they've fallen behind'

Mega Man creator says country's game creators needs to start over

Outspoken dev Keiji Inafune, who is known for creating and nurturing dozens of Capcom's most iconic franchises, has lashed out at the Japanese development world, saying it needs to acknowledge it is no longer able to compete with the West in its current form.


Not one to mince words, Infafune took the stage at GDC to describe the Japanese development industry as "very closed minded", suggesting it's become complacent by relying on long-forgotten victories.

"The Japanese games industry has become like a frog in a well. It is very closed minded," he said (via Develop).

"There is a conscience and desire to win missing. We, the Japanese, have forgotten all about that. Back in the day we grew used to winning. At some point these winners became losers, and not acknowledging or accepting that has lead to the tragic fate of Japanese games."

Inafune left his position as Capcom's global head of production two years ago to found two new companies. The first, Intercept, is a game production house, while its sister company, Comcept, focuses on producing a broader range of entertainment such as books, music and videos.

At GDC, the former Capcom exec said he's embarrassed to find that Japanese games feel dated.

"It's embarrassing, but it feels like Japanese games are just memories. It's rare that we see anything new," read one of the slides in his presentation. "They are now just great, great memories."

He then suggested that a new generation of gatekeepers were to blame, saying the only way the Japanese industry can overcome its funk is by sucking up its pride, admitting he's right, then building it back up from scratch.

"Perhaps the folks who are now running the show in the Japanese games industry are those who simply jumped on a bandwagon. The creations that measured up to global standards were crafted by our predecessors."

"There is something you must do to win. You must acknowledge your loss, and start over again. We are humans, and have our own pride, but we cannot win if we keep that pride up. We must believe 'I will win.'"