From Sega Retro
|Employment history: |
Sega of Japan (1985-04 – )
|Role(s): Engineer, General Manager|
Masaki Matsuno (松野 雅樹) is a Japanese engineer and designer. He joined Sega in April 1985, and with the amusement machine-focused AM4, AM5 and AM6 departments engineered cabinets and hardware for many of the company's most successful titles during the late 1980s and 1990s.
Matsuno appears to have left Sega at an unspecified time some point after the mid 90s, and has continued to work in game development at other companies.
Alongside fellow recruits such as Satoshi Mifune, Masaki Matsuno joined Sega in April 1985. Training work for new employees saw him organise warehouse storage; despite the company's buy-out by CSK a year before his arrival, Matsuno has recalled sorting vinyl jukebox records and English documents, both vestiges of Sega's previous foreign ownership, alongside meeting David Rosen. After contributing to Sega's first taikan game, Hang-On, in its later stages of development, his debut project was Studio 128 follow-up Space Harrier, in which he played a lead role in chassis design. The success of these then led to head design positions on the similarly-popular OutRun and After Burner cabinets. With his role in the company established after a mere two years through his frequent voluntary overtime work, Matsuno was promoted to be a section chief of arcade cabinet production with the approval of Hayao Nakayama.
His most complex project began in 1989, when he and overseas Sega personnel were ordered by Hisashi Suzuki to inspect an unlicensed rotational After Burner cabinet discovered on location test in Perth, Australia. On the belief that he and Sega could do much better than it, Matsuno began work on what would later become the R360, leading a newly-assembled team of fresh developers including Masao Yoshimoto. After the R360 was completed in 1990, Matsuno then headed cabinet development for Rad Mobile and Virtua Racing. By this time, Sega's cabinet production personnel had been collectively grouped as AM4, of which he was a manager. He also collaborated with the attraction-focused AM5 to create Virtua Formula and VR-1, designing the Mega Visor Display. The mid 1990s additionally saw Matsuno carry out head planning and design on the smaller Astro City, Blast City, and Super Megalo multi-purpose cabinets.
After a special thanks in Star Wars Arcade and latterly production on Aqua Stage with AM6, further credits for Matsuno do not appear to exist. It is understood that he left Sega at some point after these titles, though has still been involved in game development at other companies.
- Main article: Photos of Masaki Matsuno
- Video Game Storytellers Part 19: Sega's genes, passed down to the next generation by the development team of the ultimate sensory game cabinet, R360. interview with Fumio Kurokawa at 4Gamer.net (Japanese)
- https://www.4gamer.net/games/999/G999905/20200704005/ (Wayback Machine: 2022-01-09 21:21)
- Arcade Game Magazine, "February 1996" (JP; 1996-02-01), page 54
- File:Patent US5774096.pdf