Tetsuya Mizuguchi Interview 2005

We sit down for a comprehensive new interview with one of gaming's most acclaimed developers. Discover more about Mizuguchi's career, Lumines 2, working with Sega again in future, and much more.

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Since our last interview with Tetsuya Mizuguchi it's been a great year and a half for the famed games producer, with globally successful launches for Lumines on PSP and Meteos for the Nintendo DS.

Today we're pleased to bring you this comprehensive interview that looks back at Mizuguchi's career before looking to the future, uncovering some interesting stuff in the process.

We'll also soon be bringing you a separate full video feature in an additional sit-down with Mizuguchi and also Mr Lee from Phantagram, for a detailed interview feature on their collaborative Xbox 360 project, Ninety Nine Nights. Don't miss it! For now, enjoy this new interview.

Kikizo: Looking back, what's your opinion on Sega's decision to drop their creative core by dissolving Uninted Game Artists?

Mizuguchi: [Laughs] Man, that's a difficult question to answer! In 1990 when I joined Sega, at the time the game industry was really energetic, from arcade to consumer titles. There weren't many game studios in Japan at that time, but the times have changed. Sega challenged with the Dreamcast, and then Sammy merged together with Sega. At that time, I had two choices, basically. One was to adjust with the company, or the company adjusts to me, but the latter was impossible. So I decided to leave Sega. To me, I think this is a very healthy choice, because I get to do my own games now.

Kikizo: Would you have liked to continue your career at Sega?

Mizuguchi: I haven't thought of that really, but I could be working with them, in the future.

Kikizo: What made you decide to start up your own independent studio instead of joining another company?

Mizuguchi: Basically, I already had a vision for the company, and confidence in the future. We had a very strong vision for the future, and it was really good timing for us to start a studio and company by ourselves.

The offices of Q Entertainment

Kikizo: Why has Q Entertainment until now specialized on games for handheld systems?

Mizuguchi: The Nintendo DS and the PSP were the first platforms that were released after we started Q Entertainment. We're watching new technologies and hardware, so those were the newest systems, and of course, Meteos and Lumines were easier to make with a smaller company, so it was kind of a warm-up for the company, something that's healthy for the company [laughs].

Kikizo: Which was more difficult to work with, the DS or the PSP?

Mizuguchi: Neither of them were especially difficult to work with. We started to work on the games before we got any tools for both of them.

Kikizo: Meteos was created in co-operation with the designer of Kirby. Since Kirby is a very different kind of creation to your work, how did this somewhat unusual cooperation come about?

Mizuguchi: When I left Sega, he left HAL Laboratories, so the timing was perfect. We asked each other what are you doing, and I said I was starting a company. So we decided to make a simple game, nothing difficult. So I suggested, "how about a puzzle game? An action puzzle game?" So I gave him a concept, with a multi-task function. With Tetris, the game is a single task game with one block, so I wanted a game that you had many, many tasks to do, but one that would be fun though.

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Video Coverage
(See Latest Videos & Video FAQ Here)
Ninety-Nine Nights
First trailer (standard quality)  
1.22m 18.4MB SD, 30
Lumines (PSP)
Direct feed gameplay (No audio provided! Hmm...) (640x480, 1.2Mbps)
0.36m 4.97 MB WMV
Lumines (PSP)
TGS Shakycam gameplay (640x480, 1.8Mbps)
1.27m 18.4 MB WMV
Tetsuya Mizuguchi: Previous Video Interview
Previous video interview with the game design guru (320x240, 330kbps)
24.11m 59.4MB WMV

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