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 Nier  director: 'I have become that troublesome elder that I hated when I was young'

Nier director: 'I have become that troublesome elder that I hated when I was young'

March 17, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

March 17, 2017 | By Alex Wawro
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"Like a demon king in an RPG, I feel like I'm clinging to my castle of authority all alone and waiting for a new hero to come slay me."

- Longtime game designer Taro Yoko, joking with Glixel about how he has come to identify with the sort of veteran, established game directors he felt overshadowed by when he was younger.

Taro Yoko has cultivated a reputation for being a creator of oddities -- the somewhat reclusive Japanese game developer (when speaking to media he typically hides his face behind a grinning, moon-like mask) even came to GDC 2014 to give a talk about creating weird games for weird people.

His most recent project, Nier: Automata, is his most successful work yet; developed by Platinum Games and released late last month, Automata has proven popular enough to introduce a slew of new players to the Nier franchise and its creator. 

Yoko joked about his approach to game design and his lengthy career in game development in a recent interview with Glixel, which everyone should read because it's a charmingly playful look at how one of the game industry's more offbeat creators thinks and works. 

For example, when asked to reflect on how his view of game development has changed over the course of his career, Yoko claimed that "When I was young, I had one wish from the bottom of my heart: 'I wish all the useless and controlling elders of the gaming industry would die so I can create a game that I like!'"  

"Now that I have fulfilled my dream to 'create a game that I like,' there's not much left for me to do. However, because I don't have much else to do now, I am clinging onto my job as a game director," he continued. "In a way, I'm just living out of habit now. And now, I have become that troublesome elder that I hated when I was young. Like a demon king in an RPG, I feel like I'm clinging to my castle of authority all alone and waiting for a new hero to come slay me."

You can (and should!) read the rest of Yoko's comments over on Glixel, as they cover everything from why he writes stories about sex, aging and perishing ("I'm not good at writing lies") to whether he thinks the human race has a happy ending ("No.")



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