This job came out of nowhere. We had shipped the first pro wrestling game at Anchor, got Pride in the can on PS2 (with great reviews, thanks Gamespot!), and we were more than halfway through our second wrestling title. At this point I decided to make a website and throw my resume on there for giggles.
Two weeks later I got a phone call from Ichiro Nonaka, who said that he’d found my resume online, and noticed that I’d been employed as an editor at PC Gamer. He said that they’d been searching for an editor to work internally at the studio, and was wondering if I’d heard of this video game company here in town called Square. I tried to keep my cool and replied that uh yeah, I think I’ve heard of those guys, they make RPGs or something?
So a few months later, I was settled in my new cubicle at Square, attacking the absolute monster that was the English version of Final Fantasy XI. My boss was the delightful Richard Mark Honeywood (aka Riki), who introduced me to the finer things in life, such as gingerbread lattes and Eurovision. I wound up working with Riki for many, many years, after which he hopped over to Blizzard to set up their localization department. (I consider Dragon Quest VIII’s masterful, over-the-top British-English localization to be his crowning achievement, though his work he later produced at Level 5 is certainly nothing to sneeze at.)
I worked as the in-house English-language editor for many, many years, and worked on far too many games to list here (my Mobygames entry comes up short in a few places). My all-time favorite project was probably Front Mission 4 (Aziz Hinoshita as translator), since it’s got interesting and rather atypical character design from Yusuke Naora, and it let me channel the spirit of Larry Hama’s GI Joe comics into some pretty snappy dialogue.
After working on some interesting internal initiatives, management decided that I’d be worth more to the company outside of Localization and in development in the United States, so I packed my bags and moved to Seattle to work as a publisher producer on a title that eventually became Murdered: Soul Suspect. About halfway through that project, I got a call from an old friend from Tokyo asking if I’d be interested in going indie…