Are these alleged Keiji Inafune NFTs legit? [UPDATE: Yes.]

A new line of NFTs bears Keiji Inafune's name — but does it really involve the former Mega Man director?

UPDATE (5.19.22): In a video published this morning by Polka Fantasy, Keiji Inafune confirmed his involvement in the Beastroids project. He appeared on-screen to introduce the NFT line to the audience and express his desire to “create different contents in Metaverse.” (Of course, he didn’t explain what exactly that meant.) We originally wrote this article before we had this official confirmation, so be aware that our speculation below is not 100% accurate.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Keiji Inafune may be one of the most reviled names in the video game industry, rightly so or otherwise. His work on Mega Man is legendary, even if many fans credit him for some of the series’ worst points. And I don’t need to tell you how infamous his Kickstarter project Mighty No. 9 was. Now, there’s another controversial project in the works: a set of NFTs supposedly created by Keiji Inafune himself.

The line of NFTs is named Beastroids, a set of pseudo-Robot Masters / Mavericks supposedly drawn and spearheaded by Keiji Inafune. The website, which bears his name, picture, and biography, calls it the “first futuristic NFT collection integrated with incredible utilities.”

Since the news dropped, the website has been shut down and then brought back up under a different URL. Inafune hasn’t officially confirmed his involvement in the project, and some believe that his name is being used without his permission. It’s a curious case where regardless of who’s actually responsible, it’s a bad look for them.

Beastroids NFT Preview
Note: technically this was not right-clicked, but the Snipping Tool works all the same.

The story of the alleged Keiji Inafune NFTs

Naturally, when the public first got word of these NFTs, most expressed disappointment in Inafune for making this decision. They decried it as the latest in a series of bad decisions made by the former Capcom developer. Yet others came forward with skepticism about Inafune’s involvement, citing evidence with both the artwork and website as an indication that Inafune isn’t responsible.

Let’s look at what we know. On May 17, Twitter users discovered a website operated by Japanese NFT marketplace Polka Fantasy that details the Beastroid NFT line. The artworks come equipped with an official backstory, which reads:

In 20XX, humans are in danger of extinction. In their hope to survive, Paradise is the destination. An organisation led by a wealthy man Ethan deployed ‘Guardian V’ to protect the grounds and to kill any human that tries to breach. To counterstrike, Beastroids are the only hope for the future of mankind.

Beastroid NFTs story description

It all sounds very Mega Man, at least on the surface. The art itself definitely mimics the Mega Man character design (Mega Man X characters in particular), and if nothing else, it’s unequivocally an attempt to ape the Mega Man style. (Or should we say, Bored Ape the Mega Man style?)

Keiji Inafune’s name being attached to this project sent waves through the community, as you’d expect. Many assumed, given his reputation for unsound business decisions, that the connection was legitimate. However, Rockman Corner owner Protodude investigated the site and found evidence that suggested the connection was fake, including a lack of a personal message from Inafune and his copyright. See his findings below:

What’s the endgame?

It’s difficult to tell for now what’s really going on behind the scenes here. But we’re already seeing the potential fallout from the Beastroid project. Given the shutdown of the website and relaunch under a different URL — and one that doesn’t contain Inafune’s name, unlike the previous site — it’s very possible that this is simply a scam that falsely uses a known figure to its advantage.

But the question is: if that’s the case, then why choose Inafune? Why choose a man whose reputation is, to say the least, divisive? Why choose a name that is associated with controversy? If this is his work, it looks bad on him. If it isn’t, it looks bad on the NFT marketplace. There’s no winners here, regardless of the situation.

In many ways, it doesn’t add up — and it seems like the project is moving forward anyway. Until we get confirmation from Inafune or Level-5 Comcept that he’s attached to it, we can only speculate on why Keiji Inafune would get involved with NFTs.

What do you think of this situation? Do you think Keiji Inafune is responsible for these NFTs? Let us know!

Via Video Games Chronicle.

Daniel Hein

Daniel Hein is either A) a lifelong video game fanatic, writer, and storyteller just sharing his thoughts on things, or B) some kind of werewolf creature. We're not quite sure which yet. He also makes mediocre video game retrospectives (and other content!) on YouTube where you can watch him babble on for hours about nothing.
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