Corporate

Message from Tomonobu Itagaki, President, CTO and Director

板垣伴信
President, CTO and Director
Tomonobu Itagaki

Principles for Game Creators

I'd like to start my story from my encounter with computers. Since my father was an engineer, we always had the latest computers for professional use in our home. At that time, computers for personal use was not common. When I was a child, I used to play by "making games" on the business computers with my younger brother. I wrote programs whilst my brother drew graphics. We made a lot of games out of the desire to make our father happy. But our father did not even try to play them. We tried to figure out the reason for this desperately but could not find the answer easily. It took several years for me to find the reason why.

板垣伴信

Believe it or not, I attend fan-meetings fairly often. Fans are the most important existence for game creators. We can get many hints for the next game designing through their opinions by communicating with them. I usually interact with fans through social networking services (SNS) such as Facebook, but the best way to communicate with them is directly in person.

What do you think is the most important factor for creators to produce games? It's not just to hone their development skills. Creators need to be analysts, psychologists, historians and creative mathematicians who are searching for what strikes a chord in the hearts of game users. Needless to say, we have to bring satisfactions to our users. In short, we need to be the strategists who use every conceivable skill to achieve users' satisfaction, which is the essence of a creator.

I have been seeking the answer to my question on why my father had never played our games and finally I reached a conclusion. We just made games that we liked and forced them on our father against his will. I realized that our father, who is 30 years older than me, might not be interested in the game made by a junior-high student full of complacency. I was certain that was the reason and so I changed the BGM of the game to my father's favorite Japanese tune. And what a surprise! He suddenly started to play our game even though we had not even asked him to do so. The content of the game was exactly the same, only the music had changed.

板垣伴信

When I grew up, I became a professional game creator and have had various experiences as a creator. Every time I decided to achieve a goal, I always reached the top in certain game fields such as fist-fighting, sword and completely new genres. To achieve that, I analyzed the games of competitors, business trends and the whole market as quantitatively as possible in order to make highly probably future predictions for the next 3 to 5 years. In order to produce playable games for people all over the world, we have to absorb the history and culture of foreign countries and feel the psychology of users even more deeply than we feel our own. That means, we must have a constant understanding of the global game situation and predict the upcoming future. It takes a certain amount of time to produce a game. Therefore, we must read the world situation at the time when the game development will be completed.

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Our group has excellent staff who are able to compete in at the top level in the world. We believe this is one of our big advantages. To maximize this advantage, we have transferred our headquarters to Canada. It is better to set a development base in Western countries than Japan in order to gather talented creators scattered from all over the world and I have made a judgment that Vancouver is the most appropriate place for this.

By acquiring a new base for success, which enables us to use our global network, we will produce new games which can give more surprise to the game world. The best warriors gathered at Valhalla will challenge the battlefield in front of us to create exciting games. We will keep producing the best games in the world focusing on entertaining game fans all over the world. I'm in the state of bliss that can sail against this endless challenge.

President, CTO and Director
Tomonobu Itagaki
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