Katamari creator parts ways with Namco Bandai

Publisher confirms that Keita Takahashi is no longer an employee a week after he described it as a "so-so company" in an interview.

The creator of Katamari Damacy is rolling on down the road, as Namco Bandai and designer Keita Takahashi have parted ways. The news was originally reported by Play.tm and confirmed by the publisher for GameSpot. However, Namco Bandai gave no clarification on the circumstances of the parting or what implications it would have for the Katamari franchise or Takahashi's most recent project, Noby Noby Boy.

Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi is no longer with Namco Bandai.

The confirmation comes less than a week after the publication of a brief yet blunt interview with Takahashi on The Setup, a blog devoted to "nerdy interviews." In that interview, Takahashi said he makes games for "the so-so company Namco Bandai Games Inc." and admitted, "I am so inefficient I only made four games in 11 years."

Takahashi has a reputation for not mincing words in public. In the wake of the original Katamari Damacy, he questioned the need for games, saying, "Children would be better off playing outside." Two years later, he confessed to being sick of the Katamari series and said he wasn't having much fun in the game industry anymore.

"I think for anyone in the world, you start to get bored of whatever you do, if you do one thing for too long, and that's one of the main reasons," Takahashi explained at the time.

It's unclear what Takahashi plans to move onto next. While at Namco Bandai, he worked on Katamari Damacy, We Love Katamari, Noby Noby Boy for the PlayStation 3, and Noby Noby Boy for iPhone and iPod Touch.

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Discussion

50 comments
Dualmask
Dualmask

Sounds like he got bored with what he was doing. It happens to the best of us. Letting him go was a good move because you don't want your products to be helmed by someone who's heart isn't into his work. Seems he's a talented game dev who wants to do something new, while the company wants to see how far they can take a profitable franchise. There can be good things on both ends, so it's probably best they part ways.

Proman84
Proman84

It could be worse. He could have described Namco Bandai in Katamari terms, as in, garbage. It's not that bad but can't say the company didn't handle the matter "classily" though.

xrtlop
xrtlop

I sort of thought the Katamari series was getting a bit boring, after all those games. I'm sure he'll be able to get a job elsewhere, though.

chaldoboy14
chaldoboy14

I hope this doesn't prevent sequels from happening. He's a genius, but I'm sure since Namco owns the rights that they'll be able to continue the games, hopefully better sequels, the best were still Damacy and We Love Katamari.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

@Redsyrup - your user pic made me hungry (seriously!) Even though I've never played Katamari, I'm sure he will be missed. Good Luck Keita Takahashi!

otanikun
otanikun

Well he's not wrong, he'll be back making those games for years to come

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

I think he'll be back, somewhere. He's just the type of guy that can't stay on one series too long, or he gets bored of it. I admire that. People like Bungie, who milked one franchise for almost 10 years, I do not admire.

Vengeful_Angel
Vengeful_Angel

Sucks losing a job, I should know... Sure people like his games, but what I don't comprehend is if he believes video games are pointless, why make them?

King9999
King9999

Looks like he's going to leave the industry entirely. It's a shame too, because he made some unique games.

coppershark1973
coppershark1973

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ffviiifreak
ffviiifreak

I like Katamari but lets face it...a monkey could make those games just as well as he did so Katamari will not change at all.

snugglebear
snugglebear

I aboslutely love the Katamari series. Guess we can't hold out too much hope for it, now. Still, can't blame the guy if he's stuck doing something he doesn't get any joy out of.

bennae66
bennae66

nobynobynobynobynobynoby boooyyyy! do de do, do do de do de do do.

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

my roomate used to play this game all the time and its audio drove me insane. My eye still twitches whenever i hear the name 'katamari. '

JixHedgehog
JixHedgehog

Yep, gaming isn't what it used to be. If it's not free and it's on a computer, good luck! When the legends (i.e Miyamoto, Kojima, Wright.. etc) fall pray to the truth, we'll see a major decline in quality gaming

Jebril
Jebril

'As far as your creative process where'd your inspiration for this game come from?' Cannabis, LSD, Shrooms, Peyote, DMT, DXM.....oh wait. :P

TechnologoDoom
TechnologoDoom

*sigh* another gaming genius thrown to the wolves. they should've fired everyone else at the company and just let him run it.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

@fLaMbOaStiN, I wish Namco Bandai would go back to creating innovative arcade style experiences like the hits they produced in the 90's Their top franchises like Ridge Racer and Tekken and Time Crisis originated during their battle with SEGA. I miss those days.

