Keiji Inafune resigns from Capcom

Capcom's head of research and development leaves post after 23-year run; will be replaced by Katsuhiko Ichii.

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Keiji Inafune may have had a long stint at Japanese developer Capcom, but today the producer of Onimusha and Dead Rising decided to finally call it quits. The 23-year veteran, who rose through the ranks from graphic designer to become the publisher-developer's head of research and development, announced his departure on his blog, saying he will "resign later this month."

Inafune's career at Capcom is dead, not rising.
Inafune's career at Capcom is dead, not rising.

Inafune originally joined Capcom as a graphic designer, working on the first Street Fighter. He went on to create the character design for Mega Man and then worked on the game's many sequels before graduating to the role of producer. More recently, Inafune produced the Onimusha, Lost Planet, and Dead Rising franchises.

Inafune has been outspoken about his games, Capcom, and development in general. Earlier this year, he told the New York Times, "I look around the Tokyo Game Show, and everyone's making awful games; Japan is at least five years behind." He also stated, "I want to make games that travel overseas, but Capcom hasn't taken globalization seriously."

Inafune oversaw Capcom's move to outsourcing its franchises to Western developers, including Swedish studio GRIN for Bionic Commando and Canada-based Blue Castle, (now Capcom Game Studio Vancouver), for Dead Rising 2.

Inafune's resignation comes the day after Capcom released its latest financial report, which contained a mix of good and bad news for the company. While Dead Rising 2 has sold 1.8 million copies, Lost Planet 2's weak performance helped cause a net profit slide of ¥1.78 billion ($22 million), down 39.9 percent over April-September the previous year.

Speaking with GameSpot, Capcom said it will restructure its development organization following Inafune's departure. Katsuhiko Ichii will be appointed head of the development organization and will be supported by a new development management team consisting of Nobuyuki Matsushima, Jun Takeuchi, Taichiro Genbun, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, and Shutaro Kobayashi. The new unit will also integrate marketing and development functions from within the company to offer a "broader stroke approach to the development process," according to Capcom.

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