Infinite Space: The Story Of A Forgotten Space Opera And Sega’s Negligence

Excitement is often met with impatience, and that was precisely the case with Infinite Space.

Story Highlights

  • Infinite Space failed to reach the mountain it aimed to conquer.
  • Sega’s impatience eclipsed an alluring space opera.
  • With the flood of remakes and remasters in recent years, Infinite Space’s return shouldn’t be ruled out.

The thought of exploring the vast universe has always crossed one’s mind. Throughout various generations, there have been various attempts to discuss this topic in different media forms. In 2008, Platinum Games and Nude Maker teamed up under Sega to create an expansive space operaInfinite Space.

When it comes to storytelling and spaceship designs, Infinite Space takes inspiration from some of the classical sci-fi, such as Star Trek, Childhood’s End, and Legend of The Galactic Heroes. If that wasn’t already captivating enough, the game also lets you customize your own spaceships. 

A Tedious Yet Fulfilling Storytelling, And The Fun Customization

Like most space operas, Infinite Space also takes off by focusing on the main character, Yuri, in the first half of the story. Director Hifumi Kono insists that this is to form a connection between the player and the protagonist before they venture into the vastness of space and explore the endless sea of stars. In the second part, the game mostly focuses on its themes of freedom of humanity, and the constriction of that very freedom. 

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An expansive story always comes with a wide cast of characters, and Infinite Space is no different. On your adventures, you will stumble upon many friends and foes. Initially, Director Hifumi Kono didn’t plan on giving the minor characters much importance. However, after seeing the efforts his designers put into the characters, he felt obliged to focus on them and handed out backstories to make them interesting. 

Infinite Space is mainly cruel in handing out clues to the players. With no journal available to help you on your adventures, the game demands you to sit through 50-60 hours of exploration in as little time as possible. The choices also matter, whether it is to choose between yelling at someone or screaming, it will haunt you in the end. 

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Unarguably, the most fun part of Infinite Space is its spaceship customization. On your adventure, you will come across 200 ships to add to your arsenal. With various modules available throughout the interstellar, you can also upgrade them. Moreover, you can recruit crew for different positions on the ship, and keep them satisfied, otherwise, they might leave you. 

Legend of the Galactic Heroes' influence on Infinite Space
Infinite Space doesn’t just offer generic spaceships

Poor Calendar Release and Sega’s Marketing

After Securing the partnership with Sega, Platinum Games’ Head Producer, Atsushi Inaba, decided to work with Hifumi Kono on a sci-fi project. The two had worked on Steel Battalion together, but never got an opportunity again. Since they had finally gotten an opportunity, the two wanted to work on something unique, a space opera, unlike another one. And thus, their ideas birthed Infinite Line, later changed to Infinite Space. 

Once they had laid down the foundation, the next thing was to choose between the platforms. However, the low budget didn’t allow them to release the game on their preferred console. Since they had no luxury of cutting out the content, they decided to release their game on Nintendo’s handheld console, Nintendo DS.

Infinite Space’s announcement was huge in Japan. Several animation projects were produced to promote the upcoming space opera, and the audience was excited. On June 11, 2009, Sega published the game. While it was a major success in Japan, it couldn’t replicate the same fortune in western territories in March of 2010. I mean, why would you release a game in the same week as Pokemon Soul Silver/Heart Gold?

Producer Inaba cited Sega as the problem for the game’s poor sales in the West. Due to Sega undershipping the game, it sold out instantly. They had failed to achieve any form of success in western territories. It wasn’t only the failure of the publisher when you think about it. The gaming community was robbed of one of the most expansive space operas of its time. 

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Nintendo’s Lack Of Respect Towards Infinite Space

Game rerelease is not unheard of in this day and age. Come on, it’s 2024. With Ghost Trick getting a release on Nintendo Switch last year, there is hope for Infinite Space to be resurrected from the ashes. Nintendo has long gotten away with its lack of respect toward classical titles, and it’s about time the gaming community addressed it.

Infinite Space's failure is due to Nintendo's negligence
Is there any hope left for Infinite Space’s return?

There is a minimum amount of respect for the game preservation. It’s quite ironic when they release titles that tackle the topic of rampant capitalism, yet they continuously practice it. Sure, you can blame Sega all you want for the poor sales, but there was little to no effort from Nintendo to promote the game. Even though they most probably will never do it, I do hope Nintendo finally gives it the respect it deserves. 

With the surfing rumors of Nintendo Switch 2 around, this is a perfect time to bring up this subject. I hope Nintendo finally considers reviving the dead franchise. 

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Najam Ul Hassan is a News Reporter on eXputer who enjoys investing hours in his favorite video game titles. When he’s not playing games, he’s practicing Journalism. He began his career on eXputer after combining his limitless love of video games and all things geek with his considerable writing experience. He has been cited numerous times by several noteworthy publications and sites such as Game Rant, Yahoo, PlayStation LifeStyle, VGC, VG247, TheGamer, among others. Experience: 2+ Years || Education: Masters in Mass Media Communication || Written 300+ News Stories.

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