Takashi Iizuka (game designer)

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Takashi Iizuka (飯塚 隆, Iizuka Takashi) (born March 16, 1970) is a Japanese game director, game producer, game designer, level designer, scenario writer and currently the VP of Product Development for the Sonic franchise at Sega of America and head of Sonic Team, altogether serving as the head of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.

Early career[edit]

His first collaboration with Sega involved working with STI on Sonic 3 and Knuckles as a designer. Later, he helped supervise Traveller's Tales with the development of Sonic R. In Japan he was lead designer for Nights into Dreams....[1] He directed Sonic Adventure as well.

Sega Studio USA[edit]

In 1999, he and a small part of Sonic Team moved to San Francisco to establish Sonic Team USA (later renamed Sega Studio USA), in order to gain feedback from the western market. Over in the U.S. his team worked on the international release of Sonic Adventure. Afterward, his team started to develop their own games, where he was the director and lead designer for Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Nights: Journey of Dreams. In an effort to further broaden Sonic's appeal to western markets, Iizuka gave western developer, Backbone Entertainment, a shot at developing Sonic titles (Sonic Rivals & Sonic Rivals 2) under his team's supervision for the PSP console.


In 2008 Sega's American division, Sega Studio USA, was absorbed back into Sonic Team Japan making Iizuka the producer for the Sonic series at Sonic Team and the head of the company as well. Currently, Iizuka has relocated to Los Angeles to become the VP of Product Development for the Sonic franchise at Sega of America, which includes the games produced by Sonic Team, while retaining his title as the head of Sonic Team. [2]


Game Journalist from Wired described Takashi Iizuka as a difficult man to read, as he tends to slip into corporate speak especially when discussing mixed reception of Sonic games.[3] His long time colleague and composer, Tomoko Sasaki, however described him as someone who "offered a different and fresh, almost unpredictable, way of thinking" and got along well with him from the very start.[4]

Production history[edit]


  1. ^ Chamberlain, Chad (20 November 2007). "Gamespeak: "NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams"". CBS. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  2. ^ https://www.mcvuk.com/development/sonic-team-head-returns-to-us-to-establish-development-hub-for-franchise
  3. ^ "Sonic Team's Takashi Iizuka on how Sega is changing its game - Rob Boffard".
  4. ^ "A Blast From The Past: Tomoko Sasaki and Naofumi Hataya NiGHTS Interview".