Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Keiji Inafune: "I Own All the Problems That Came With [Mighty No. 9]"


The saga of Mighty No. 9, Comcept's long-awaited spiritual Mega Man successor, has been one rife with difficulties and frustration. However, amid the game's launch, Keiji Inafune didn't shy away from the criticism: he freely admitting these problems were all on him.



On a recent stream celebrating Mighty No. 9's launch, Keiji Inafune - joined by Comcept team member and translator Ben Judd - answered a number of questions about the development process. Early on in the discussion, Inafune admirably chose to own up to the game's run of problems.


"I want to word this in a way to explain some of the issues that come with trying to make a game of this size on different platforms," he began. "I’m kind of loath to say this because it’s going to sound like an excuse and I don’t want to make any excuses. I own all the problems that came with this game and if you want to hurl insults at me, it’s totally my fault. I’m the key creator. I will own that responsibility."


Inafune continues to address more topics about Mighty No. 9's development. Chief among his comments, the now infamous - but grossly misquoted - "It's better than nothing" line. The original quote, coming in around an hour and nine minutes into the stream reads:


"We can hope if things go well, there will be sequels. I can tell you what, I’m not getting my 2D side-scrolling fill. At the end of the day, even if it’s not perfect, it’s better than nothing. At least that’s my opinion.”


The thing is, Inafune did not say "it's better than nothing." These are Ben Judd's words, who traditionally adds his own thoughts when translating for Inafune. It's an honest mistake on Judd's behalf, one that's unfortunately yielded confusion, miss-attribution, memes and a response from Sonic the Hedgehog.


The whole stream has a lot of interesting and insightful quotes. You can watch it here, or read select portions below (via Kotaku).


Why making 10 versions of the game at once was a huge mistake:
He said “In my many years at Capcom, and Capcom was known for their multi-platform strategy. But never did they ever do 10 SKUs all at the same time, 10 different versions all for one title.” Traditionally, this is true—I know, we worked with a lot of different porting houses—usually you have the base game and work on the port after the game was done. In this case, it was do the base game and do the port all at the same time. it ended up being a huge amount of work, more than they actually estimated. Definitely, when they looked at the project, they were wrong about a lot of things. They underestimated how much time, work was going to be necessary. All of those things create a huge amount of pressure.
Whether Inafune’s attention was devoted enough to Mighty No. 9's quality:
I’ve [Ben Judd] seen a lot of different comments that suggested Inafune-san was only focused on being a business man and taking the IP and making anime or manga or branching off into a lot of different directions. To your average everyday person, it’s going to seem that way. But the reality is, during production, the key creative pieces really happen for the first 70% and then beyond that, it’s all about doing porting and bug testing. I promise you Inafune-san’s time is best spent focused on taking this IP in new directions. Again, as I said, to be an independent studio and get a chance to own your IP, it just doesn’t happen. It does bring in other opportunities, which is great. I guarantee you [that] you want your independent creators and developers to have their IP, you want them to be able to take them in different directions. It gives you more choices as gamers. I 100% stand by this sentiment.

54 comments:

  1. At least he is honest about his mistakes, I'll give him that.

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  2. I feel bad for Inafune, so much flack he gets over this. Personally I enjoyed MN9 and didn't mind the delays as I knew there obviously was issues with all the porting going on. Heck if you were a backer you got updates that the porting was causing issues. The final product to me is quite good and I was glad to back it when I did. I hope for a sequel in the future and for people to be a bit more tolerant with Inafune since this was after all his first independent game. A learning experience for him as well as all of us. I'm certain that next time, things will be a lot smoother and faster and with staggered releases for various consoles to allow more time for production but also to get the game out sooner. Additionally I'm really glad you covered, "it's better than nothing." since Inafune did not say that, the translator did and Inafune in that regards was misquoted. Hopefully this word will get around and help clear up some confusion, since it'd be a shame otherwise.

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    1. Thank your for your positivity! I agree completely. Mighty No. 9 has been a blast to play, and in my opinion, well worth the wait. I hope people will be more understanding in the future.

