Takashi Iizuka (game designer)

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Takashi Iizuka (飯塚 隆, Iizuka Takashi) (born March 16th, 1970) is a Japanese game director, game producer, game designer, level designer, scenario writer and currently the head of Sonic Team.

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 and headed up lead design for Sonic Adventure as well (it was his idea for a Sonic role-playing game).[citation needed]

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. Currently, he is the head of Sonic Team and as of 2010, is serving as producer for all major Sonic the Hedgehog titles.


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.[2] 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.[3]

Production history[edit]