News Article

Sonic Designer Hirokazu Yasuhara Joins Nintendo

Posted by James Newton

It's just not natural

Hirokazu Yasuhara, an instrumental member of Sonic Team during the 1990s, has taken a new role at Nintendo of America.

Yasuhara — sometimes known as Carol Yas — was game planner on the original Sonic the Hedgehog before directing and designing the best of the hedgehog's 16-bit adventures. His final game at SEGA was Dreamcast disaster Floigan Brothers in 2001; he then moved to Naughty Dog where he was game designer on the Jak & Daxter and Uncharted games. Last year he worked on Pac-Man Party for Wii while at Namco Bandai, a position he left in March.

Yasuhara has taken up a new, unspecified role at Nintendo Software Technology, a Nintendo of America subsidiary that's best known for Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! and Metroid Prime Hunters, among others.

What could this former SEGA great and NST cook up together?

[via gamasutra.com]

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User Comments (41)

misswliu81

#4

misswliu81 said:

fantastic- can't wait to see what he has up his sleeve and inject some of that SEGA magic into a nintendo game.

James

#6

James said:

It was bad enough when he worked on PlayStation, but this?

Congrats to NST who just got one of the best designers in the business to help them build more Animal Crossing clocks and calculators!

Hejiru

#7

Hejiru said:

I wonder what people would say if back in the 90s you told them that someday Sonic's creator would be working for Nintendo.

DestinyMan

#12

DestinyMan said:

Just comes to show how much Nintendo and Sega have gotten along in recent years. Here's hoping he makes a notable influence on upcoming games using some of that old Sonic talent.

MarkyVigoroth

#13

MarkyVigoroth said:

I have ended up missing the Sonic vs. Mario debate until Pokémon Colloseum (my first full introduction into games in general), yet even I find this odd!

(I only watched some of the Sonic cartoon series and barely knew who Knuckles was. I, however, played Super Mario Land 2 and some Super Smash Bros, but that was it.)

C-Olimar

#14

C-Olimar said:

@James They made Aura-Aura Climber! Give them credit where it's due. And besides, don't pretend that you've never been tempted to buy one of those calculators! They are so cool...and it is Animal Crossing...

MAB

#16

MAB said:

How about a platforming action adventure romp starring a guy with a massive part in his hair that wears a pink pirate shirt. Who wouldn't buy that game :)

Shworange

#17

Shworange said:

Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

MAB

#18

MAB said:

↑↑↑
Sounds like the perfect setting for Parted Puffy Pink Pirate Man.

Adam

#19

Adam said:

Oh no. Nintendo has been contaminated with Sega. Now they will have to fire everyone and start afresh to avoid letting the Sega taint spread throughout the company. Pretty soon Mario will have an attitude and the Wii U will have ten different hardware expansions.

Shworange

#20

Shworange said:

@James
Lol. Animal crossing calendar... My son had some leftover points and got that. He was so angry to find that it was just a calendar. I tried to warn him... Ah good times.

WaveBoy

#22

WaveBoy said:

Maybe he can help bring back Streets of Rage from the dead, or better yet get Axel into Super Smash Bros 4. lol

mamp

#23

mamp said:

Well don't know much but I do know Jak and Daxter and Uncharted games are one of the best exclusives on the PS3 especially Uncharted. Can't wait to see what he cooks up for Nintendo.

Chobi

#24

Chobi said:

Looking at this guy's record he sure does get around. I'm not really surprised by this news.

James

#25

James said:

@C-Olimar Yuji Naka programmed the game, Hirokazu Yasuhara designed the game and Naoto Ohshima designed the characters. There is no one "creator of Sonic", but if anyone's closest it's Ohshima, I guess.

WaLzgiStaff

#26

WaLzgi said:

@James: No no no. We'll see some Nintendo calendars featuring Sonic the Hedgehog. Only a matter of time before Nintendo acquires him after all ;)

C-Olimar

#27

C-Olimar said:

@James I see. I've heard Naka referred to as his creator in ONM a lot is all...

@Lordlz unlikely, I think once SEGA has reshuffled they will do fine. But that did give me a horrible vision of someone like Microsoft owning sonic (shudder) so if necessary I would want him to be bought by Nintendo.

Dak_n_Jaxter

#29

Dak_n_Jaxter said:

Just read the interview article with him in Nintendo Power. Really talented and genuine guy. I had no idea he'd worked on so many great things. This is awesome news. Wish him success in his newest endeavor...

Neram

#30

Neram said:

This guy and Miyamoto need to sit down together and make a game. Now.

Wolfenstein83

#32

Wolfenstein83 said:

So maybe in the next Mario Galaxy, there will be a Sonic cameo?
I can imagine it now...and how weird it would seem.
Still awesome news though.

MeloMan

#36

MeloMan said:

NST is still around?? Last good thing I enjoyed was Excitebike 64, 1080 Snowboarding, and MPH iirc. I thought they were gone. Moving on to Yas-san, he's got some good experience he seems to be bringing over, but he doesn't stay anywhere too long, does he? Either he gets bored easy or there's something else up, but meh... as long as he can help Nintendo in some way, cool.

Oh, and since he planned the original Sonic series, I say let him get started on the long time fan requested Mario x Sonic Platformer :)

Dodger

#39

Dodger said:

Sonic Clock?

But seriously, this is pretty cool. Don't care about Pacman Party but other then that, a rather impressive resume. Early Sega and Naughty Dog both make some rather good games.

misswliu81

#40

misswliu81 said:

if nintendo are going to court more ex- video game company employees, especially from sega, then i think they should get the creator of virtua fighter, Yu Suzuki next.

that way perhaps, nintendo may get a new fighting game to rival the likes of streetfighter, tekken, dead or alive.

mushroomer

#41

mushroomer said:

honestly, i loved mario vs donkey kong 2 march of the mini's.. i think i put more hours into that level editor than any other ds game ever. i created over 500 levels and shared them with others who were into it too from as many forums i could find. sharing fc's and trading levels that were crazy hard, or even showing off glitches. the good 'ol days. my glory days.. seriously.. i even have a youtube channel to prove it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/mrmushroomer/videos?view=0

then they started removing features.. like being able to control the mini's and having better QA which meant less glitches. arg!!!!

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