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Amazingly low salary offered to former Street Fighter artist

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • October 17, 2011 at 7:32 p.m. PDT
Amazingly low salary offered to former Street Fighter artist Akira Yasuda, better known as Akiman, is a very well regarded illustrator and character designer. He's worked on few games you might have heard about, namely Street Fighter Alpha 2/3, the Street Fighter 3 series, DarkStalkers and Street Fighter 2. He's made some beautiful pieces of artwork over the years, along with creating some prominent characters, but decided to leave Capcom in 2003 to become a freelancer.

With that kind of résumé, you'd think he'd command a pretty good salary, but Enterbrain, the publisher of Japan's biggest game magazine Famitsu, didn't seem to think so.

According to Akiman's blog, Enterbrain offered him 8,000 yen ($103 USD) for six drawings for a game character. If the drawings took two days, that would mean he'd get $50 dollars a day. If they took four days, then he's get $25 a day, and so on.

For those of you who are curious, he did mention what his normal rates are. About 100,000 yen ($1,300 USD) for one drawing, but he added that he would do illustrations as part of a large project for 80,000 yen ($1,000 USD), but that things like the character design fee were not included in that.

While a 92% less offer than you'd normally receive might have been tempting in some other universe, I think it's safe to say Akiman passed on the job.

Via Kotaku.com.

Comments

SaintAvi said on October 17, 2011 at 7:34 p.m.

Akira's art is time tested, that magazine's offer is insulting

#1
bmckay said on October 17, 2011 at 7:36 p.m.

Hahaha. Enterbrain came to the table like, "You're a fighting game art designer. No one plays those anymore. Take it or leave it, chump."

#2
Akro said on October 17, 2011 at 7:36 p.m.

that offer is retarded.

#3
gtfopanda said on October 17, 2011 at 7:38 p.m.

Woha, only an unknown artist in need of some advertisment would take such rates, it's borderline insulting. Wait, I guess it is insulting for a pro.

#4
Ninjanuity said on October 17, 2011 at 7:40 p.m.

Not gonna lie, it saw "low salary" and "former Capcom SF artist" in the article, and I was immediately gonna jump on Capcom. XD I should stop doing that. Capcom isn't that cruel.

What is cruel is Enterbrain thinking that they can hire a professional for WAY less than what he originally got.

Ok, maybe not cruel, just dumb.

#5
Catalyst said on October 17, 2011 at 7:41 p.m.

I'd personally take the offer and send them back 6 stick figure drawings...

OK, I wouldn't actually do that, but I'd be tempted to.

#6
Hakansoilbarrel said on October 17, 2011 at 7:43 p.m.

(Gotta get with the times, folks want their art all three dee a tized

jk...that sucks, bro. I love me some good art.)

#7
V3N0MB1T3 said on October 17, 2011 at 7:43 p.m.

Enterbrain are the same cheap skates that ran SBO and couldnt care to reimburse Banana Ken and Hsien Chang after they screwed them, so this isnt suprising in the least. :/

#8
NyuBomber said on October 17, 2011 at 7:46 p.m.

inb4 this is people thinking this is what Capcom was paying him.

#9
Dragonite said on October 17, 2011 at 7:48 p.m.

Good. I'd be insulted at such an offer. I'd tell them to take those yens and stick them up their asses.

BTW, I noticed how you included 3rd Strike as part of his work but dismissed New Generation and 2nd Impact. Why don't you just say he worked on the SF3 series? You're selling his time and effort short here.

#10
Kurow said on October 17, 2011 at 7:49 p.m.

NONA the guy that draw the KOF 12 and KOF 13 sprites should have this salary or worst. He draw using his *** for sure...

#11
samuraikatana1 said on October 17, 2011 at 7:51 p.m.

This isn't surprising, Japan has a tradition of not paying their artists well. A typical manga artist's assistants typically make $4.00 an hour AT MOST, normally in the two's and three's. Glad to hear Akira-san manages to get paid what he's deserved.

#12
portalsofmadnes said on October 17, 2011 at 8 p.m.

Thats just insulting to him,this guy makes amazing art.He should have never left Capcom.

#13
YourEveryDayJackAss said on October 17, 2011 at 8:05 p.m.

@10

He's worked on few games you might have heard about, namely Street Fighter Alpha 2/3, the Street Fighter 3 series

Uhhh......

I guess some people never really learned how to read

#14
Tensa said on October 17, 2011 at 8:12 p.m.

his art is easily one of the best capcom art

#15
Fivec said on October 17, 2011 at 8:16 p.m.

I'm confused as to how this is news. But ok.

#16
MyBlock said on October 17, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.

THANK YOU Eventhubs for covering this.

People don't realize how the art and design of characters influence the game. It influences sales, character popularity, etc etc. Its great this is covered, horrible that he was offered such a low salary.

I've been meaning to talk to Akiman for a while and get some insight on the inspirations for his most famous pieces of art

#17
DR_Jam said on October 17, 2011 at 8:27 p.m.

That is an insult. It's like they are an entity that Akiman's would gladly do it for free, just for the credits.

#18
Catalyst said on October 17, 2011 at 8:32 p.m.

@YourEveryDayJackAss

Actually, I updated the story to be a bit more clear, it wasn't written that way the first time around.

#19
kornbeaner said on October 17, 2011 at 8:33 p.m.

@ Fivec I am confused as to how you have a valid comment. But ok.

