Tetsuya Mizuguchi on his return to game development
Rez and Lumines creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi has told us that he will return to game development proper in the near future, and is currently helping the development of some unannounced social games in Japan.
Speaking in the new issue of Edge, available now in print, on iPad, Google Play and Zinio, he discusses his departure from Q Entertainment and taking up a new role as a lecturer at Tokyo’s Keio University. But Mizuguchi isn’t giving up on vidoegames entirely – when asked whether his move into academia signals the end of his game development career, he told us: “I need both. I need to share my experiences and ideas with the younger generation. This is one mission. But I also need to keep creating. So I’m doing both now. I’m preparing my own creation.”
Mizuguchi says he is currently “helping with a few games,” but they’re not like his previous work, which includes Sega Rally, Rez, Space Channel 5 and Lumines. “I’m helping with some social games in Japan; I can’t say anything about it just yet. But I’m just helping. So I want to start a new project [of my own] maybe this year or next year.”
He could not reveal much more about that new title, but did refer back to his BitSummit keynote, in which he shared his thoughts on synaesthesia. “This is a big thing for me,” he continued. “I started that kind of concept in games with Rez, and this is a long journey, across Rez and Lumines and Child Of Eden, and maybe Space Channel 5 too. That part of my DNA will never die, so this is kind of a life’s work for me. So I’m thinking about what is next, and what’s the future experience.”
That new experience will not be created within a traditional studio, continued Mizuguchi. “I will make a new kind of creative environment. I’m not that bothered about starting a new company. Instead, I’ll connect with people and put together a group who are essential to the project, and then for the next project I’ll start again. Everyone will be freelance. It will be similar to how you make a film or how you make music, with a group of independent people with specific knowhow working together.”
Mizuguchi intends to return to making games like Rez, a game we awarded a 9 in our Rez review from 2001.
He later signals his interest in mobile games, saying: “New technology is always welcome, even if it’s in the mobile environment. Many mobile games are not like console games, but that technology is very interesting. I want to think about the future from the point of view of what the future human wants.”
That future might well include free-to-play, he adds. “A lot of game creators are hostile towards free-to-play models, but I’m not,” says Mizuguchi. “I want to create to satisfy people’s wants. Of course, I also want to be creative personally, so I want to match those things together and see what I can make. I want to undertake lots of different challenges.”
There’s plenty more insight within our latest issue’s Audience With Tetsuya Mizuguchi, published in print, on iPad, Google Play and Zinio today. Head through the links for subscriber options and to buy individual copies.