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Inafune: 'I Don't Rely On Metrics Slavishly'

"Just because you know what someone's favorite food is doesn't mean you really know the person," industry veteran Keiji Inafune tells Gamasutra when asked how his new
Ex-Capcom R&D head Keiji Inafune has embarked on development of two social games, but he isn't overly-reliant on metrics, he tells Gamasutra in a new feature interview. His studio, Comcept -- formed April this year -- is developing a social game for each of Japan's big operators -- The Island of Dr. Momo for GREE and J.J. Rockets for DeNA. These companies, like Zynga and others in the West, pursue metrics-driven game development. But does Inafune believe in it? "If you rely on those, then basically what you've got is a set of numbers that don't necessarily tell you anything. Just because you know what someone's favorite food is doesn't mean you really know the person," says Inafune. "So I don't rely on metrics slavishly; I give them quick looks, absorbing them and reflecting them against my own thoughts to analyze what they mean." The Mega Man creator believes that instinct is what separates a developer from a mere computer: "Game creators have to be really good at that internal sort of analysis; otherwise you're just looking toward marketing data for your game ideas, and a computer can do that. No matter how advanced a supercomputer you have in the future, it still can't be creative or imaginative." He also believes that social and video games may converge or evolve into an entirely new form of entertainment in the future: "I think that eventually, we'll see a new kind of game which is neither console nor social, one that overcomes the obstacles that both current game styles have to deal with. I don't know what that's going to be yet, though, so that's why I'm trying to learn more about this market. I know you can't just do the same quick-fire-cash method everyone else does, or else everything's going to be a me-too game." The full interview, in which he discusses what the Japanese game industry is lacking and what he hopes to achieve with his new companies Comcept and Intercept, is live now on Gamasutra.

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