And a great interview with Shinji Mikami
Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil, The Evil Within) chose Hiroki Kato to direct Resident Evil Code: Veronica. Kato did not continue getting attached to projects as a director, however, though he did end up as a designer on God Hand and Vanquish. He left the industry after Vanquish and, according to this Polygon interview with Shinji Mikami, is a farmer now. I can see the appeal to settle down on some green acres.
The rest of the interview gives a recent history on Mikami, who left Capcom to start Tango Gameworks because he wanted to be able to enable young directors to lead projects, as he was able to do in the past when Capcom was smaller (see: the aforementioned Kato, Hideki Kamiya, and Ace Attorney creator Shu Takumi). “Capcom became a little too big,” Mikami explained, “and they started modeling their business structure after Electronic Arts — in terms of management, cost, human resources and budgets.”
Tango Gameworks had some ideas in development, like a Dune-inspired project, but monetary trouble led them to be bought by Bethesda, which is publishing The Evil Within. It actually started as a vampire game with two characters chained together. Those without a co-op partner would have to control both at once. It ended up the more familiar survival horror title Mikami is known for.
“Compared to the image of a typical Western game publisher, Bethesda is probably more like a typical Japanese publisher,” says Mikami. “They don’t force creative people to do stuff. They give that creative freedom to developers.” Perhaps. But I’m still pouring one out for Prey 2.
Whether or not Mikami will continue to direct, let someone else direct, or have multiple, smaller games in development — which will require Bethesda’s blessing — remains to be seen. Mikami did note those in line to be the next big thing, though: Evil Within lead game designer Shigenori Nishikawa, art director Naoki Katakai and lead concept artist Ikumi Nakamura
Shinji Mikami and the fountain of youth [Polygon]