For Those Not in the Know: Who Is Yu Suzuki?
Yu Suzuki is one of the most highly regarded visionaries in the video game industry, being a common name in discussions about top game designers. Throughout his career, he's made many innovations that's pushed video games forward.
The man joined Sega back in 1983, when the video game industry was crashing, and started by simply producing arcade games. After two years of helping direct and program games, he created his first arcade game, Hang-On. At the time, it was one of the most impressive arcade games, with an arcade cabinet that consists of a handlebar and brake levers, simulating a real motorcycle.
Virtua Racing was his first trip into the world of 3D polygons. It had dynamic camera angles and let the player experience the game from four different camera angles. This was considered the first game with dynamic camera angles.
The next innovation he had was Virtua Fighter, which was the very first 3D fighting game. It had what some consider to be the deepest fighting engine ever. Virtua Fighter 2 upped the ante even more, with texture mapped characters and motion capture animation. It spawned a franchise that has stayed popular throughout the years. Virtua Fighter was considered impactful enough to earn a spot in the Smithsonian Institution's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology Innovation.
Virtua Fighter and Virtua Racing popularized 3d polygons, with their dynamic cameras and physics engines. Yu Suzuki continued to advance 3d graphics and gameplay, developing new arcade platforms as well as creating games for them.
The first major original title he directed for a home console was Shenmue, which contained an unprecedented level of graphical detail, story, environments, and multiple gameplay elements. The Shenmue series is considered by many to be his magnum opus.
However, after developing Shenmue 2 (which was similarly critically acclaimed), SEGA mysteriously didn't continue the franchise. It wasn't until he left Sega in 2009 and formed his own company that he could finally acquire the Shenmue license from SEGA and start gathering funding for it via Kickstarter.
The game has been in development for many years now. Not many know what comes after for Yu Suzuki, but his contributions to the growth of the industry is undeniable and should be respected.