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Surprises In Store: Akira Yamaoka's New Direction
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Surprises In Store: Akira Yamaoka's New Direction

June 13, 2011 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Although at the same time, I feel like there are a lot of people that would appreciate a game that originated from your aesthetic. You mentioned that such a thing may be possible within Grasshopper in the future. I'm wondering when we might see something like that -- a project that originates from your brain.

AY: I appreciate the fact that you said a lot of people care about what Akira Yamaoka does. And there's this association of Akira Yamaoka and Silent Hill and the mood there -- there's a specific sort of flavor, and twisted color, and a personality that's followed me around where I've created, thanks to the work that I've done and my accomplishments.

And that's great and everything, and I get it, and there's really no part of me who's going to turn around and say "That's not Akira Yamaoka." I know, thanks to all the work that I've done, and thanks to people who've appreciated my work, here I am today.

However, currently my approach -- and maybe this is a new dimension like I said earlier -- is that with so much going on in this world -- mixed media, transmedia, collaboration, crossover genres, markets and all this -- I find it quite challenging to keep in mind that my "profile" of Akira Yamaoka is who's going to deliver this kind of content.

So in essence, I'm almost starting to do a complete 180, where I want to create content that maybe by the time you finish you're like, "Oh my gosh, this is from Akira Yamaoka?! Wow, this is completely new to me! It isn't a side of Akira Yamaoka that I knew. Well, he's evolved, or he's changed, or something has happened."

And so in the end, it doesn't really matter if they actually connect the dots to me. But if they do, then that means that they've known me from my past. If they don't, then they see a brand new side of Akira Yamaoka, and that's new to them. So that's something that I'm, in my head, it's really kind of brewing and it's sitting in my head right now, a lot. And so hopefully if all goes well, maybe by the end of this year we might be able to deliver content that fits that profile that I just talked about.

How do you plan to go about that?

AY: To a certain extent, I've produced and delivered content I either favor or appreciate as the creator. Up until now, that was my approach. It's not that I was going at it alone, but rather that was what defined my creation, my work.

However, in today's entertainment, the key is to be able to quickly provide content that is enjoyable, fun, and entertaining to the user. Whether it be online games or social networking-related, the user is in control and in the driver's seat.

We're even able to make adjustments to the game features and specs swiftly through updates. Seeing this shift, I feel and realize we must look at content creation from the user's point of view and not from a creator's point of view.

This is not to say that I'm completely giving in, as I will continue to produce my own work -- one that defines who I am. However, at the same time, I would like to produce content that will reach an audience who isn't familiar with my work and me.

Rather than introducing a piece with my name or face on it and that being the first thing people recognize, my desire is to take an approach where I think about the who (is it for) and what (will they enjoy) first. In sum, I'm headed to a direction beyond the play style we see in today's social networking environment, or at least looking at an extension of that.

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