The creator of Katamari Damacy Keita Takahashi quit his position at Namco Bandai because he felt that he “didn’t belong” in the videogame industry.
People were surprised this September when Takahashi left Namco after eleven years but he said that his exodus was inspired by his work on a public-funded playground in Nottingham, U.K. which now occupies him fulltime. The director of Katamari Damacy, We Love Katamari and PSN title Noby Noby Boy is interested in offbeat and interesting games. He didn’t appreciate the direction that Namco Bandai and the rest of the industry was taking and expressed disappointment many companies were only interested in making endless sequels without innovating. Takahashi has formed a company, called uvula, with his wife Asuka Sakai and, since she is a composer, he plans to work on music with her. He did say that he may go back to making videogames at some point.
“The reason why I quit Namco was because I started to feel like I didn’t belong there any more,” Takahashi said. “The games I was making were not necessarily the best-selling ones. I realized Namco was, as a business, going down a bit.
“After I started this playground project I felt it was the opportunity for me to start working on other things, not only videogames,” he said.
Takahashi fired some parting shots at the videogame industry. “I find it quite boring that if a company creates one thing that sells really well then obviously the company is going to work on almost similar types of things to make more profit,” he said.
“I can’t deny the fact that people work on sequels. After all, it’s a business. But at the same time, in the past decade or so, I’ve only seen most companies working on the safe side making more sequels. I haven’t seen anyone trying to make something really new out of the profit they made from those sequels.”
He didn’t rule out making another videogame if he has a great idea for one. “Also, if I can come up with a really good idea for new games, then I may approach some companies and say, ‘Look, this is my idea,'” Takahashi said. “In general, I want to work on lots of different things that I couldn’t work on when I was at Namco.”
While I can’t say that I was a huge fan of Takahashi’s games, I was glad that they existed. The videogame world needs more total freaks and insane geniuses, and it has lost one in Takahashi.