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October 26, 2016
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John Szczepaniak's Blog


I am the author of The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers trilogy of books. The first book contains 36 interviews over 526 pages, with never before documented information and images. Excerpts from the books, and other articles I've written, can be found below.

For anyone interested in commissioning me to write something, please contact me via my Hardcore Gaming 101 email:


Volume 2 is now complete. If the history of Japanese games interests you, please take a look at the books and tell friends about it. All sales will go towards funding completion of Volumes 3.

Volume 1 is available on Amazon US, and Amazon UK, and probably all the other Amazons too. Available in print and Kindle.


John Szczepaniak has been a journalist for over 12 years and has interviewed over 180 people. He is also a novelist and copy editor. He's written for Gamasutra, Game Developer Magazine, Retro Gamer, GamesTM, Official PlayStation Magazine, The Escapist, plus over a dozen other publications. He frequently contributes to Hardcore Gaming 101, where he helped put together The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures book and was managing editor on the Sega Arcade Classics Vol. 1 book.

Licensed by Great Britain's Royal Yachting Association as a naval skipper, John also holds a Marine Radio Operator's license. MENSA certified, speaks Japanese, programs indie games, brews wine.



Member Blogs

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Wed, 21 Sep 2016 11:28:00 EDT in
An examination of the controversial underworld of the Japanese videogame industry

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Tue, 26 Jul 2016 06:27:00 EDT in Audio, Design, Programming, Production, Art, Console/PC
A collection of short videos documenting the history of Japanese console and computer games.

Project yourself astrally through space and time, and imagine what it was like standing inside a game developer's studio from the past

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Mon, 21 Mar 2016 02:22:00 EDT in Design, Art
Resident Evil concept and character artist collaborating on new Italian survival horror - read an interview on his life in games! (Warning: article contains nudity)

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Wed, 16 Dec 2015 02:41:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Programming, Production, Console/PC, Serious
Final Fantasy 7 Remake is being developed using the Unreal Engine - what else does Epic Games Japan have in store for the Japanese games industry?

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Tue, 10 Nov 2015 02:42:00 EST in Design, Art, Console/PC
Around 1992 work began on an arcade fighting game at Konami, comparable to Mortal Kombat. Ultimately it went unfinished and unreleased - but the preliminary artwork remains.

John Szczepaniak's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 10/10/2016 - 03:44]

Wonderful write up, funny and ...

Wonderful write up, funny and informative. Thanks for the links to HG101 and my book. r n r nI was actually transcribing Yoshi Kiya 's interview for Volume 3 when this article went live. He speaks about how basically no one had any concrete design plans when making games, they ...

Comment In: [News - 10/10/2016 - 07:34]

Thanks for bringing this Polygon ...

Thanks for bringing this Polygon article to our attention. I 've long heard rumours about such games, but didn 't realise that any had actually been made. In a GamesTM interview Kojima said he wanted to do something similar with Metal Gear and his bosses said no. r n r ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/21/2016 - 11:28]

I alluded to the fact ...

I alluded to the fact that it wasn 't exclusive to Japan when stating crunch time was ubiquitous. We 're all aware of the EA Spouse Blog , and I 've heard personal anecdotes from Western developers of some truly nasty people in the industry. However this was a talk, ...

Comment In: [Blog - 04/14/2016 - 01:54]

Urgh... And I actually have ...

Urgh... And I actually have the book on my shelf a gift from a friend when I was in Japan doing the interviews . I have no excuse. A Freudian slip of the highest order.

Comment In: [Blog - 03/21/2016 - 02:22]

Thanks It was a really ...

Thanks It was a really fun interview to conduct. It was actually a joint interview alongside his colleague Masayuki Suzuki, of Langrisser fame, but I trimmed it down to just Nakai 's horror themed answers.

Comment In: [News - 12/17/2015 - 10:07]

I like that he specifically ...

I like that he specifically mentions intending to make games he personally likes - all of the best titles I 've ever played, from any region, tend to have come from that kind of personal focus.