Translated: Keiji Inafune’s Exit Interview

Translated: Keiji Inafune’s  Exit Interview (photo)

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Gentle readers, before you say, “More on Inafune, Narcisse?!,” consider this: the man created Mega Man.

Mega Man.

He worked at one company for more than two decades, steering it to great success in the hyper-competitive Japanese video game market. And he walked away from all of that. That doesn’t happen everyday.

So, the most telling things about the three-hour interview wherein his separation from Capcom gets explained are the notes of futility and angst that Inafune strikes when speaking of his tenure. The translation comes by way of the NeoGAF forums [http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=411847], home to the most dedicated gamer communities on the web. The interview originally ran in Japan’s 4Gamer magazine.

KI: 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. 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.

4G: I think I know what you mean, but please elaborate.

KI: Well, when I was about 20, I was really passionate and entered the game industry, but now I’m in my mid-40s. It’s a matter of my age. My generation is, for better or worse, holding the game industry back.

4G: Do you mean that the system of companies committing to employ for life is spoiling people?

KI: That’s right. There are a lot of people who take their company’s commitment for granted and don’t work as hard as they should. This could be said of the entire industry, and of course Capcom is no exception.

In a previous post about Inafune’s exit, I speculated that he might head west for his next venture. But, in the translated interview, he states rather fervently that he’d never do that:

KI: So if I can, I want to change the Japanese game industry. I don’t want to abandon it. After I leave Capcom, I don’t want to, for example, just work for EA, Activision, and Rockstar. That would be abandoning Japan.

I only know Capcom as a publisher, so I want to see the good and bad parts of other publishers in Japan and overseas, and based upon everyone’s feedback about the Japanese game industry, go about changing it.

4G: So you’re taking on the role of triggering change in the Japanese game industry.

KI: There’s already a first trigger (ed: Inafune-san has long respected Hino-san of Level 5, so this may be who he’s talking about.), and I want to draw on that and be a further driving force.

So to get back to the prior discussion, in many ways I want creators to be more self-aware and quit just being a salaryman. If all of the creators feel the same way, the industry will definitely change. It just takes a change.

One of the more intriguing takeaways from the piece is the fact that the anti-salaryman model Inafune’s looking for already exists. Developers like Hothead Games are staffed by people who left corporate game development behind, people who have found a quicker, more creatively satisfying method of creating interactive entertainment.

Any way you slice it, the article’s a fascination portrait of a storied game-maker at a crossroads. Interestingly, the Capcom blog post where Inafune announced his exit has been taken down. Nevertheless, this 4Gamer interview is also a trove of information on dev studio head counts, profit and loss considerations and the corporate culture of one Japanese video game company.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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