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Gamasutra's Christian Nutt analyzes Capcom's pre-Tokyo Game Show presentation in which R&D head Keiji Inafune insisted: "The Japanese game industry is not dead -- not as long as Capcom's around."

Christian Nutt, Contributor

September 15, 2010

4 Min Read

[Gamasutra's Christian Nutt analyzes Capcom's pre-Tokyo Game Show presentation in which R&D head Keiji Inafune insisted: "The Japanese game industry is not dead -- not as long as Capcom's around."] Capcom's pre-TGS presentation in the gorgeous Gonpachi restaurant in Tokyo, covered in overview by Gamasutra earlier today, showed the company's commitment to high quality, globally-developed games for a global audience -- with creative control in Osaka. Capcom head of R&D Keiji Inafune took the stage to much applause, to present new games to an audience of gathered journalists and developers in Tokyo at a Gamasutra-attended event on the eve of the Tokyo Game Show. "You may remember that a year ago I made a controversial comment that the Japanese game industry was dead," said Infaune. "Tonight's main theme is that the Japanese game industry is not dead -- not as long as Capcom's around." The first game that he showed was the Canada-developed Dead Rising 2, sequel to the Osaka-developed Xbox 360 hit from a few years back. He took the opportunity to announce new Xbox 360-exclusive DLC for the game -- Dead Rising 2: Case: West -- and to mention that the prelude game, Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, which released exclusively to Xbox 360, has sold almost 500,000 units globally "and set a record." He then turned to what became a theme of the evening -- how Capcom is working with external studios and its American counterpart to make sure that all games, here forward, have the creative intent of the main Japan studio. "We were able to work closely with the developer and a lot of Capcom Japan staff were able to work closely with the developer... It's what you'd expect from Capcom, from a Japanese game, but with a lot of Western flourishes thrown in." In fact, at the event, Capcom announced that it is buying Dead Rising 2 developer Blue Castle Games and using it as the basis of an expanded Capcom Games Studio Vancouver. A new, original title announced by Inafune is Asura's Wrath, developed by the Fukuoka-headquartered CyberConnect 2 -- which had previously only worked with Namco Bandai. Said the game's director Seiji Shimoda, "Just making a standard action game would not be the best way to go and we should make something Capcom could not do on their own." "And if I may say that the Japanese game industry is not dead... Because Capcom and us are still here," he added. 
Inafune vouched for the title -- which blends the two studios' styles "We kind of butted heads to get where we are. All this head-butting has luckily resulted in something special. "It's rare for games to give me goosebumps, but when I first saw this concept, and got my hands on it it really did give me goosebumps. It combines the best of Japanese game design with concepts that will appeal around the world." Of course, the biggest announcement was the surprise reboot of Devil May Cry, handled (as long rumored) by Cambridge-based studio Ninja Theory. The title is the result of "1.5 year process to try and meld the East and the West," said the game's San Francisco-based producer, Alex Jones. "I bet some of you saying, 'Capcom USA heading up a title, I don't like that.' Maybe [you have] a negative image. We'll fix that in a minute... As of last year my reach has expanded... So Alex works directly for me. Things are different now at Capcom USA," said Infaune. "We're working very closely with both the developer and Capcom USA to make sure we get the best game possible." Interestingly, after introducing Ninja Theory creative director Tameem Antoniades, Infaune brought out Hideaki Itsuno -- credited as "supervising director" -- to ram home the fact that Japan is wearing the creative pants on this title. "We're basically co-directing this new title," he said. This makes it a tri-continental collaboration -- "like the interactive version of fusion cuisine," said Jones. Inafune closed the presentation dramatically -- making sure the whole audience understood the point he had been driving at with these announcements. He said, "Capcom has no intention of straying from the path we've set out for ourselves, to challenge ourselves and do new things... Even sequels will be given a new approach... We'll continue to do new things as a company." "We will continue along the globalization path, not just making games that sell around the world, but making games around the world and setting up a system within the company that is truly global."
 "The key for us is to not have any fear pushing forward," he finished, before joking "now I'm off to argue with people on the internet."

About the Author(s)

Christian Nutt

Contributor

Christian Nutt is the former Blog Director of Gamasutra. Prior to joining the Gamasutra team in 2007, he contributed to numerous video game publications such as GamesRadar, Electronic Gaming Monthly, The Official Xbox Magazine, GameSpy and more.

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