Update: Comcept hasn't responded to my inquiry, but Brian Ashcraft of Kotaku said the "better than nothing" quote did not come from Inafune. That's not official, but given that Ashcraft is Kotaku's expert in all things Japanese (and has lived there for 15 years), I'd say it effectively confirms that the remark was entirely Judd's.
Mighty No. 9 debuted today, after nearly three years of troubled development and delays, and it's apparently not going very smoothly. Gamestop reports that backers are being sent incorrect or invalid rewards (a person I follow on Twitter ran into the problem), the Xbox 360 and Linux/Mac builds on Steam have been delayed, and reviews so far are not great. Kind of like prom night for an anime fan, you might say.
Yet creator Keiji Inafune seems satisfied with the outcome, at least to the extent that the game is out the door and playable, and he defended the work of the developers during a pre-release livestream. “So there's not any additional DLC beyond the Ray DLC. The reality is they put everything into making this game. They didn't try to microtransaction it out, they didn't try to DLC it out for extra money. They put it all in. So, for now, this is what you see and what you get, for the Mighty No. 9 world,” agent Ben Judd says around the 1:09 mark of the stream archive, translating for Inafune. “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.”
That final "opinion" is Judd's and not Inafune's, as it initially appeared, but either way it comes off as a little too casually dismissive, especially under the circumstances. Mighty No. 9 crowdfunding raised $4 million, and while that's a drop in the budgetary bucket of some major triple-A releases, it was more than enough to cover literally every stretch goal on the table. How we got from that to what is clearly widespread disappointment in the final release isn't clear, but the apparent lack of enthusiasm among just about everyone involved in the stream is telling. And in a final twist of the knife, at around the 1:38 mark of the stream, the game crashes, leading to a few moments of talk about some of the other games installed on the demo PC, which all involved would clearly rather be playing.
We'll have our own review of Mighty No. 9 up for you soon.