Thursday, September 9, 2010

Katamari Creator Leaves Namco-Bandai

Keita Takahashi, the Game Designer behind the Katamari Damacy and Nobi Nobi Boy series, has stated that he has left Namco-Bandai Games for other opportunities, most of which will be outside of the game industry.

In August, Takahashi told Official Playstation Magazine that he was was not interested in the way the gaming industry was evolving, citing his disinterest in 3D and motion controls from each competitor. Even beforehand, the Katamari Damacy-creator had been showing disinterest in the ways his games were made into full franchises rather than one-off projects.

Ultimately, he has stated that he would like to explore other venues with his Art degree. In previous interviews, he has seen interest in playground development and even table design. He seems open to game development, but he is stepping away from Namco-Bandai, and most likely the game industry as a whole, for a little while at least.

Keita Takahashi takes credit in developing Katamari Damacy and We <3 Katamari, the game's sequel. In this series, players roll large balls which grab onto smaller objects to build them into a massive object, which would later turn into stars or planetoids in space. The absurd, almost dada-esque art direction is especially unique. Without his direction the series has since had more games developed, including Katamari Paradise for PSP and Beautiful Katamari for HD consoles this generation.

During that time, Takahashi worked on a unique "stretching" game called Nobi Nobi Boy, currently available on PS3 and on iOS. Players move the Boy around each area, stretching off of objects and onto creates and everything else along the way. There is no word on whether he was planning anything before the leave, but he finished the iOS version of Nobi Nobi Boy this year. Outside of the industry, Takahashi is currently working on the creation of a children's playground in Nottingham, UK. Best of luck!


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