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Yu Suzuki steps down at Sega

Retires as creative officer but stays on in a diminished capacity

Yu Suzuki,‭ ‬the pioneer of numerous videogame franchises,‭ ‬has stepped down from‭ ‬his role as R&D creative officer at Sega.

According to the latest Sega-Sammy investor report,‭ ‬the revered game designer has‭ "‬retired‭" ‬from the key role.‭ ‬Suzuki,‭ ‬50,‭ ‬remains at Sega in a somewhat diminished capacity‭; ‬acting as the R&D‭ ‬manager‭ ‬at Sega's AM Plus division.

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AM Plus has yet to release a title outside of‭ ‬Japan,‭ ‬with the group having developed two arcade titles,‭ ‬one of which was the long-delayed arcade touch-screen game Psy-Phi.‭

Suzuki's name is synonymous with Sega's, and is responsible for the birth of several iconic franchises that brought the publisher wealth and fame.‭ ‬Having joined Sega in‭ ‬1983‭ ‬as a programmer,‭ ‬Suzuki quickly exhibited a prodigious talent in understanding how to design arcade games that both attracted audiences and pleased players.‭

The arcade release of OutRun made his career,‭ ‬yet the list of Suzuki's creations read like a‭ ‬Desert Island Games collection;‭ ‬Afterburner,‭ ‬Space Harrier,‭ ‬Shenmue,‭ ‬Virtua Cop and Virtua Fighter.‭

By‭ ‬2003‭ ‬he was still active in game production,‭ ‬both adding final tweaks to the applauded Virtua Fighter‭ ‬4,‭ ‬as well as overseeing the unsuspectingly triumphant sequel to OutRun.‭ ‬In the same year he was honoured with an‭ ‬induction into the‭ ‬Academy of‭ ‬Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.‭

Since receiving the honour,‭ ‬Suzuki has not been involved in the production of any key releases.‭ ‬In recent times he has been best known for working on and promoting Shenmue Online,‭ ‬the unreleased‭ ‬online role-playing‭ ‬game.‭

Yet Shenmue Online,‭ ‬like its creator,‭ ‬has slipped under the radar in recent times.‭ ‬The game looks unlikely to ever see a release,‭ ‬and furthermore,‭ ‬the Shenmue series itself looks likely to remain incomplete.

If Shenmue is to be Suzuki's legacy,‭ ‬then the games‭' ‬loose-ends are perhaps fitting tribute to an arcade maestro who,‭ ‬in the traditions of coin-sinking,‭ ‬always left the audience wanting more.

Article supplied by Edge Online

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