DICE 2014: Inafune Shows New Concept Art for Mighty No 9


Comcept CEO and the man behind the wildly successful Mighty No 9 Kickstarter campaign, Keiji Inafune, closed his DICE 2014 talk with Mighty No 7 character art, which the folks at CVG had the foresight to snap a couple pictures of.

Keiji Inafune is from the old school of game design philosophy. During his DICE 2014 talk, he made it abundantly clear that when he started in the industry 20-something years ago, sales didn’t make design decisions for games. At least from his perspective, it was a creative endeavor, and he “didn’t really care” whether a game was successful in the market. Inafune wanted to create the game that he envisioned. He only wanted to think about “the fun of the game.”

According to Inafune, in recent years, the success of a game is “predetermined,” While he didn’t really delve into what precisely he meant, it seemed he was referring to the fact that big developers aren’t often willing to take risks these days. Essentially saying that the development and success of the next Call of Duty is a foregone conclusion. Inafune doesn’t like operating this way, and with Mighty No 9, he’s returning to his roots in development and design philosophy.

He talked about the perceived “justice” and “evil” in the games industry, referring to indie titles that make it big, and AAA titles that drown out the competition respectively. He doesn’t really believe in these concepts, per se, but it’s a reality that much of the audience does, so it’s important to keep these notions in mind. EA is, after all, simultaneously one of the most successful AAA publishers and most reviled companies in the industry, while Mojang is almost universally loved.

Kickstarter has obviously changed the landscape for games to some extent. Inafune believes it is going to have a tremendous impact on the future of games, because backing a campaign is a show of faith, allowing industry outsiders into the inner circle. Backers place their faith not in the eventual sales success of the game – it seems weird to think that they would even care if anyone else bought it, as long as the campaign succeeds and they get what they paid for – rather they put their faith in the idea of the game and the developer behind it.

Inafune plans to “return to the days I first started” in the industry. He intends to make Mighty No 9 exactly what he envisions it, regardless of what that might mean for future sales. He wants to make it fun above everything else, and inform design decisions with creative insight rather than marketing know-how. He closed the talk with a final character reveal for Mighty No 9, which I sadly failed to grab a picture of. Check out a couple concept art images for Mighty No 7 over at CVG.

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