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Hirokazu Yasuhara was one of the key people in developing the Sonic the Hedgehog games at Sonic Team, where he worked as a level designer. He remained an important player as Lead Game Designer at Sega through the Saturn years, heading the development of Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic R and the canceled Sonic X-Tream. He left Sega in 2002 and joined Naughty Dog, where he worked as a game designer on the Jak series. He later worked currently Senior Design Director at Namco-Bandai. While there, he contributed to the development of Pac-Man Party.
Most recently, Yasuhara has joined Nintendo Software Technology Corporation, Nintendo's internal development studio based in Redmond, Washington.
"I was opposed to [Sega's] decision to create games that use 'Sonic-something' so that they can sell it easily. I wanted to make good games, not any games that used the Sonic character in a haphazard way."
An article that features Yasuhara's Game Designing Philosophy can be found here.