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IR Top Page > Developer Interview 2012 > vol01.Yoshiaki Hirabayashi
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Developer Interview 2012

01. Producer, Development Strategy and Support, Consumer Games Development /Yoshiaki Hirabayashi/Became designer of “Resident Evil” series after joining company, principally as an image supervising editor. Worked with Hollywood production team to create an even more realistic “Resident Evil” world in “Resident Evil 5”. Now focused on his debut work as a producer.

From designer to producer: Bringing a designer approach to the building of an “organization”

- This title marks you first time working as a producer. However, you were originally a designer when you first joined the company.
That's right. I worked as a designer all the way up through the development of "Resident Evil 5". The first project I was involved in was "Resident Evil" for the GameCube, followed by "Resident Evil 0," the GameCube version of "Resident Evil 4", and then "Resident Evil 5". All told, I've been working on the series for about ten years. I usually was involved with the development of the in-game movies, and because those teams often worked with other firms, I had a lot of opportunities to interact with people outside the company. I remember organizing a team in Los Angeles to make the in-game movies for "Resident Evil 5". That was a good experience.
- If you don't mind me asking, what did you major in back in university?
I majored in economics. Actually, I got an informal job offer from a company in finance, but I opted to enter a vocational school after graduation to study what I really wanted to do. I had my mind set on joining an advertising agency to produce ads and commercials, but almost all of the classes at the school were about 3D graphics. I somehow made my way through the courses without really understanding the material. In the end somebody at Capcom saw the 3D clip I made for graduation, and they gave me a call.
- Did you have a love for games, or want to create games at Capcom?
To be honest, at that time I had no idea what Capcom even made (laughs). I liked games and enjoyed playing them, but had no intention of joining a "company that made games". I remember purchasing a PlayStation for the first time when I was in university, and the first game I bought was "Resident Evil 2". I really got into it but didn't pay much attention to who developed it. When I entered the company, I found out they had developed some of the games I had enjoyed playing. Looking back, I feel that I was really blessed to be part of such an environment.
- Did you always want to be a producer?
If my memory serves me right, I recall my boss asking me what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to be producer, so yeah, that interest was there from the beginning.
- Was there any particularly experience that served as a spark?
I really just had a vague idea at first. But I remember that I was often frustrated as a designer. It doesn't matter how big the team is. If things are poorly organized and run, game development goes nowhere. Nobody wants to be in an environment where it's difficult to make games, an environment in which you find it hard to work with people, allocate costs, organize a team, and use resources efficiently. After experiencing this frustration countless times, that vague interest transformed into an earnest desire. At Capcom, producers are responsible for organizing people, assigning them work, and overseeing them. They also handle the promotion of games and set up teams. When I discovered it was all about "creating a structure", I felt this was the job for me, for it's just another form of creation.
- What things did you keep in mind as the producer of "Resident Evil 6"?
I paid special attention to organizing small teams and creating the best possible environment for making a game. For example, a traditional organization may not be the most conducive for seeing a new idea all the way through to completion. So, I reworked how human resources are allocated and set up new sections. You'd have Team A doing one thing and Team B another, so to make a new idea work I would create a team above that, "Team A+B", which would draw upon the expertise possessed by each team. I would then assign Team A+B the task of introducing new ideas to the production teams. I felt this flexible form of organization was essential to giving concrete form to these new ideas.
Back to Developer Interview 2012 Top Page
  1. 06. Director and Executive Corporate Officer in charge of Consumer Games Business
 / Katsuhiko Ichii
  2. 05. Managing Corporate Officer, Head of P&S Business Division / Yoichi Egawa
  3. 04.CEO  Beeline Interactive, Inc./ Midori Yuasa
  4. 03.General Manager, Consumer Games Development Tokyo R&D Department/ Kazunori Sugiura
  5. 02. Producer, Development Strategy and Support, Consumer Games Development /  Motohide Eshiro
  6. 01. Producer, Development Strategy and Support, Consumer Games Development / Yoshiaki Hirabayashi

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