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    2. Glad to hear some positivity for once. I'm not happy with the development of MN9 either and don't intend on getting it, but I'm honestly done with all the grudging against Inafune. It's old now. I truly believe he is being genuine and did not mean for this to happen. Hopefully since he is owning up to all the problems, it'll mean that future projects will be smaller in scale. I don't want to see another 10 platform project anytime soon.

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    3. I don't care about whatever Inafune has to say. I don't trust him anymore, not after all that happened. He will say anything to get back on your good side and then he will come with some Red Ash and cartoon nonsense for you to fund. The guy is only after money just like Capcom, he is no better. Don't be fooled, it is all an act.

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  3. Nice to see him owning up to his mistakes. Some things that happening over the past 3 years were understandable, while some things are completely the fault of him. Either way, he didn't find a scapegoat, and I have an enjoyable game, so I'm not too upset.

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  4. so, the "it's better than nothing" is just an added from the translator. and people say make your own translation up is better than 100% translation when it comes from fire emblem fates and upcoming tokyo mirage session #fe defence?

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    1. I don't understand - are you for or against the fan translation of the Japanese ROM of Fire Emblem Fates? Personally, I'm on the side of the official localization.

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    2. i'm talking about the treehouse defence for their piss poor localization and translation. the fan translation is better than what we got from those games.

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  5. So he didn't actually say this one thing. Great. He still cut corners and mismanaged the unholy bejeezus out of this project.

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  6. I think Dr. Wily said it best, Inafune:
    "Thanks for being an idiot."

    Seriously. Admitting you made mistakes is great and all, but that doesn't change the fact that some of the mistakes you mad were humongous. You over-extended yourself, your staff, and your IP while acting like everything was going to turn out okay, yet you knew it wasn't going to. I think I've said this before, but there's a world of difference between "being positive" and "being willfully ignorant/oblivious". Three guesses as to which one you were.

    Why am I writing like Inafune's actually going to read this anyway...? I should know better.

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    1. I sure he did his best. Even if that's not good enough for you, he doesn't need to hear your whining. It's better that he won't see your bitter remarks.

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    2. Wasn't aware criticisms are now considered whining...

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  7. He made a mistake. He admits that. That's honest of him. Give him chance. He will make a sequel better and learn his mistake. Stop negative and I feel bad for him. He did it because he knew many Megaman fan and now he realize his mistake and he admitted it. Give him chance!

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    1. these complaints have been around since 2014. he didn't listen to them because the community manager banned a lot of people and the forum became just bunch of ass kissers.

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  8. Inafune's a good guy. He was just trying something new and screwed up. I pledged a lot of money to Mighty No. 9, and I can't say I got quite what I wanted, but I knew there were risks involved. I invested in a project that didn't work out as planned. He didn't lie to me or cheat me out of my money.

    I hope he doesn't make these mistakes again and does something great to redeem himself in the coming years. Sadly, some people aren't going to allow him to redeem himself; they'll hold a grudge against him forever. Words he never said, like "better than nothing" and "anime fan on prom night," are going to be associated with him forever.

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  9. The whole thing about "better than nothing" is among Judd's rhetoric the whole stream. He emphasized the need of crowdfunding campaigns to actually DELIVER a product, to bring closure to the process. That's was the stream was all about. It's a shame that it got misquoted and taken out of context.

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  10. He didn't say it, the translator did.

    ...Who was hired by the company. No matter how you slice it, everyone looks incompetent in this scenario.

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  11. Thanks for making this post, Protodude.

    I admit, your emotions really showed in some of the MN9 posts, which is a little uncharacteristic of you, given the objective and moderate tone in most of your articles : ) But I don't blame you for feeling frustrated. And again, it's refreshing to see a posts about the "other side" of this issue. I watched the post-mortem stream and knew this was a misquote from the start, but correcting the internet is pointless.

    Overall I'm sure we've put up with A LOT more crap from Capcom on MM, than we ever did with Inafune on MN9. We've just gotten kind of numb to it (and cynical).

    I also hope more people will try MN9. Honestly it's so harmless. There's no way the game itself, as the real end product here, deserves so much hate. It's not game of the year, sure, but it's good fun, and I'm certain it would have been appreciated if it weren't for the accompanying baggage.

