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    Keita Takahashi

    Person » credited in 10 games

    The quirky brain behind Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy.

    Short summary describing this person.

    Keita Takahashi last edited by julianm on 11/17/19 12:36PM View full history


    Keita Takahashi was born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1975. At a young age he had a fondness for Famicom titles. He studied at Musashino Art University from 1996 to 1999, where he studied in Fine Art and Sculpturing, gaining a degree in the latter. After he graduated in 1999, he applied for a job at Namco where he initially failed the job interview, but was eventually hired after a designer saw his potential. His first popular title, Katamari Damacy, came about after dissatisfaction with the current state of the industry and being bored with Namco's current games in development. The idea of rolling up objects simply came to him one day, and he convinced Namco to let him develop it. During the game's development, he deliberately ignored wishes from management to make it more complex and kept to his original design. The game was a 'sleeper hit' and was critically acclaimed for it's quirky, left-field design. He reluctantly signed on for the sequel We Love Katamari, where he used the original game's success as the basis for the story, where the characters of the game are overwhelmed by fans who love 'Katamari'. We Love Katamari would be the last game in the series to have his involvement.

    In 2005, after an interview where Takahashi expressed his desire to design and build a playground, Iain Simons the director of GameCity, a games festival in Nottingham UK, offered to help Takahashi build one in the city. After gathering support from the city council and being invited to a possible location, he agreed to design it. When asked what the park would involve, he replied:

    One that's soft, and with lots of big blocky shapes, and a place [kids] can't really get hurt - very colorful - where kids can roll around and be free. But it's probably okay if they occasionally get hurt too.

    At GameCity in 2007, he showed his latest game Noby Noby Boy for the first time. During development he met challenges with executives of the company and even his own development team, who questioned how 'fun' it actually was. After the game's release in 2009, Takahashi admitted to his dissatisfaction with the game and that the game did not receive enough promotion from Namco. He originally planned to support it with consistent updates to the game but after the game's lackluster sales, he had trouble securing enough money to support it. In 2009, he released an iPhone version of the game.

    In 2010, he left Namco after 11 years with the company. He cited an increased dissolution with video game development and Namco's business culture as his reasons for leaving. Shortly afterwards, he founded the freelance company 'uvula' with his wife, Asuka Sakai who also worked for Namco and composed some of the music in the Katamari Damacy series. In 2011, he moved to Toronto to work with Tiny Speck on the online interactive game Glitch, until its closure in December 2012.

    He now resides in San Francisco, working for Funomena.


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