By TheBooya 8 Comments
It’s now been 6 months since I left Capcom to start my own company. I spent 3 years at Capcom, working as the director of production where I helped to build the product development organization in the US.
During that time, I had the opportunity to meet and work with Keiji Inafune, the head of global R&D at Capcom. As most of you are aware, news broke today that he has decided to leave Capcom. This comes as surprising news to many, but I wanted to take a moment to thank him for all that he did for us.
From the first time I met Inafune-san, he showed interest in what we were doing at Capcom US. At the time, we weren’t reporting to him or Japan R&D – Capcom US was a standalone group. As the years passed, Inafune-san became more and more interested in Western Development and in our Capcom US group. He had already engaged Grin to make Bionic Commando, and Blue Castle to make Dead Rising 2, so he had high hopes for the Western expansion of the company.
In 2009 we shifted to reporting to Inafune-san. Prior to that, my interaction was usually brief – we would have quick meetings, or see each other in green light meetings in Japan. Once we started reporting directly to him, the length and quality of meetings increased exponentially, and I got to spend some time getting to know one of our great industry luminaries.
I’ve been blessed in my career having the opportunity to work alongside great industry forefathers like Mark Turmell, Ed Boon, and George Gomez. When I got to Capcom, I never thought in that I would get to hang out and crack jokes over dinner with Inafune-san.
Even though some people in our company doubted that the West would bring any value, Inafune-san believed in our cause very strongly. He brought over large teams of Japanese producers, designers, and artists to meet with us and potential external development partners. He was adamant that if the Japanese didn’t listen, observe, and learn from the Western market, that it would mean the downfall of their industry.
Every time we met, whether it was in work meetings or after hours, Inafune-san would repeat his support for our cause in the US. He challenged assumptions, pushed us to think outside the box, question our intentions, but he always had our back. Capcom was a very special place to work, and working with Inafune-san and was a fantastic time in my career. It won’t be the same without him and I’m excited to see what he does next.Thank you for all of your support, Inafune-san, and believing in us when many others didn’t. It was an honor and a privilege to have worked for you.
From my Beefy Media blog.