Sonic Co-Creator Hirokazu Yasuhara Joins NintendoBy: Chris Gabbard - April 5, 2012
Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator and director Hirokazu Tasuhara has joined Nintendo at their Nintendo Software Technology (NTS) division in Redmond, Washington. Tasuhara worked with Sonic Team until 2002, collaborating with co-creators Yuji Naka and Naoto Oshima on all of the original sonic games in the early nineties. Since then, he has remained in the gaming industry, serving stints at 2K Sports’ Visual Concepts Entertainment, Naughty Dog, and Namco Bandai before landing at NTS.
NTS was once in the spotlight but is now considered to be one of the companies lesser development groups. In the past they have worked on high profile games like 1080 Avalanche, Metroid Prime: Hunters, Super Smash Brother Brawl and the Mario vs Donkey Kong series. In the last few years they have been out of the limelight. Their last release was Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem in 2010. A quality title, achieving a metacritic score of 79, but certainly not a high profile game. Perhaps Tasuhara is being brought on to change things around.
At Sega, he was a director and designer for numerous Genesis and Saturn games including several installments in the sonic franchise. He went on to become senior designer at Naughty Dog, working on the hit franchises Jak & Daxter and Uncharted.
It is unclear exactly what his role will be at NTS, but a veteran director and designer of his caliber would certainly be brought on in a leadership role. The high profile games he has worked on in the past begs the question: What does NTS have up its sleeves?