Interviews// Head of Capcom R&D: Keiji Inafune

Posted 20 Jul 2007 19:14 by
Keiji Inafune, has one of the most coveted jobs in videogames – he is in charge of game development at Capcom – his full title being Head of Research & Development and Online Business at Capcom.

Inafune-san is 42 years old, though his looks belie this age and he could easily be mistaken for being in his early or mid 30s. He has been at Capcom for over 20 years starting off as graphic designer on the classic Street Fighter (1987), and later designing the hugely popular Rockman series (or "Megaman" as it’s known over here), based around the timeless rock-paper-scissors concept.

More recently, Inafune-san has developed the Onimusha series as well as Dead Rising and Lost Planet Extreme Condition for Xbox 360.

In 2005 he was promoted from corporate officer to senior corporate officer. SPOnG caught up with him at E3 recently for a quick chat about development strategy, what he thought of this year’s show, how he plans to make use of Nintendo’s Wii Fit Balance Board peripheral and more. Read on.

SPOnG: Hi, before we start to talk about all things Capcom – particularly Devil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil 5 – I just wanted to ask you what your general impressions of the new E3 format this year were.

Keiji Inafune: Since E3 has changed so drastically, it’s a completely different show now. Companies have booths in various hotels and to see everyone’s booths you have to go from hotel to hotel. It’s hard to see how other people are doing. It’s very different to how it used to be.


SPOnG: Do you prefer it?

Keiji Inafune: No. I liked the previous style where everybody was in the same area and you could walk from booth to booth to see what other people were doing.


SPOnG: I agree! But why do you think some, if not most, publishers don’t seem to want to return to the old style E3?

Keiji Inafune: My theory on this is that certain publishers ended up with escalating costs and spending more and more money each year until it just got out of hand and then the publishers got together and said ‘this is costing us too much money to do this every year’ – that’s where it came from.


SPOnG: Two titles I mainly wanted to talk to you about today were Devil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil 5. What’s new in Devil May Cry 4? And, what was the thinking behind Resi Evil 5 being set in Africa, for example?

Keiji Inafune: Well, I’m overseeing production on those titles, as well as all Capcom’s other titles, so I can only really answer general questions on those titles. For specific questions you’re better checking out the demos outside – and check with the game’s producer [indicates DMC4 producer, Kobayashi-san] out there.

As for Resident Evil 5, all we’ve done is shown the trailer and we’ve been instructed not to say anything more to anybody. Not just you press guys. Anyone; other than it is scheduled for release next year on PS3 and Xbox 360.
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