#1 Edited by Demoskinos (16527 posts) -

From Kotaku:

Kenji Eno, musician and game designer, passed away yesterday in Tokyo at the age of 42. He died of heart failure, induced by high blood pressure, reports The Asahi Shimbun.

Eno was perhaps best known for the survival horror game D, released in 1995 for the Sega Saturn, and its sequel. He was also famous for his scores, and he composed music for his own games as well as games for other designers, like Sega Rally 2. More recently, Eno worked on iOS game Newtonica and WiiWare title Kimi to Boku to Rittai.

Besides creating games and writing music, Eno also founded the game studio known as WARP, which employed a young Fumito Ueda, who would go on to design Ico.

From creating unique video games to designing digital money payment systems for vending machines, Eno was involved in a variety of activities. He will be missed.

#2 Posted by Pimpsandwich (82 posts) -

That's a shame. While D and D2 were by no means great games, they were definitely unique. His whole idea of digital actors was kinda silly, but at least he tried something different.

#3 Posted by jewunit (1091 posts) -
#4 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

That is truly a bummer, and 42 isn't that old, either. My condolences to his friends and family.

#5 Posted by edgeCrusher (372 posts) -

He was easily my favorite Japanese game designer. Everything he did had that vibe of "yeah I can make this normal, but what fun would that be?" A true artist in the genre. At least his crazy visions will live on in others works, like Grasshopper Manufacture and the like. Rest in peace.

#6 Edited by Max_Cherry (1217 posts) -

How do you die of heart failure at 42?

#7 Posted by DaMisterChief (612 posts) -

That Fuckign young

#8 Posted by 71Ranchero (3242 posts) -

Loved D and Enemy Zero. This guy was a legend to many Sega stalwarts. The stories of Kenji onstage at a Sony press event all set to reveal that he is developing for Playstation and instead pledging his allegiance to Sega still warm my heart.

#9 Posted by sodacat (249 posts) -

Kenji Eno is dead and David Cage is still making games. I don't want to live in this world anymore.

How do you die of heart failure at 42?

Work in the Japanese game industry. This almost happened to Yoshinori Ono last year.

#10 Posted by JasonR86 (10043 posts) -

God that's really young.

#11 Posted by HarlechQuinn (455 posts) -

This is really sad as the world lost one of the more interesting game designers. RIP Kenji Eno and my condolences to friends and relatives.

#12 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3383 posts) -

I don't know who that guy is, but 42 is too young.

#13 Edited by Grimluck343 (1177 posts) -

Wow. Only the good die young.

#14 Edited by Ho_Blivion (77 posts) -

Kenji Eno was truly one of a kind. Wasn't afraid to take crazy chances. He was inspired to make a game with no graphics for the Saturn (Real Sound: The Winds Regret) after working with some visually impaired people who still made the effort on a regular basis to play action video games despite their disability. Enemy Zero was the Dead Space of it's era on the Saturn. His pimp hand was forever cemented eternal during one particular TGS. I will just paste from the excellent story James Mielke did for 1UP a few years ago down below but long story short...

Sony shorted him on his initial run of D for the PlayStation. There were 100,000 pre-orders but Sony only made 40,000 because they gave some of the in house Sony titles manufacturing priority. Despite this he goes up to speak at Sony's Press Conference, the Sony execs think he is going to announce that he is going to make games exclusively for PlayStation. He starts talking and as he does the PlayStation logo on the screen behind him MORPHS into a Sega Saturn logo and he announces he will be making games exclusively for Sega Saturn and then exits Sony's Press Conference stage (presumably after dropping the mic).

Apparently he had some connections real high up at Sony who basically said "I don't care what Kenji did, you're not gonna fuck with Kenji". That's why he didn't "accidentally" get thrown in front of a train/hit by a car, etc.