Unfortunately artist just don't get the respect they used to. I have worked at a few dev houses where most of the artist get kept at a junior level so they don't have to pay them as much. Part of the reason is because there has been an inflation of artist over the last ten years. There are a lot of schools that will grant you a Designer degree with less than two years of school. So becoming a designer is actually cheaper than trying to become a programmer or a business major for an executive position. At this point they are treated like QA tseter who can draw, expendable.

But I do agree with this guys resume, the offer is insulting.

#20
kara said on October 17, 2011 at 8:35 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

#21
MyBlock said on October 17, 2011 at 8:45 p.m.

Catalyst more updates like this would be awesome. I love the SSF4AE combo videos but stuff like this really stands out.

@ #20

It's true. So many artists these days WITH the experience in professional painter programs. Akiman rose in the late 80s and 90s. For that reason, he is legend to the Japanese. What they wanted to pay him was below college level.

When I see people's art these days, I wonder who will make it since 80% of professional level character art / fan art is gdlk.

#22
Quezacoatl said on October 17, 2011 at 8:48 p.m.

Confusing title, had to read article twice to grasp meaning, but that might be my own fault lol.

Got a SF artbook at home, Akiman's art is amazing. That offer is insulting.

#23
MyBlock said on October 17, 2011 at 8:52 p.m.

LOL read the comments from the original kotaku article

#24
Quezacoatl said on October 17, 2011 at 8:52 p.m.

Oh and btw, "it's under 8000!!"

#25
DestinyZX1 said on October 17, 2011 at 8:56 p.m.

This is very sad. :(

#26
xShonuffx said on October 17, 2011 at 8:56 p.m.

For those of you who don't know. Enterbrain is the company that makes RPG Maker and Fighter Maker on the PC in Japan. They had some US and console releases. The art work is probably for a new Fighter Maker im gonna assume which is awsome because i love those games.

Having said that the offer for the drawings is ridiculous, Enterbrain should know better, your dealing with a legend in the fighting game community, art wise.

#27
RandomJohn said on October 17, 2011 at 9:19 p.m.

The publisher's offer was way too insulting. It's almost like attempting to hire a doctor to do your surgery and pay him with a cup of coffee. WTH were they thinking? Economy is bad but people aren't that desperate for work especially for someone with his credentials.

#28
MyBlock said on October 17, 2011 at 9:52 p.m.

$1,000 is reasonable low for an art legend. But they wanted to pay him $103... for art that they can use in all promotions for the game? Get the scope of that. How did they come up with that sum?

They had the contacts to send the business message to Akiman. They put in the thought to do ask him to do art for the for the game. They are making a game, roughly knowing what kind of characters they want an artist to draw. ....All this thought, and they didn't think "Um hey $103 might be a little low."

#29
anon1010 said on October 17, 2011 at 10:10 p.m.

ALL OF MY HATE

#30
DR_Jam said on October 17, 2011 at 10:55 p.m.

EVENTHUBS, PLEASE ADD EDIT OPTION on the comment section.

#31
ShinRyoga said on October 17, 2011 at 11:04 p.m.

That's incredibly insulting.

"Hey Picasso...we know you're dead and all, but would you mind coming back to life and painting 6 masterpieces for us? We'll give ya a bag of Jolly Ranchers for your trouble."

#32
Suppi said on October 17, 2011 at 11:46 p.m.

103 dollars wont even get you a Convention Sketch from some artist. :/ Some people on deviant charge 80+ dollars per commission. So this really is insulting since hes been doing this for so long and his work is well known.

#33
SrAbuguet said on October 18, 2011 at 12:16 a.m.

My designer friends in Mexico draw horrible sh1t for elementary school's books, and have received for six drawings almost 1000 dollars in their first try as amateurs BY THE GOVERMENT.

This Enterbrain company should be looking for undergraduates or amateurs and stop foolin around like this creating this cheap 4ss reputation for themselves.

#34
Almighty said on October 18, 2011 at 12:47 a.m.

According to the link below, he's offered 100 USD for each character (i.e. all up, 600 USD), as opposed to what has been
quoted by the source used by Catalyst.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com.au/in...

I agree - a low blow by the mag, kicking a dude when he's going through less than better times.

#35
Gameplan said on October 18, 2011 at 2:52 a.m.

Wow, what an insult for such a legend like Akiman. Have these cheap bastards at Enterbrain been living under a rock during the last 25 years wtf?

#36
EpicKxEventhubs said on October 18, 2011 at 6:52 a.m.

He also did the mech art for Code Geass.

Enterbrain are dicks.

#37
mozart0341 said on October 18, 2011 at 7:51 a.m.

Greedy Capcom treating him like he a s--t artist so not to really pay

#38
EpicKxEventhubs said on October 18, 2011 at 11 a.m.

#38
....wat

#39
Darkyellow said on October 18, 2011 at 11:05 a.m.

Akiman was the best guy Capcom had. Capcom's character designs for SF since he left have been bad.

#40
ryuhayabusa13 said on October 18, 2011 at 12:08 p.m.

Damn Corporate bastards taking advantage of economy to pay a legendary artist that amount. That is a real insult. Akiman also worked on Final Fight, I need to add and he also created Chun Li.

#41
MyBlock said on October 18, 2011 at 5:15 p.m.

Before Akiman, Ryu had that crappy red hair, white head band, chinese slipper shoes design.

Akiman came and recreated Ryu into the red headband, torn sleeves, bare footed badass that we know today.

Again A) People dont realize how the art affects your attraction to a game and B) Check out those Kotaku comments about the headline pic haha http://kotaku.com/5850382/stupidly-lo...

#42


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