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Rieko Kodama, Influential Creator at Sega, Passed Away in May

Rieko Kodama died passed away May 2022 confirmed by Sega for Genesis Mini 2, creative force creator writer on Phantasy Star II IV Skies of Arcadia

It has become belatedly public that Rieko Kodama, a significant creative force at Sega, died in May 2022 at age 58. A memorial message for Rieko Kodama appears in the staff credits of the Sega Genesis Mini 2, which has been released today, and Sega and others, such as Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Yuji Naka, have since confirmed the death of Kodama this past May. Her family had evidently chosen to keep her passing private until this point.

This is a substantial loss for the industry in general. Even now, the video game industry carries a perception of being male-driven, but Rieko Kodama was a significant creative force at Sega as far back as the 1980s. Sometimes being credited as “Phoenix Rie,” Kodama defined the on-screen visual style of Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star II, and she directed Phantasy Star IV, effectively becoming the name most closely associated with the RPG franchise. She had also worked on the original two Sonic the Hedgehog games and was one of the leading forces in the creation of cult classic Skies of Arcadia. In recent years, Kodama had been the producer of the 7th Dragon franchise and of the Sega Ages project.

Rieko Kodama has died, but her accomplishments speak for themselves. She will be missed by everyone who loved her work.

About the author

John Friscia
Former Managing Editor at The Escapist. I have been writing about video games since 2018 and editing writing on IT, project management, and video games for around a decade. I have an English degree, but Google was a more valuable learning resource. I taught English in South Korea for a year in 2018, and it was exponentially more fun than living in Pennsylvania. My major passions in life are SNES, Japanese RPGs, Berserk, and K-pop. I'm currently developing the game Boss Saga with my brother, which is guaranteed to change your life and you should buy it.