Yutaka Sugano

From Sega Retro

Yutaka Sugano
Employment history:
Sega Enterprises (1986-04[1] – 1989[2])
Sega of America (1989[2] – 1994[2])
Sega Enterprises (1994 – 1999-07)
Artoon (1999-08[1] – 2009-08[1])
AQ Interactive (2009-08[1] – 2010-05[1])
Arzest (2010-07[1] – )
Role(s): Designer

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Yutaka Sugano (菅野 豊) is a former game designer and producer at Sega, known for designing Shinobi and Crack Down, and for producing several Sonic the Hedgehog games outside of Japan. He left Sega in 1999 with Naoto Ohshima and Yoji Ishii to become a part of Artoon. Following this company's disbandment in 2010, he is now the Vice President of Arzest, another video game development company.



Yutaka Sugano graduated from university with a mining engineering degree, which was surprisingly useful in his video game career, as he has since compared it to the process of exploring a dungeon.[2] He submitted job applications to various companies, with Sega Enterprises the only video game company, which also happened to be his first choice.[2] He was hired as a game designer in 1986, and made his debut as an assistant game designer on Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars[2].

His most influential came a year later: Shinobi, for which he designed the gameplay mechanics, levels, bonus stages, layout of the user interface elements and the sequence of events during levels which create its difficulty scaling.[2]. Though he was not involved with further sequels, this smash hit spawned one of Sega's most prominent and most-imitated franchises.

Shortly after the release of Crack Down in 1989, Yutaka Sugano was transferred to Sega of America, leaving unfinished designs for the Sega System 18 arcade game Michael Jackson's Moonwalker in the hands of Roppyaku Tsurumi.[3] Sugano was then a producer at Sega Technical Institute, where he participated in the production of Sonic 2 and Sonic Spinball. He returned to Japan in 1994, mainly producing third party projects for the Sega Saturn, leveraging his experience in America to work with developers based outside of Japan, such as Maxis, Traveller's Tales and Tantalus Interactive.

After Sega

Production history