In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Keiji Inafune gave much praise towards the crowd-funding giant, Kickstarter. The Mega Man creator and Kickstarter alum has been critical of the japanese game industry in the past, but feels Kickstarter is bringing power back to developers and proving demand for games that might not seem commercially viable for publishers.
Inafune cited games like his upcoming Mighty No. 9, the recent surprise from E3, Shenmue 3, and Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night as success stories of Japanese developers bringing back the gameplay they love. “And it’s a good feeling the see that our belief in these projects was not misplaced,” said Inafune, “even though publishers passed over them. We’ve planted a seed and it’s growing. Now we need to deliver on our promises so that the plant can flourish. If we can achieve that, the long-term positive effects will be significant.”
Inafune continued describing his disappointment with game development practices recently and how indie devs are doing it right. “You know, I think the true meaning of game design has been lost in recent years. If you’re an aspiring game designer and you join large team most likely you will be told: ‘Here’s our template. Your job is to make it more… splashy.’ That is not real game design! Things are better in the independent scene – although not everyone there is doing inventive work. But I do see more of a desire to make new types of games in new types of ways. The more creators we have from that side, the better chances our industry has for broadening its overall portfolio, the spread of genres. God, I hope our industry can support those efforts. We need a wider variety of games to play.”
Inafune’s project, Mighty No. 9 broke records on Kickstarter and the success of independent Japanese developers only grows. Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is the most funded game in Kickstarter’s history and Shenmue 3 is on track to potentially beat that record as well. Keiji Inafune’s belief in the platform is very apparent as he announced his next project titled Red Ash before his first Kickstarter game has been released. Read more about Red Ash here.