Keiji Inafune has been an interesting person to watch these last few years. While his parting with Capcom wasn’t entirely pleasant, he’s certainly shown no signs of stopping. Despite his vocal condemnations about the dirge of the Japanese video game industry, he managed to successfully fund his game Mighty No 9 on Kickstarter, which is rapidly approaching its September release date. While it’s easy to see that it’s effectively a remake of Mega Man which he has more than a little bit of a connection with, his newest project is one that should be of large interest to a certain subset of fans.
Before his departure from Capcom, Inafune was working on two games in the Mega Man series. One being Mega Man Universe which was more or less what the upcoming Mario Maker was, a create-your-own-levels game based around the 8-bit Mega Man. The other game was Mega Man Legends 3, which was long-awaited since the second game ended on a cliffhanger, the development of Legends 3 was interesting for being very open when Capcom attempted to engage fans to be involved with the development of the game. But that same fan-based attempt was what ultimately doomed the game, sine little interest was shown, which ended up being turning sour since at the time a demo was supposed to be released, which ended up never being released. Now all that history should give some context to why plenty of people, including myself are excited for Inafune’s Kickstarter for Red Ash.
The game is more or less a Legends game, with much of the team carved from that series. While Inafune has said in the past that Japanese development has lost its creativity, he himself is proving there’s a lot left to do in that part of the industry, as well as with Kickstarter itself which has undergone plenty of trials these last few years. In terms of where the game will go, it should be very interesting with regard to how Capcom will respond, the fanbase will respond, and ultimately how the game industry itself will respond with developers picking up sticks and crowdfunding. Red Ash has raised over $350,000, with a little over a month to go on its funding, so I’m definitely keeping my eyes on it.