Takashi Iizuka (game designer)
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Takashi Iizuka (飯塚 隆)
March 16, 1970
|Board member of||Sonic Team|
Takashi Iizuka (飯塚 隆 Iizuka Takashi) (born March 16, 1970) is a Japanese video game director, producer, designer and screenwriter. Since 2009, Iizuka has been the vice president 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 series.
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. He directed Sonic Adventure as well.
Sega Studio USA
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 PlayStation Portable 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.
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. 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.
- Golden Axe III (1993) — Planner (as Iiz)
- Sonic 3 (1994) — Senior Game Designer
- Sonic & Knuckles (1994) — Senior Game Designer
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles (1994) — Senior Game Designer
- Nights into Dreams (1996) — Lead Game Designer
- Christmas Nights (1996) — Game Designer
- Sonic 3D Blast (1996) — Game Concept Design, Special Stage Design, Saturn Enhancements
- Sonic Jam (1997) — Director
- Sonic R (1997) — Game Design Director
- Sonic Adventure (1999) — Director, Character Game Designer, Chaos Game Designer, Level Designer
- ChuChu Rocket! (2000) — Product Support (Sega of America)
- Sonic Adventure 2 (2001) — Director, Lead Game Designer, Enemy Game Designer, Level Designer
- Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut (2003) — Mission Mode Game Designer
- Sonic Heroes (2003) — Director, Level Designer, CG Movie Director
- Sonic Mega Collection — Special Thanks
- Sonic Gems Collection (2005) — Special Thanks
- Shadow the Hedgehog (2005) — Director, Lead Game Designer, Level Designer, Scenario Writer, Movie Supervisor
- Sonic Riders (2006) — Recording Coordinator
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) — Special Thanks
- Sonic Rivals (2006) — Director, Concept Design, Scenario Writer, Producer
- Sonic and the Secret Rings (2007) — Special Thanks
- Sonic Rivals 2 (2007) — Director, Concept Design, Scenario Writer, Producer
- Nights: Journey of Dreams (2007) — Director, Producer, Lead Game Designer
- Nights into Dreams (PS2 Version) (2008) — Supervisor
- Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (2008) — Recording Coordinator
- Sega Superstars Tennis (2008) — Special Thanks
- Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360 & PS3 Version) (2008) — Level Design Special Thanks
- Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (2008) — Sonic Character Supervisor
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (2009) - Director, Game Designer
- Sonic and the Black Knight (2009) — Special Thanks
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I (2010) — Producer
- Sonic Colors (2010) — Producer
- Sonic Generations (2011) — Producer
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (2012) — Producer
- Sonic Lost World (2013) — Producer
- Puyo Puyo Tetris (2014) — Product Support
- Sonic Runners (2015) — Producer
- Tembo the Badass Elephant (2015) — Supervisor
- Sonic Mania (2017) – Supervisor
- Sonic Forces (2017) – Sonic Series Producer, Product Development VP of PD and Creative Services (SEGA of America, Inc.)
- Team Sonic Racing (2019) – Sonic Series Producer
- Chamberlain, Chad (20 November 2007). "Gamespeak: "NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams"". CBS. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
- "Sonic Team's Takashi Iizuka on how Sega is changing its game - Rob Boffard".
- "A Blast From The Past: Tomoko Sasaki and Naofumi Hataya NiGHTS Interview".