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Inafune Confirms Capcom, Level-5 Collaboration

Capcom's Keiji Inafune confirms rumors that the Japanese publisher is working with Level-5 on an unannounced project, describing the studio's Akihiro Hino as "the hardest-working person in the game industry."
Keiji Inafune, Capcom's Global Head of Production, has confirmed rumors that the publisher is working with Fukuoka-based developer Level-5 (Professor Layton, Dark Cloud). In an interview with Japanese business information site Diamond Online (as translated by Andriasang), Inafune described his eagerness to work with Level-5's Akihiro Hino. "This rumor is true," he said. "Right now, the two of us, with our staff, are working together on some truly interesting things. Even though Mr. Hino is younger, he's someone I respect. I wanted to try working with him, so I contacted him." While Inafune was unwilling to discuss details of the the project, he had nothing but admiration for Hino and his studio, saying: "The thing I most respect about Hino is his work ethic. Before I met Hino, I had confidence in the amount of work I was doing, and even thought that maybe I was the hardest working person in the game industry. But after meeting him, I thought, 'I'm probably not number one.'" "The Professor Layton series has shipped 9.5 million units worldwide," Inafune continued. "The Inazuma Eleven series has shipped 2.7 million units domestically. Who wouldn't want to work with someone like Hino, who works hard and also produces results?" Elsewhere in the interview Hino detailed his plans for overseas promotion of Level-5 titles. While members of the studio attended E3 this year, none of their titles were present on the show floor. "Next year or maybe the year after that, we'd like to have Level-5 exhibit at E3," said Hino. "While it's recently become normal for us to show at the Tokyo Game Show, to exhibit at E3 we feel that we have one more mountain to cross." Hino also indicated his hopes to expand the company into Europe, following the recent establishment of Level-5's Los Angeles office. Despite these ambitions, Hino said he has no plans to take the company public. "More than making our company big," he stated, "our number one goal is to develop the Level-5 brand."

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