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    1. Yeah, seeing the negativity towards this game leak into posts here and on The Mega Man Network was really starting to get to me. Like, if there's one place I should be able to go to just to hear about Mega Man-esque stuff without having people take a dump all over it and laugh at its missteps, it should be the sites devoted to Mega Man stuff.

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    2. I'm enjoying Mighty No 9, mostly. Each time I die, I am forced to learn what I am doing wrong. My only anger is having to deal with the fact that I suck at it, for now.
      Whether or not I got my monies worth remains to be seen. Once the soundtrack is released I will be more content with the value.

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  12. Who told him to to 10 skus?

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    1. It would have been nice to back x amount for your choice of rewards and not add on to the stretch goals though. :\

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    2. I really don't understand what that has to do with anything. The game could easily be ported, thanks to the fact it ran under pre-existing software engines... and thus, was completed basically last year. The problem, as I understand it -- the thing that delayed the game not once, but twice -- was getting the multiplayer function to... well... function across ten different platforms. I'm not exactly sure why that was such a huge problem, though, since all ten versions should be sending and receiving the same data to the same server, presuming that the game is transmitting and receiving via direct peer-to-peer or single-server services on all consoles and systems, rather than just the PC versions. But heck, I don't know how that stuff works, so...

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    3. If the 10 consoles thing was a huge problem, they should have prioritized certain platforms first.

      First PC, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U

      Then Mac, Linux, PS3, Xbox 360

      Then lastly 3DS and Vita.

      But that's just me.

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  13. Mighty No. 9 is a flawed game, but it's by no means awful. At least the game isn't a glitch fest. Well, at least on the PS4... Can't speak for other platforms.

    Overall, I wouldn't mind a sequel, just hope they don't try to do a Kickstarter again. That'll just end poorly.

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    1. Xbox one port seems stable and has no glitches so far, made it up to the final stage.

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  14. The pandering is gross enough, but kinda ironic that Sonic Twitter account's statement is considering the garbage Sonic games have been these past few years.

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    1. The top comment on that tweet is one of my favorite things. It's a mock up of a game called "Sonic and the Glass House". So perfect.

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    2. The Sonic Twitter account has never shied away from poking fun at the franchise's own failings though, so I'd give it a pass on that.

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  15. The attitude from the press and some fans has been disgusting about the quote, and in general about the game. The game may or not may be good but people is jumping in the bandwagon hate like mindless sheeps. Inafune deserves a lot of criticism but so does Inti Creates, they pulled some serious crap when it comes to performance and design.

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    1. That pretty much happens when any anticipated game that gets less than stellar reviews. They seem to take the number, not the review itself, as an indication of how bad the game is. Remember how pissy people got about Pokemon ORAS getting a 7.8?

      It's sad, but true.

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  16. I wish Inafune-sama could buy the rights to Mega Man away from Capcom and create excellent new Mega Man games instead of a kind of Megaman.

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    1. Agreed. I think that the Kickstarter goal should have been raising money to buy the Mega Man IP from Capcom. Not that Mighty No. 9 is a bad game, but I would like to think that nearly $4M would be enough to convince Capcom to at least consider selling. Then Inafune would have his franchise again, the gameplay would probably stay the same, and all of the naysayers that don't like the game because it is "not Mega Man" would be happy. It would be a win-win.

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    2. I highly doubt Capcom would sell Mega Man for just 4 million. They would only do that if they were desperate for money, and in that case I think they would sell higher to a different company.

      And if it did somehow happen... the 4 million is now gone. What money would they use to make a new game? Would they do another Kickstarter?

      And then we would be back at square one.

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    3. You couldn't possibly buy MegaMan for 4million : )

      In 2013, THQ sold a fraction of its IPs for about 5million - when THQ was going BANKRUPT. Capcom isn't going bankrupt, and MegaMan is likely regarded more iconic than THQ's Red Faction or Homeworld brands. Maybe MegaMan isn't a million seller with every iteration (though Battle Network 4 did move 1.35 million units), but given the millions that have historically been exchanged for lesser IPs, you get the idea.

