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Developer Interview

Jun Takeuchi / Deputy Head of Consumer Games / R&D Division and General Manager of R&D Production Department

Establishing a new structure capable of adapting itself to the rapidly changing times - Nurturing creators is the key

- First of all, I would like you to explain the current structural changes you are making to the development division?
Because the methods for development are always expanding and changing, game companies can't afford to have a static organizational structure. That's why it's important for us to keep an eye on the future and change the way we are organized. I like to promote the idea of "versatile developers" as part of this structural change. In our present development system all the labor is divided. For example, backgrounds are only done by background specialists, and characters are only made by character specialists. However, what we are aiming to do is to nurture versatile developers with a number of different talents, meaning they are able to create both characters and backgrounds.
- What are the problems with splitting up labor?
Though we don't really have any problems with the current division of labor, we decided to reorganize the existing structure, looking ahead five to ten years down the road. Essentially, there are two potential problems with the current development system of dividing labor. First of all, after a developer finishes the task they were assigned, they are supposed to spend their time learning new skills and studying up on their own. However, there is a tendency for many to merely waste time during these down periods, and ultimately they get nothing done. Another potential problem with the current system is that developers only see games from the perspective of the specific task they are in charge of, and thus they miss out on the big picture. By training our developers in a number of different areas, they'll not only be able to lend a hand in developing other parts of the game, but they also have an even greater understanding of the overall game development process through the knowledge they obtain about other fields. This will ultimately make development more efficient.
- So you believe that doing this will produce structured management as well as cultivate the abilities of each individual.
Yes. We've been putting a lot of effort into educating our creators. Our ultimate objective is to nurture directors that are fully capable of producing titles that sell well over a million, and creators that are able to make comprehensive decisions.
- In promoting versatility, the important thing is to grasp the unique abilities of each individual and find out what they do best.
That's right. We're going to build a corporate structure that allows us to obtain that kind of information. The future system will record who did what job, how many hours they spent working on it, and how everything turned out. This information will then be converted into digital data. Actually, the idea of "diversifying the talents" of our employees has been on the table for a while. Now we're able to use all the knowledge we've accumulated about managing the current organizational structure and use it to run the new company system.
- When did you decide to reorganize the structure of your division?
Around two years ago. To some extent the idea for building up versatile developers had been established around the time we moved forward with the previous organizational change. We're currently in the process of identifying each employee's abilities and becoming familiar with the new structure.
- How do you go about setting up a ten year plan for this structure?
For the most part, Inafune comes up with the ideas and together we work out the details. We establish milestones and always keep an eye on the future.
Back to Developer Interview 2010 Top Page
  1. 05.Takeshi Tezuka
  2. 06.Yoichi Egawa
  3. 03.Yoshinori Ono
  4. 04.Ryozo Tsujimoto
  5. 01.Jun Takeuchi
  6. 02.Motohide Eshiro

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