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Final fantasy of designer is games that seem like art

Apr 23,2007
Japanese game developer Hironubi Sakaguchi visited Seoul last week. His new game “Blue Dragon” will be launched next month. [JoonAng Ilbo]
Hironobu Sakaguchi, 45, one of world’s leading video game producers, recently visited Korea for the first time. Well known for creating the “Final Fantasy” series (which has sold over 68 million units worldwide), Sakaguchi is currently managing a company called “Mistwalker” that develops new games.
During a press conference last week at Lotte Hotel in Seoul, Sakaguchi seemed happy to be in Korea. “The online game industry is developing rapidly here,” he said. “I am planning to release a new game called ‘Blue Dragon’ next month.”
“Blue Dragon” is an exploring game. The main character “Shu” and his friends go on an adventure to save the world from destruction by a devil called “Nene,” who uses magic in his attacks.
As for the key to become a successful games developer, Sakaguchi said aspirants need “endless passion and imagination toward games.” He also compared games to raising children, in other words they need lots of work if they are to develop properly. He said that if a game developer does not come up with lots of initiatives, there will be no new games. On the other hand, by applying devotion and love, a worthy work of art can be created.
“If the game producer gives all his imagination and passion to developing a game, the data will interact and come to life, creating a world of the unknown,” says Sakaguchi. He added, “It may be an exaggeration to compare games with human individuals, but it is true that producing a game demands a very special kind of devotion.”
Sakaguchi was born in Ibaraki, Japan. He attended Yokohama National University in the department of engineering. He quit school when he decided to join a gaming company called Square as an apprentice.
He soon became famous by taking the “Final Fantasy” animation and transforming it into a series of video games.”
Final Fantasy” was originally the work of Akira Toriyama, a prominent Japanese cartoonist who created works such as “Dragon Ball,” and “Doctor Slump” in the late 1980s.
As the cartoon series was such a big hit, in 2001, Sakaguchi created a computer graphic movie.
“I get my ideas mainly from popular and identifiable cartoons or animations,” said Sakahuchi. “Take ‘Blue Dragon’ for example, Toriyama gave me advice about the structure of the story.”
Sakaguchi said that he feels he must ceaselessly produce new and innovative video games to show respect to those gamers who enjoy playing his games.


By Jang Jeong-hun JoongAng Ilbo [jbiz91@joongang.co.kr]



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