Naoto Ōshima

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Naoto Ōshima
Born (1964-01-26) January 26, 1964 (age 50)
Occupation Game designer

Naoto Ōshima (大島 直人 Ōshima Naoto?) (born January 26, 1964) is a Japanese national and former Sega employee who designed the characters of Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr. Eggman.[1][2] Ōshima gained renown at Sega's Sonic Team for creating characters and playing integral roles in the development of games like Phantasy Star, Sonic CD, Nights into Dreams..., Burning Rangers, and Sonic Adventure.

Although Yuji Naka created the original tech demo around which Sonic's gameplay was based, the character in his prototype was a ball that lacked any specific features.[3] Sonic Team considered numerous potential animal mascots before deciding on Oshima's design, with an armadillo or a hedgehog being the top choices because their spikes worked well with the concept of rolling into enemies.[2] Oshima's design for Sonic was altered by Sega of America to appeal to Western audiences.[4]

After leaving Sonic Team, Oshima formed an independent game company called Artoon. Since then he has stepped down from the position of president in the company and was replaced by Yutaka Sugano. There he went on to work on such games as Pinobee and Blinx: The Time Sweeper, and in 2004, the sequel to Blinx, Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space. In 2010, Artoon was absorbed into AQ Interactive.

He is occasionally credited under the nickname "Big Island", which is a literal translation of his family name.

In 2010, he and other key members of Artoon left to form Arzest.

Sonic is surrounded by series creators Yuji Naka (left), Naoto Ōshima (center), and Hirokazu Yasuhara (Right) at Sonic's 20th Anniversary party

Production history[edit]


  1. ^ Sheffield, Brandon (2009-12-04). "Out of the Blue: Naoto Ohshima Speaks". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  2. ^ a b "The Essential 50 Part 28 - Sonic the Hedgehog". Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  3. ^ "Sonic's Architect: GI Interviews Hirokazu Yasuhara". Game Informer 13 (124): 114–116. August 2003. 
  4. ^ Harris, Blake J. (2014). Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation. New York, New York: HarperCollins. pp. 72–79. ISBN 978-0-06-227669-8. 

External links[edit]