Akira Ueda (上田 晃 Ueda Akira?) is a Japanese video game designer, director, graphical artist, and composer. After previously working for several notable companies, he currently designs games from his own company Audio, Inc.
Ueda was born in 1970 in Tokyo, Japan. He moved to Urayasu, Chiba at the age of 10. As a teenager, he took a part-time job at Tokyo Disney Resort, where he worked until 1988, when he attended Tokyo Design Academy. He was hired by Square in 1990.
At Square, Ueda worked mostly as a background and map designer, most prominently on Super Mario RPG. In 1995, he joined co-worker Kenichi Nishi and others in the establishment of the independent developer Love-de-Lic, where Ueda carried over his responsibilities from Square in the design of the company's first two releases. In 1999, Ueda left Love-de-Lic and joined Grasshopper Manufacture. He continued to design backgrounds and maps, but his debut as a director came with the two Shining Soul games released for the Game Boy Advance. He was also directed and acted as the main designer for Contact on the Nintendo DS.
Ueda left Grasshopper Manufacture in 2005 and founded Audio, Inc. the following January. The company currently consists of Ueda and 8 other individuals. So far, the company has made several Japan-exclusive releases on the DS, including its most recent game, Sakura Note: Ima ni Tsunagaru Mirai.
- Final Fantasy IV (1991) — sound effects
- Secret of Mana (1993) — background and map design
- Super Mario RPG (1996) — background and map design
- Moon: Remix RPG Adventure (1997) — background and map design, planning
- UFO: A Day in the Life (1999) — background and map design
- Flower, Sun, and Rain (2001) — 3D map design
- Shining Soul (2002) — director, background and map design
- Shining Soul II (2003) — director, background and map design
- Michigan: Report from Hell (2004) — director
- Contact (2006) — director, planning, scenario, background and map design
- Deltora Quest: Nanatsu no Houseki (2007)
- Majin Tantei Nōgami Neuro: Neuro to Miko no Bishoku Sanmai (2008)
- Sakura Note: Ima ni Tsunagaru Mirai (2009)
- Paper Mario: Sticker Star (2012) - planning
- Space*Agency (TBA)
- Ueda, Akira. "History". Audio Games. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Mafia, Kajita (November 7, 2009). 郷愁を誘う独特の雰囲気が魅力的な「サクラノート ～いまにつながるみらい～」開発者インタビュー [Charming and unique atmosphere of nostalgia, "Sakura Note: Ima ni Tsunagaru Mirai" Developer Interview] (in Japanese). 4Gamer.net. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- Robinson, Andy (May 22, 2006). "Suda 51: Contact established". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- Sheffield, Brandon (June 1, 2006). "Killer Contact: A Chat with Grasshopper Manufacture's Suda51". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Ueda, Akira. "Company". Audio Games. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- Spencer (September 3, 2009). "Sakura Note Team Talks Localization". Siliconera. Retrieved 2009-09-03.