Legendary Sega game designer Yu Suzuki has signed on as an advisor and executive producer with Premium Agency, a Japanese consultancy and development house known for licensed Naruto titles and social games.
Suzuki, who was honored with a a Game Developers Choice Pioneer Award
last year, will be working on everything from "new fighting games for Xbox 360 Kinect... to social application games for smartphones" at his new position, according to an announcement.
“This is a great chance for creators to mature," Suzuki said in a statement. "I’ve been looking for the idea of, 'integration of the technology and entertainment' faithfully as a producer and game creator. Together with members of Premium Agency Inc. if we are looking for this ideal with the 'pioneer spirit.'"
After working on a string of high-profile hits in the '80s and '90s -- including the Outrun, Afterburner
and Virtua Fighter
franchises -- Suzuki has maintained a lower profile after the release of the big-budget cult Dreamcast series Shenmue
Suzuki retired from his role as creative officer
for long-time employer Sega in 2009. He also now runs his own company, YS Net, which is hard at work on a variety of new ideas.
Premium Agency is also the developer behind last year's Square-Enix-produced XBLA shooter Death by Cube
, which failed to secure significant sales
following its January release, according to a Gamasutra analysis.