Level-5 Comcept

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Level-5 Comcept
Native name
Kabushiki gaisha Reberu Faibu Konseputo
Comcept (2010-2017)
IndustryVideo game industry
FoundedDecember 1, 2010
FounderKeiji Inafune
HeadquartersOsaka, Japan
Key people
Keiji Inafune (CCO)
ProductsMighty No. 9
Number of employees
15 (as of June 2017)[1]

Level-5 Comcept, formerly known as Comcept Inc., is a Japanese video game developer based in Osaka. It was founded as Comcept on December 1, 2010 by former Capcom employee Keiji Inafune.

Their projects include Soul Sacrifice, Mighty No. 9, ReCore and Red Ash: The Indelible Legend. In addition to games on handheld and home consoles, the studio has developed multiple mobile games. In 2017, Level-5 acquired Comcept to become a subsidiary of theirs, adopting the name Level-5 Comcept.[2]



Level-5 Comcept was founded by Keiji Inafune as Comcept.

Keiji Inafune founded Comcept after his departure from Capcom in December 2010.[3][4] After the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3, which he mentioned as a "long-time held dream",[5] he thought that "not only had he abandoned himself, but the fans too".

The name "Comcept" is a combination of the words concept, and com, referring to the abbreviation of computer. According to Keiji Inafune, the "con" part of the word "concept" is an intentional play on words, as he is known for taking money for games that would never be released, essentially conning people with game concepts.[6] The studio is largely composed of veteran staff who worked on Mega Man, but also young staff who grew up with the franchise.[citation needed]

Comcept is a design and production studio which pairs up with other studios to develop games.[7] Often this includes working on multiple games at once, and doing a variety of genres instead of being narrowly focused.[7]

Comcept's first game was the free to play smartphone title, The Island of Dr. Momo. The game had micro-transactions, and was released through the GREE platform.[8] They also developed another mobile game, J.J. Rockets.[9]

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z[edit]

In September 2012, the team's next project was revealed as a new Ninja Gaiden title, named Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z.[10] The game is a collaboration between Comcept, Team Ninja, and American developer Spark Unlimited.[11] When announcing the game, Inafune said: "“I’m very happy to stand here next to Mr. Hayashi today, and we’ll prove to you that we are going to survive and make good games that will lead the Japanese game industry."[12]

The game was released in March 2014 to a largely negative reception, with Metacritic giving it a score of 43.[13] GamesRadar included it in their top 100 worst games of all time.[14]

Kaio: King of Pirates[edit]

In 2012, Comcept and game developer Intercept (another company Inafune founded) began work on the game Kaio: King of Pirates. It was published by Marveolous Inc and set for a release on the 3DS console. Using a pirate setting, the plot was loosely based on the story Journey to the West. The game was cancelled in 2015 by its publisher and they reported a 461 million yen (roughly $3.8 million USD) loss on the project.[15]

Soul Sacrifice[edit]

In 2013, Comcept helped Sony Interactive Entertainment and their Japan Studio designing the PlayStation Vita video game Soul Sacrifice and as well as the expansion Soul Sacrifice Delta.[16]

Mighty No. 9[edit]

At PAX Prime 2013, Keiji Inafune held a special panel in order to reveal a brand new project called Mighty No. 9, a spiritual successor to the Mega Man series. At the end of the panel, Inafune officially launched the game's Kickstarter campaign.[17] He thought that Kickstarter is a great way to make dreams a reality. The game was made with a partnership with developer Inti Creates. After several delays, the game was released in 2016. It was met with a mixed critical reception for its level of quality and gameplay.[18][19]

Following the release of the game, Keiji Inafune stated: "You know, I want to word this in a way to explain some of the issues that come with trying to make a game of this size on multiple platforms." adding "I'm kind of loath to say this because it's going to sound like an excuse and I don't want to make any excuses. I own all the problems that came with this game and if you want to hurl insults at me, it's totally my fault. I'm the key creator. I will own that responsibility."[20][21] His translator Ben Judd followed up these remarks by giving his assessment of the project: "In this case, it was do the base game and do all the ports all at the same time. And it ended up being a huge amount of work, more than they actually estimated. Definitely, when they looked at the project, they were wrong about a lot of things. They underestimated how much work, time and money was going to be necessary. All of those things create a huge amount of pressure."[20] Later Judd added “But, again, we can hope that if things go well, there'll be sequels. Because I'll tell you what, I'm not getting my 2D side-scrolling fill. And at the end of the day, even if it's not perfect, it's better than nothing. At least, that's my opinion.”[22]

In 2017, Comcept licensed the Mighty No.9 characters to Inti Creates for them to use however they wished, free of charge, for the game Mighty Gunvolt Burst for the Nintendo Switch.[23]

Red Ash[edit]

Red Ash: The Indelible Legend was announced as a spiritual successor to the Mega Man Legends series by Capcom. The game was to be funded via the crowd sourcing platform Kickstarter. The campaign ended with $519,999, well short of its $800,000 goal. It was later announced on July 30, 2015, that Chinese game company Fuze would finance the game.[24]

