In unusual news, Keita Takahashi, the creator of the Katamari series and Noby Noby Boy abandoned his post at Namco Bandai to work re-designing an old park in Nottingham, England. No word yet on whether this is an ellipsis, or a hard-hitting period.
Initially, this struck me as supremely odd because it seemed like such a departure from his work making small things progressively bigger by either rolling or eating things (not to mention his FPS idea). Then I was reminded that he said this. And this. Can’t forget this one, either. So it actually makes a lot of sense. He kept saying the same things: the gaming industry is heading in a direction he doesn’t like, and that he wants to work on parks. Now he’s left the industry that he didn’t feel suited for, and he’s working on parks. Sounds like he’ll be a happier guy with these changes.
Can you imagine the parks he’s going to build? Based on the level design of Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy, I can only imagine. He’s a highly imaginative guy, and Namco Bandai will be less than they were without him. As will all of us, I suppose. His games are just so… happy. Wildly colorful, outlandish, funny, random, and happy. How often do people make games that obsessively happy? Not that often.
The question that’s been running through my head since reading this announcement is this: who else could you see leaving the game industry in favor of some equally distant line of work? Could Hideo Kojima leave Konami to become some kind of political figure speaking out against Nuclear armaments? What do you think Shigeru Miyamoto would go off to do? That unnaturally virile, man-child could definitely be as successful in other arenas. Based on the drum he’s been beating for a year now, I could see Keiji Inafune serving as an international business professor at some university. What about Gabe Newell as the new spokesman for Subway? The new Jared, maybe.
I’m leaving it at that. Someone out there should come up with some better hypotheticals and comment here. Or else.
Yeah, I’m threatening you, the audience. No big deal.