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Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune on crowdfunding's unexpected side effects

"Once the Kickstarter began, the goal became to make the Kickstarter a success. The goal sort of shifted toward that side. All the decisions then were based on the Kickstarter, not based on Red Ash."

Chris Kerr

November 12, 2015

2 Min Read

"Once the Kickstarter began, the goal became to make the Kickstarter a success. The goal sort of shifted toward that side. All the decisions then were based on the Kickstarter, not based on Red Ash."

- Keiji Inafune on the problem with crowdfunding.

Comcept president and Keiji Inafune is no stranger to Kickstarter, and it'd be fair to say that the Mega Man creator's track record when it comes to crowdfunding has been mixed. 

Inafune's first attempt was an unreserved success, with his Mega Man pseudo-sequel, Mighty No. 9, smashing its $900,000 Kickstarter target. The project ended up receiving $3.8 million from 67,226 backers, before taking in another $186,380 in PayPal donations. 

However, Inafune's second Kickstarter project, Red Ash, failed to meet expectations. The game limped towards its $800,000 goal - a total that Inafune admitted wouldn't allow him to make the game he envisioned - before finishing with just $519,999 in donations. This time around only 6,550 people backed the project. 

In a recent interview with USGamer, Inafune opened up about his failed Kickstarter campaign, explaining how the pressures of crowdfunding can lead developers astray. 

"One thing I noticed about the Red Ash campaign, or rather about the team, is that up until the Kickstarter campaign started, the team really wanted to make the game—it was all about making Red Ash happen," explained Inafune.

"But once the Kickstarter began, the goal became to make the Kickstarter a success. The goal sort of shifted toward that side. All the decisions then were based on the Kickstarter, not based on Red Ash. I think that's one of the big things—bad things—that happened to the team.

"So I gathered the team members together, and I told them, "Doing a successful Kickstarter is important, but that's not our final goal. Our final goal is to make Red Ash happen, to make this game. So even if we fail at Kickstarter, that's totally fine; that's one option we'll explore. It if doesn't work, we'll go to the next option. We'll find something else."

Read the full interview over on USGamer

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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