When legendary game designer Keiji Inafune left Capcom to start his own studio, Comcept, fans were rightfully curious as to what games he would develop next. This excitement was because of Keiji Inafune’s high pedigree as the creator of Mega Man, Onimusha and Dead Rising — all popular franchises for Capcom.
One of the first games Inafune announced after leaving the prestigious Japanese gaming publisher was Kaio: King of Pirates, an action RPG for the 3DS. The Mega Man creator based the story of Kaio off the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms (which is also the source material for Dynasty Warriors), but replaced historical figures with animal pirates to appeal to a larger audience.
The publisher for Inafune’s Kaio: King of Pirates, Marvelous, has now announced that development for the game has been cancelled. The Mega Man creator announced the game in 2011 with a release date in 2012, but that date was delayed multiple times and no new gameplay details were provided besides the initial launch trailer.
Due to the cancellation of Kaio, Marvelous is reporting a 461 million yen, approximately $3.8 million loss, for development costs. Marvelous indicates the reason for the cancellation is a shifting marketplace and complications with Kaio’s mixed media release.
With no concrete details available for what Kaio would have been, it’s understandable for players to be indifferent about its cancellation. Especially when, since leaving Capcom and announcing Kaio, Keiji Inafune has worked on the development of Soul Sacrifice, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and is currently hard at work on a spiritual successor to Mega Man, Mighty No. 9.
Mighty No. 9 is easily the most anticipated game Keiji Inafune has developed since creating Mega Man. Fans needn’t look any further than the successful Kickstarter campaign that ended with $3,845,170 in donations from fans, which was 427% over the asking price to begin development. Since then Keiji Inafune stated that he wants Mighty No. 9 to develop into a multi-media franchise, just like Kaio was planned to become.
What is your favorite Keiji Inafune game created? Did you donate to the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter?