Infamous Mega Man producer Keiji Inafune is turning to NFTs
It’s a natural next step, sadly.
Even if you don’t know the name Keiji Inafune, you’re probably still very familiar with his work. He was the principal character artist on the Mega Man series throughout the NES and SNES eras, so the look of characters in those games is usually attributed to him. Now, that same style is being applied to NFTs.
Inafune has partnered with the NFT minters at Aimée to release a series of creatures called “Beastroids,” to be sold on PolkaFantasy, a Japan-dedicated blockchain. “It is my pleasure to show my unique artistic style to everyone,” Inafune says in the announcement video. “This time, I drew my most favorite robot designs, and I hope everyone will appreciate them.” He also mentions a desire to work on additional metaverse projects beyond Beastroids.
The Beastroids themselves look like they could be pulled right out of a Mega Man game. Frill Dragon, Hippo Launcher, Hyena Slasher, and Tabby the Long Tail (seen in the image at the top of this article) are part of the first series. As described on the Aimée website, those who purchase the NFTs can choose their Beastroid’s color palette. They’ll be released as part of the project’s first phase in Q2 2022. The plan is to then implement Beastroids in a “Robo-Arena” and metaverse game in future phases.
NFTs are under fire as a whole — game devs are for more interested in unionization, according to a 2022 GDC survey — but Keiji Inafune has received criticism himself for some time. His time as Capcom’s global head of production is considered by many to be a dark period for the company. Resident Evil 2 and Okami director Hideki Kamiya labeled Inafune “a businessman, not a creator” on Twitter a full decade ago. Inafune later created Mighty No. 9, a game which received harsh criticism for long delays after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Inafune’s followup Kickstarter was later canceled as a result.