"At the end of developing Bionic Commando
, things got really messed up between the two companies," Mega Man creator and former global head of production at Capcom Keiji Inafune
told me in an interview this week. Sitting in a quiet corner of Tokyo Game Show's business area, Inafune was addressing the retail version of BC
developed by the now shuttered studio Grin -- a game that helped nail the coffin shut
on the Swedish dev house, and scared Capcom off of its big third-party push. In case you weren't aware, at the end of BC
's main campaign, it's revealed that the protagonist's bionic arm is, at least partially, made from his dead wife. Seriously
"I don't even know what happened there," Inafune lamented. The project was apparently rife with development issues, which Inafune exemplified with a phrase that represented the attitude Grin and Capcom had for each other at the time: "Whatever, do what you want, I don't care."
Though he couldn't say what specifically happened to result in such a bizarre game ending, Inafune explained that the issue of foreign companies working with Japanese ones was at the heart of the situation. "At the beginning, things are very, very good between the two companies. Things get kind of weird from the middle, and it gets really bad at the end -- especially for the Japanese companies," he said of the development process.
"They should be more flexible about things," Inafune added, no doubt part of his decision to leave his long-time employer late last year. "If you don't do that, everything will become messed up from the middle. And that's the most important part. Not the beginning, but in the middle and finishing the game."