HQ-almighty
HQ-almighty

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

XanderZane
XanderZane

This guy is done. Sounds like he's tired of making games. He's even yawning in the video above. lol!! Probably got burnt out of making those games. Can't say I play him. Unless he gets excited about making some new game, I don't expect we'll her much from him in the gaming industry.

fLaMbOaStiN
fLaMbOaStiN

@ manga777 Tales is long from dead man.. Tales of Vesperia actually sold really well here in the states + japan and was a awsome game.. Only complaint was the cliche story but other then that it was one of my favorite JRPGs i played on the next gen system.

fLaMbOaStiN
fLaMbOaStiN

Katamari was fun but this guy jus' dosn't seem motivated nor has the passion to release anything more then Katamari.. I mean lets face it, all you did was roll around and collect other materials infront of you until you got bigger to roll over other objects.. It was a fun game but nothing ground breaking.. And it's not like a katamari game has been released in forever so idk why Namco Bandai was holding onto this guy for so long lol.. I wish Namco Bandai would go back to makeing RPG's like they did for the PS2.. >.> I'd cream for a Xenosaga 1-3 Remake in HD for the PS3 or Xbox.. Actually i was playing thru Xenosaga this wknd for old time sakes, i already logged like 20 hours into it LOL and now it looks like ill actually play thru it again.. Gonna go see if game stop has #2 or #3 also.

Capitan_Kid
Capitan_Kid

Noooo! I love this guy!! Katamari Damacy was such a cool game. I hope he moves on to bigger and better things even if he doesnt like video games that much.

Coolyfett
Coolyfett

hell get another job its no biggie..As long as he makes more games for the PSP, his family will syill love him. Everything will be ok.

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

The first two Katamari games are good, totally crackers but good. Maybe this is for the best because the franchise has not evolved creatively. So much could have been done but instead the formula was just rehashed.

gokuofheaven
gokuofheaven

Like he said in the very beginning, Katamari was a class project he worked on and he didn't think much of it. It seems like he doesn't care much for the fame, he just wants to do something else with his life.

LorenaLarue
LorenaLarue

I'm glad he is at least being true to himself. He is right that children would be better playing outside, unless outside is a dangerous place.

gk_of_berea
gk_of_berea

The Katamari series is one of my favorites. I hope it doesn't get lost by the wayside.

CommanderShiro
CommanderShiro

Such a shame. I really enjoy/love the Katamari games. Sad to know he wasn't enjoying it as much as the people who played it.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

I guess you can't be frank when speaking of the company you work for. Namco Bandai really isn't at the top of my lists as far as devs/publishers go. Soul Caliber is all that comes to mind right now when I think of them.Beautiful Katamari was a unique game, although I couldn't really get into it. Best of luck to him , cause it sucks to be job less right now!

TheTrueMagusX1
TheTrueMagusX1

@manga777 Namco is left with plenty to be honest. There is Tekken, Soul Calibur, The Tales Series, the upcoming enslaved, a library of classic games, and let us not forget one of the most recognized icon of gaming, and that is Pac-Man. Oh and plenty of other classic games, so yes, Namco has plenty of other games to offer....and I disagree the Tales series is far from going down hill, we just need more tales games in the states.

lamprey263
lamprey263

I liked Katamari Damacy the most, but every new game to the series wasn't as fun to me as the original, I think it showed he was getting sick of it.

dkdk999
dkdk999

i'd definatly say their a so-so company

vix
vix

If we get another katamari game and it's new...actually all new and not that KF rehash business, i don't care if he's gone or not. I just want a katamari that's new.

spudster007
spudster007

The original was awesome in both gameplay and the soundtrack. I never tried any of the sequels but the first one sure was awesome.

manga777
manga777

So what is bandai namco left with? I loved tales of symphonia but the series is going downhill. I just read the list of games and half were japanese only and the only game I liked on the list outside of these series was from 2006

fester420
fester420

Personally i think katamari was the only good thing namco bandai has done in many, many years. they have nothing left

ShindoKokoro
ShindoKokoro

I don't know if I'd call it "so-so", but they certainly don't give a **** about NA fans, I'll tell you that much.

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dmfreak
dmfreak

While I'm reading this news, I was listening Katamari Love (and this music makes me cry). It's just sad. Another talented person wasted by a greedy company. This is just like Infinity Ward being kicked out by Activision. What's next? Members of Tales Studio will leave the company also because one of their games haven't been released in NA?

ShadowVari
ShadowVari

It's a shame he left. I'm hoping he sticks with the industry though because we need more creative people like him making games.

HollowNinja
HollowNinja

Whatever. Namco Bandai doesn't have any good IPs besides Tales and Ace Combat.

Asagea_888
Asagea_888

His theory makes some sense. If you do the same thing over and over again with little or no opportunity to expand beyond that, it tends to get stale. His games are great, of course. I believe now he's willing to take some risks and branch out. Even if it's not video gaming, he has the open window of opportunity to do something different.

Gliave
Gliave

Woot...They should've seen this coming from the beginning of this video...Guy's yawning as an introduction ffs.

cjasko94
cjasko94

now go to EA!, j/k, second thought.. hmm

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

Well, at least now he gets unemployment benefits right?