Industry Spotlight: Katsuhiro Harada

Kii turns her keen eye to various members of the gaming industry

In this segment I will highlight people in the games industry that I feel people should give a shit about. It could be developers, artists, professional players and even Let’s Play hosts. Whatever strikes my fancy because I hold all the power (ha).

This month I would like to focus on Katsuhiro Harada, the head behind Tekken and Project Soul (Soulcalibur). The reason I like Harada so much is that he doesn’t take the piss like so many Triple A developers can do these days. The video games industry is at a turn which has put many developers on edge, with free-to-play games becoming giants they seek to cover lost revenue in different ways. Many have begun to favour more unsavoury means of doing this, for example paid on disc DLC (A huge peeve of mine, I’m looking at you Capcom) and pay-to-win multiplayer strategies. However, Harada is different and thus is a hero.

Harada has made it known that he doesn’t like the idea of DLC. When his games are released they are complete. The exception to this was Tekken Tag 2 which launched with a few characters still in development, Harada issued an apology for this and the characters were patched into the game entirely free at a later date. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t extra ways to make money out of Tekken but everything that you can give Harada your hard earned cash for isn’t necessary for a complete experience of the game. Using Tekken Tag 2 as an example, the pay for items were the character movies and music from every previous Tekken game and silly costume items for the playable characters. Costume packs for characters were also on sale as it’s purely a cosmetic choice if you would like Jin Kazama in a swimsuit (I do) and the fact that the Big Bikini Bundle wasn’t restricted to the female characters made this little feminist giddy with equality glee.

Harada seems to care about his fans and his characters and thus treats both with respect. There is a reason he climbed from an arcade promoter to director of two of Namco’s strongest franchises. He’s happy to have a bit of fun and has a good sense of humour which is easily seen in the ‘fights’ he had with Capcom’s Oda on the run up to the release of Street Fighter X Tekken. So, if you like beat ‘em ups I urge you to support Harada’s games as he’s a dude.

Kii

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