Yoshiki Okamoto (岡本 吉起 Okamoto Yoshiki) (born June 10, 1961, in Ehime Prefecture, Japan), sometimes credited as Kihaji Okamoto, is a video game designer credited with producing many popular titles for Konami, including Gyruss and Time Pilot, and Capcom, including Final Fight and Street Fighter II. He later founded the company Game Republic.
Early career at Konami
His early games such as Time Pilot (1982) and Gyruss (1983) set new and innovative standards in the shoot 'em up genre during the golden age of arcade games. The Killer List of Videogames included both Gyruss and Time Pilot in its list of top 100 arcade games of all time.
Time Pilot was notable for its early time travel theme, set across five time periods, and its free-roaming style of gameplay, which allowed the player's plane to freely move across open air space that can scroll indefinitely in all directions. Gyruss was notable for its stereo sound and is often remembered for its musical score that plays throughout the game, Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor". It was also notable for its multi-core processing, which included two Z80 microprocessors, one 6809 microprocessor, and one 8039 microprocessor, and for the sound, five AY-3-8910 PSG sound chips and a DAC.
Although these games turned out to be successful titles for Konami, Okamoto's employer was not too happy as apparently Okamoto had been told to create a driving game instead. Internal disagreements, financial and credible, caused his termination from Konami.
Career at Capcom
Joining Capcom in 1984, Okamoto directed several arcade games such as 1942 (1984), SonSon (1984), Gun.Smoke (1985) and Side Arms (1986). The last game he directed was the 1988 CP System game Forgotten Worlds (1988). He would oversee the development of Capcom's subsequent games as a producer and was responsible for recruiting character designer Akira Yasuda for Capcom. Okamoto and Yasuda developed some of Capcom's biggest hits, most notably the beat 'em up game Final Fight (1989) and fighting game Street Fighter II (1991).
Okamoto continued to develop video games for Capcom through Flagship, which included work on the 1996 survival horror game Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan). Additionally, he produced the movie adaptation and its sequel. In 2003, he resigned from Capcom to form his own video game company.
In 2005, Okamoto's new independent game company, Game Republic, released its first game Genji: Dawn of the Samurai. Genji is a game set in Feudal Japan with a similar playing style to the Onimusha series. A sequel, Genji: Days of the Blade, was released on the PlayStation 3 in late 2006. A new Game Republic game called Folklore (Folkssoul in Japan) was released in 2007.
In 2007, Game Republic signed with Brash Entertainment and started working on licensed games like "Clash of the Titans". But then in November 2008, Brash Entertainment went out of business, and Game Republic had to turn to Namco Bandai for the release of "Clash of the Titans".
In 2011, Game Republic also shut down due to debt, and a year later, Okamoto announced that he had retired from making console games and started working on mobile games.
- Greg McLemore and the KLOV team. "The Top Coin-Operated Videogames of all Times". Killer List of Videogames. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- Time Pilot at AllGame
- "Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits - NDS - Review". GameZone. April 9, 2007. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
- "Konami Arcade Classics: Well, at least it's classic". IGN. January 7, 2000. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
- Gyruss at the Killer List of Videogames
- "The Fall of Game Republic". Polygon.
- "Game Republic's Yoshiki Okamoto says he's 'retired' from making console games". Polygon.