Namco Bandai Games have revealed that Hirokazu Yasuhara, co-creator/level designer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog series, is working on a Pac-Man ‘comeback’ game, due for release on the character’s 30th Anniversary in 2010.
American EVP and COO Makato Iwai mentioned the details to gaming website Gamasutra, where they plan to use the game designer to bring about a full return to form for the ghost-eating yellow blob. “As a group, we feel like we should do something to make him come back. So, there’s one project that we started working on, and [Yasuhara is] part of it.”
Yasuhara has recently expressed his desire to create a new character action game, saying that such platforming games have a chance of becoming popular again. Iwai said to Gamasutra how working on Pac-Man is “sort of meeting his wish 100 percent, in a sense.”
Before recently joining NBGA as Senior Game Designer, Yasuhara worked for Naughty Dog on projects such as Uncharted. His claim to fame came as one of the ‘original trio’ of developers that helped establish Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Mega Drive. His last involvement in the series was the Saturn racer, Sonic R.
With his impressive philosophies on game design and his awesome track record on platforming games (Sonic and beyond), it would have been cool to have seen him try his hand at reworking Sonic the Hedgehog instead of Pac-Man. Either way, it’s good to hear the man continuing to do what he loves – and Pac-Man’s 3D games have been considerably poorer than Sonic’s so if any character needs the help it’s the Pac.
Namco’s Iwai: Sonic Co-Creator Working On Pac-Man Comeback Game – Gamasutra (via Kotaku)