Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator and director on the early Sonic titles, Hirokazu Yasuhara, has joined Nintendo, a Gamasutra report reveals. Nintendo have confirmed Yasuhara’s move, and interestingly, he will be working at their Nintendo Software Technology (NST) division, based in Redmond, Washington.
Nowadays, NST aren’t one of Nintendo’s high-profile development groups, but they have worked on some very interesting software in the past.
NST’s portfolio includes Wave Race and 1080° Avalanche for the Gamecube, as well as Metroid Prime: Hunters for the Nintendo DS. You may also know them through the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series of games or their cancelled Wii title, Project H.A.M.M.E.R.
At Sega, Yasuhara worked alongside Yuji Naka as director and designer on several of the Sega Genesis and Saturn Sonic titles. He eventually went on to become a senior designer at Naughty Dog, where he worked on both Jak & Daxter and Uncharted. Most recently, he was employed at Namco Bandai, where he worked on Pac-Man Party for the Wii.
It isn’t clear just what Yasuhara will be doing at Nintendo Software Technology, but his LinkedIn profile says he’s a “game designer”. Yasuhara is an industry person of a senior status, so if he were to take on some sort of a leadership role at NST, it would be interesting to see if that could help the studio work on more ambitious projects.