||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2010)|
|Native name||大場 規勝|
February 20, 1963 |
Noriyoshi Ohba (大場 規勝 Ōba Noriyoshi?, born February 20, 1963 in Tokyo) is a Japanese game designer and producer best known for his role as head of Sega Studio OverWorks. Ohba currently is working at Premium Agency with other former Sega designers.
Noriyoshi Ohba was born in Tokyo, Japan. He graduated from the School of Commerce at Waseda University in 1987 and joined Sega Enterprises Ltd (current Sega Corporation). Ohba has been involved in the development and production of many renowned video game titles as an executive producer. In the year of 2000, he served as the president of Overworks, Ltd; there, he was responsible for several series, such as, Sakura Wars and Revenge of Shinobi until the company merged with Wow Entertainment Inc. into Sega Wow Inc. in 2003. He also served as the Vice President, Studios at Sega Wow Inc.
In the year of 2004, Ohba moved to Interchannel Inc. and contributed as the Vice President of Entertainment Division and doubled as the President and Chairperson of Light Weight, Inc. until 2006. In 2007, Ohba moved to GungHo Works, Inc. and was appointed as CEO. In February 2010, Ohba retired GungHo Works and joined Premium Agency Inc. as the Executive Producer.
Ohba's first game, Wonder Boy in Monster Land, came out in 1988.
In 2002, while promoting Shinobi (PlayStation 2), Obha revealed that he had been involved with the franchise since Revenge of Shinobi (1989). In an interview with IGN, he said that he was directly involved in the development of the brawler trilogy Streets of Rage (1991–1994).
During the Sega Saturn era, the development teams at Sega decided to develop original IPs over sequels, as evident by Yuji Naka's lack of involvement in any new Sonic the Hedgehog games. Similarly, work on Obha's Streets of Rage and Shinobi games was outsourced to external studios (The Streets of Rage game was eventually released as Fighting Force). However a new Shinobi game titled Shinobi Legions was produced for the Sega Saturn without Obha's involvement.
Notable franchises that Obha helped create for Sega Saturn included Clockwork Knight (1994), Blazing Heroes (1995), and Sakura Wars (1996) series, among several others games. While his games were all critically and commercially successful in Japan, former Sega president Bernie Stolar decided against localizing most of Ohba's Saturn games.
In 1998, in order to prepare for the Dreamcast launch with a strong software lineup, Sega expanded its in-house R&D teams, giving them full creative autonomy outside the walls of Sega. He became president of his own studio Overworks (word play on Ohba's name). The studio worked on the Sakura Taisen series in 2001. Along with Rieko Kodama (creator of Phantasy Star, Ohba produced Skies of Arcadia (Eternal Arcadia in Japan) for Dreamcast, which was an RPG similar to the Mega Drive Phantasy Star games.
For Playstation 2 he produced the reimagining of Shinobi. The game originally started development for Dreamcast, while the game progressed significantly in development due to Sega's decision to discontinue support for the Dreamcast, development of the game was moved to PlayStation 2, which caused a six-month delay in release. In 2003, his studio was merged with WoW Entertainment and renamed Sega WoW. He served as vice president for the studio and produced a spin-off for Shinobi titled Nightshade (videogame) (Kunoichi in Japan).
After Sega Sammy merger Oba retired from Sega after 18 years of service. In the year of 2004, Ohba moved to Interchannel Inc. and contributed as the Vice President of Entertainment Division and doubled as the President and Chairperson of Light Weight, Inc. until 2006. In 2007, Ohba moved to GungHo Works, Inc. and was appointed as CEO. In February 2010, Ohba retired GungHo Works and joined Premium Agency Inc. as the Executive Producer. He left Sega in 2005 and joined GungHo Entertainment, where he became director of newly created GungHo Works. The subsidiary studio was shuttered[clarification needed] in fall 2009 due to the mediocre press received by Ragnarok Online DS and Mimana Iyar Chronicles.
On March 3, 2010, Premium Agency announced the appointment of Noriyoshi Ohba to the position of Vice President and Chief Creative Officer (CCO) with effect from February 22, 2010. The founder of Premium Agency Katsunori Yamaji is also a former Sega designer who previously worked for AM2.
List of major works
- Official Shinobi website; now offline
- "E3 2002: Shinobi Interview - IGN". Ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
- "Overworks Games - IGN". Games.ign.com. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
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