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Growing older and wiser with  Resident Evil  creator Shinji Mikami
Growing older and wiser with Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami
February 20, 2014 | By Kris Graft

February 20, 2014 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC, Design, Production

"If you're over 40, you're somewhat out of touch with the people buying your games, and when you're young you don't know enough about the industry. When you're in your 30s you have the right balance."
- Shinji Mikami, creator of Resident Evil, speaks to Polygon.

A new Polygon feature by Matt Leone chronicles the nature of growing older and wiser in the game industry, by focusing on Shinji Mikami, one of the most successful game developers around.

Mikami is best known for Resident Evil, a blockbuster Capcom franchise that he created and directed when he was just 30. Now at 44, he's still hands-on with game development, but also recognizes the need to give young directors creative freedom so they can leave their own mark on game creation.

These days, Mikami heads up Tango Gameworks, a studio owned by Zenimax Media, the parent of The Elder Scrolls developer Bethesda Softworks. He's currently at work on the horror game The Evil Within.

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George Menhal III
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Shinji Mikami is a personal hero of mine. I own and have played nearly all of his games, and will be picking up The Evil Within, no questions asked, on day one. Curiously, I managed to pass over the original Resident Evil when it was released. Resident Evil 2 was my introduction to the series and to the design philosophies put forth by Mikami and his team at Capcom.

The article over at Polygon only makes me like him even more. I even love who he is in league with. Want proof? Here are my top 5 games of all time, in order:

1. Super Metroid
2. Killer7
3. Resident Evil 3
4. Bioshock
5. Okami

Two of those games were directed my Hideki Kamiya, Mikami's teammate and protege. Kamiya has continued on to make some of the best and most creative games of all time, in my opinion. He and his team at Platinum Games continue to blow minds game after game.

Killer7, I believe, is a severely unfortunate fluke, but unforgettable and inimitable nevertheless. Although his recent work is mechanically decent, it is rather juvenile in tone, and I would love to see Goichi Suda return to the atmospheric schizophrenia of this earlier work. I suspect that Killer7 bears Mikami's mark more than was reported or understood when it was released. Regardless, though, Suda is another buddy and collaborator of Mikami.

I don't consider too many names in the gaming industry to be untouchable or iconic. It's a very short list, but Shinji Mikami earned his place right near the top many, many years ago. His games are a big part of the reason why the light went off in my head and I fell hard in love with video games as a medium.

Judy Tyrer
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Pretty potent assumption there.... old people don't buy games. We could accept this assumption, or maybe we could start opening up the older market. I do so weary of these marketing statements about all those people who don't play games as if we, the game developers, have no control over the markets we cater to.

Out of touch with young people? Then make a game for people you ARE in touch with.

Dave Hoskins
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If you apply these ageist statements to other industries, you'll see how absurd they really are.
Children's book authors should stopping working because they are over forty? I don't think so.
He's projecting his own perspectives on to other people, perhaps not realising it's just how HE feels.