Level 5[edit]

Comcept was acquired by Level-5 and renamed as Level-5 Comcept. The Tokyo location was closed and the Osaka location currently functions as a subsidiary of Level-5.[25][2]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Co-developer Platform(s) Note(s) Ref
2011 The Island of Dr. Momo Android, iOS Published via GREE
2011 JJ Rockets Marvelous AQL Android, iOS [9]
2012 Sweet Fuse: At Your Side Idea Factory PlayStation Portable
2013 Soul Sacrifice Marvelous AQL, SIE Japan Studio PlayStation Vita
Guild02 – Bugs vs. Tanks Level-5 Nintendo 3DS
2014 Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Team Ninja, Spark Unlimited Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Soul Sacrifice Delta Marvelous AQL, SCE Japan Studio PlayStation Vita
2016 Mighty No. 9 Inti Creates Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360, Xbox One Kickstarter
ReCore Armature Studio Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
2019 Dragons & Colonies Level-5, Inc. Mobile phones
TBA Red Ash: The Indelible Legend HYDE, Inc. Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Kickstarter failed; further funding provided by Fuze Entertainment; Release seems uncertain.


  1. ^ Lemon, Marshall (June 14, 2017). "Level-5 acquires Mighty No. 9 dev Comcept". VG 247. Archived from the original on June 13, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "株式会社レベルファイブ". 株式会社レベルファイブ (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2018-07-23. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  3. ^ "Keiji Inafune quits Capcom". Eurogamer.net. Archived from the original on 2018-07-23. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  4. ^ 社長のblogは11/1をもって公開終了いたしました。ご愛顧ありがとうございました。 : Archived October 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Niizumi, Hirohiko (September 23, 2007). "TGS '07: Mega Man celebrates 20th anniversary". GameSpot. Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  6. ^ Inafune, Keiji (2016-06-06). "本作は,稲船敬二氏がCCOを務めるLEVEL5comcept". Level 5. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  7. ^ a b Leone, Matt (2016-02-01). "Keiji Inafune looks back on five years of Comcept". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  8. ^ Feltham, Jamie (2011-07-22). "Keiji Inafune Details New Game". IGN. Archived from the original on 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  9. ^ a b Ashcraft, Brian (2011-08-03). "Top game designers going social". The Japan Times Online. ISSN 0447-5763. Archived from the original on 2018-08-01. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  10. ^ Mitchell, Richard (September 12, 2012). "Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z a partnership between Keiji Inafune's Comcept and Team Ninja [update: trailer!]". Joystiq. Archived from the original on August 17, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  11. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2012-10-03). "Inafune, back to save Japan's gaming industry from death". The Japan Times Online. ISSN 0447-5763. Archived from the original on 2018-08-01. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  12. ^ Feit, Daniel. "Ninja Gaiden, Dead Rising Creators Team For Zombie-Filled Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z". WIRED. Archived from the original on 2018-08-01. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  13. ^ "Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2018-07-06. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  14. ^ "The 50 worst games of all time". gamesradar. Archived from the original on 2013-04-26. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  15. ^ "Kaio: King of Pirates, Keiji Inafune's 3DS Title, Has Been Cancelled - Siliconera". Siliconera. 2015-03-13. Archived from the original on 2017-06-12. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  16. ^ McWhertor, Michael (September 9, 2013). "Soul Sacrifice Delta coming to PlayStation Vita in 2014". Polygon. Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  17. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (August 31, 2013). "PAX: Mega Man Creator Announces Mighty No. 9". IGN. Archived from the original on July 2, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  18. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (April 28, 2015). "Mighty No. 9 release delayed into early September, extra subtitle languages added". VG247. Archived from the original on July 20, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  19. ^ "Video Game Raised $148 Million From Fans. Now It's Raising Concerns". Archived from the original on 2018-07-15. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  20. ^ a b Yin-Poole, Wesley (2016-06-22). "Sonic sticks the boot in to Mighty No. 9 as Inafune admits: "I own all the problems"". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2016-12-16. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  21. ^ Orland, Kyle (June 22, 2016). "Amid Mighty No. 9's launch troubles, a lesson for us all". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on July 15, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  22. ^ "Mighty No. 9 pre-launch livestream: 'It's better than nothing' [Updated]". pcgamer. Archived from the original on 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  23. ^ "Mighty Gunvolt Burst for Switch launches June 15, for 3DS on June 29 - Gematsu". Gematsu. 2017-05-19. Archived from the original on 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  24. ^ Porter, Matt (2015-07-30). "Red Ash: The KalKanon Incident Fully Funded by Fuze". IGN. Archived from the original on 2018-07-15. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  25. ^ "Level-5 acquires Comcept, now Level-5 Comcept". Gematsu. 2017-06-13. Archived from the original on 2017-06-16. Retrieved 2017-06-13.

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