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    4. I don't trust Inafune to "fix" the Mega Man brand, if he were to gain ownership. He and the folks who worked on it in the past are responsible for much of the state it's in now. What with all the different series.
      Sell it to Nintendo, or better yet give Yacht Club Games a chance at it. The game play has to come first, and everything else must be of high caliber. These companies shine in that regard.

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    5. Nintendo isn't that great, even if they knew what they were doing outside of the staple IPs they reply on they still most likely wouldn't do anything and if they did and it failed, you're looking upward of 10 years for a genuine second chance.

      YachtClub I think barely manages to take care of the one IP they do own let alone the entire MM franchise.

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  17. At least they succeeded finally released the game, which is more than I can say for Beast's fury....

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  18. Funny how Sega, of all the people, put their nose where they don't belong. And it's hilarious knowing that Sonic the Hedgehog is in the same shit that Mighty No. 9 is right now, with a reboot of the series, Sonic Boom, being the WORST game of Sonic in both the gameplay aspect and comercially. And they also made a sequel and an animated series that didn't go well. But hey, takes one to know one, right guys?

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    1. The animated series is actually really good and fairly popular.

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    2. Fairly popular you say, yet i haven't met a single Sonic fan who talked about the animated series nor do i find people on social media talk about it.

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    3. The cartoon is highly rated on the network, which means it's well received by kids, not necessarily older fans.

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    4. And the Sonic PR guy is never shy to poke some fun at SEGA's failings with Sonic The Hedgehog. With the 25th "retrospective" video he poked fun at 06 and completely ignored the existence of the Sonic Boom game.
      And yes, the animation is amazing. There it is, a Sonic fan telling you that on Social Media.

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  19. I've played the game on PS3 and so far the only "annoying" thing the FPS on some areas but the rest of the game have been quite enjoyable. The challenges and the stages are good, and the difficulty too. Too bad it came in a lot of mess that people are mistaken the game with its development and now Inafune is the devil in many places. If this game gets a sequel I'll get it, I still believe in Inafune and many others (Kojima, Iga, etc) that are going solo against the big companies. My two cents as walways.

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  20. It's only now that I think that Call's arms look like a cross between Sonia Strumm's and ColorMan.EXE's.

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  21. So he admit he has problem with it...and yet the situation with the backer from day to day doesnt seem to get better.
    Quick glance at Mighty no 9 Reddit and Kickstart, still show lot of people still not receive their physical error and there is even error of their gift like the switched copy of the game and DLC.

    Oh and the still lack of communication eventhough the game already released. Nicely touche as usual Inafune and Comcept.

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    1. Will u ever stop? What is your beef with Inafune? Sure, the game is not as successful as he and his team hoped, but there are some who enjoyed the game despite the negative reception and setbacks.

      I am not sure why you really hate Inafune and calling him a con-artist and claimed he caused certain companies to go bankrupt like what you said with the Senran Kagura developers, but I honestly think it wasn't Inafune's fault that the SK developers didn't almost go bankrupt, the company recovered and it wasn't Inafune's fault that MarvelousAQL almost went bankrupt with his cancelled Kaio King of Pirates game.

      Seriously though, you really want Inafune to fall from grace by saying stupid stuff like that. Everyone has their opinion on Inafune, some good, some bad, but you're personally attacking Inafune and making up bullcrap claims with your blind hatred of Inafune...

      It'll take time for Inafune to learn from his mistakes and earn everyone's respect again, but it won't help him if you keep attacking him.

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  22. Protodude, I expect you may have answered this already but have you played Mighty No 9 yet and if so what are your thoughts?
    You backed a considerable amount (as did I) and amongst all this controversy I wonder if it held up?

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  23. This is why the MegaMan fanbase has become a joke right now ever since MML3 was canned and MegaMan's fans has become whiny immature manchildren because they can't get what they want... smh.

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  24. It's hilariously sad that so many MM fans and followers of Inafune's work just completely talk trash about him and the game just because the game was delayed SO many times and/or that corny trailer. I will be picking the game up and enjoying it. Something that so many backers of the project need to do, after they swallow their pride.

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