1UP: Um...wow. OK, let's get back to Warp's exciting history. Years ago, you caused quite a stir at a Japanese press event when, rather than announcing that Warp's future titles would be coming to Sony's PlayStation, you instead chose to reveal an exclusive deal with Sega...and then went on to stomp all over a plush doll of Sony's MuuMuu mascot from Jumping Flash! Did that really happen?

KE: Maybe, but I don't think it did. [Laughs]

1UP: I know you did transform a PlayStation logo -- right as everyone's watching -- the logo transformed into a Sega Saturn logo. So, at a Sony event, a Sony festival, where you're onstage to announce your deal with Sony, you actually announce that Warp would be making games for the Sega Saturn. Which, I don't know who has the balls to do that these days, but you sure did back then. Tell us the story behind that.

KE: The reason why this happened is because of how angry I was with Sony. I was very mad at Sony. When I released D on the PlayStation, Acclaim was to publish it. So the sales people gathered orders for a 100,000 units, but Sony had given their other titles manufacturing priority. So Sony told me that they had only manufactured 40,000 units, and I was very mad about that. But then, in the end, they had actually only manufactured only 28,000 units, which is very bad. So the sales people had gotten 100,000 preorders from retailers, but Sony wasn't able to manufacture all of them. I was very pissed about that, because one title like that for a small company is very important. If that game doesn't sell well, then that's very bad for the company, so I was very mad about that.

So I was talking to a guy at Sony, and this was toward the end of the year, and I said, "OK, I'm going to go to [Japanese electronics retailer] Bic Camera, and if I don't see my game there, I'm going to punch you." and they said, "No don't worry about it. It's going to be there." And I went to Bic Camera and didn't find it, so I actually did punch this guy -- so that should tell you how mad I was. Interesting, interesting. I was originally creating Real Sound for Sony because, originally, I liked Sony. All of the electronics in my house were Sony branded. That's the irony.

I felt betrayed when Sony was treating me like that, so when I heard that the Sega vice president was a very interesting guy, he and I met and created this whole plot. My original conditions to make the game exclusive for Saturn involved my earlier story about supplying 1,000 Saturns for the blind people, and also to have Sega's president appear onstage, personally, for the event. That was the original plot, and that was what was going to happen until the last minute, but he had a board meeting at Sega, and they were like, "OK, you're actually appearing?" Like, Sega is a big, successful company, and a high-up management-level guy in that kind of company appearing in a situation like that isn't good, so everybody stopped him. So he appeared in a video rather than in person.

1UP: What did he say?

KE: He said, "Welcome to Sega."

1UP: And that's when the PlayStation logo transformed. So this was a public event, or just a corporate event?

KE: It was a public event, but the first day -- when this happened -- was just an industry-only day.

1UP: What was the reaction on people's faces?

KE: For this event, I was originally asking for a bigger booth than Sony. It was a Sony event, but I wanted a bigger booth, but Sony didn't allow that. So my booth was the same size as Sony's. So I gathered 200 members of the press, and then I did the full announcement, and right after that, everybody pulled out their cellphones to report the news, and they were all confused -- like, "Sony! Sega! Sony changed to Sega!" And they were all confused, and that was the funniest part, that I was up there watching these guys panicking.

1UP: You told me one time that even though you did this thing, somebody at Sony was still protecting your back. Some high-level executive....

KE: There was this one guy who was very high up in the company, and I'm not going to mention his name, because he's still in the industry. But when I did this, Sony had a meeting, and they were like, "What should we do with Eno?" But the exec said, "This is very normal in the music industry; there are a lot of people like this in the music industry."

1UP: Right, like George Michael or Prince.

KE: Yeah, and he said, "So we should be happy that a guy like this appeared in the game industry." He was telling people that they shouldn't do anything to me. So that's how this exec was watching my back.

#15 Posted by Abdul_Gasazi (10 posts) -

Did he have a drug problem?

#16 Posted by probablytuna (4272 posts) -

@ho_blivion: That is badass. I've never played his games, but to have passed away at 42 is a real bummer.