Q&A: Katamari Damacy director Keita Takahashi

The man behind the sticky rolling ball talks to GameSpot about his decision to make Noby Noby Boy a PS3 exclusive, why he's a bit bored, and why three next-gen consoles may not be a good thing.

During his talk at GameCity '07, Keita Takahashi showed off a very early version of his latest title Noby Noby Boy to the audience, as well as using the event as a forum for getting across an environmental message and complaining about his neighbours.

Keita Takahashi

The kooky director of Katamari Damacy and We Love Katamari spoke to GameSpot UK after his talk and named a date for the apocalypse, revealed where he would most like to go traveling, and explained why he also would like a one-console future.

GameSpot UK: Why are you sick of Katamari Damacy?

Keita Takahashi: Wouldn't you be?

GS UK: Why didn't the original Katamari Damacy get a release in the UK?

KT: It didn't? I think because we didn't make a PAL version.

GS UK: What kind of games do you like playing?

KT: I have not played games very much recently. Can you recommend any games?

GS UK: What is the objective of the game in Noby Noby Boy?

KT: I can't tell you yet. It's confidential... Do you think you need objectives? What objectives would be good? What do you think?

GS UK: What was the inspiration for Noby Noby Boy?

KT: Hidden in everyday life are many things, for example when I'm walking dogs, the lead can stretch out and snap back, and that was one of the inspirations I had.

GS UK: Why do you make games rather than express yourself in other ways?

KT: I was originally a sculptor... But I wanted to express myself in a wider way. So that's why I came to the games industry, but actually, you know, it's not been so much fun.

GS UK: Were you surprised at the success of Katamari Damacy?

KT: I am quite surprised actually at the success to date, yes. I think that the success only comes from people who know games, and those in the games industry.

GS UK: Did you find that people believed in Katamari Damacy while you were making it?

KT: Definitely not. However, it was quite interesting to see how the market reacted to this game.

GS UK: You say even your boss doesn't understand Noby Noby Boy yet. Do you think you're allowed this creative freedom solely because of your success on the Katamari Damacy games?

KT: Exactly.

GS UK: So are you going to now do something really crazy?

KT: I reckon that in order to do something even more crazy, I need to do Noby Noby Boy and for it to be successful. If I want to do totally bonkers crazy I have to do well at this one, then I have two successful titles behind me and will have more freedom.

GS UK: Any ETA on Noby Noby Boy?

KT: I can't really confirm any kind of date at this point.

GS UK: Why did you decide to make it a PlayStation 3 exclusive?

KT: I definitely understand the idea behind games going multiplatform, however going multiplatform does mean extra effort. The reason I chose PlayStation 3 on this occasion is simply due to the specification of the hardware, and looking at the timeline I had in his mind with this idea. I thought the PS3 would best suit that schedule, and that's the reason.

GS UK: You say you're sick of Katamari. Does that mean there will be no more games in the series?

KT: There won't be any more directed by me myself. But there's a new one coming out soon called Beautiful Katamari on the Xbox 360, so I think the IP will live on for a while longer, but I won't be involved directly at all. Well, I think.

GS UK: You also said you're not having much fun. Why do you think the games industry is not much fun?

KT: 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.

GS UK: How do you think the games industry could improve?

KT: I think the sales price of the consoles has been too high lately. In an ideal world, I want to see only one major console being retailed on the market, and everyone actually making games for just one console, and bring the price of that console down from what the three currently cost right now.

At the moment, I feel that having three next-gen consoles is only as a result of having three different companies that want to maximize their potential and their profits, and I think we should start working together to decrease the power of the market leaders.

GS UK: So which console should be "the one"?

KT: If you have to think about the impact, I think bringing out one completely new console would be the best thing to do.

GS UK: You say in 10 to 20 years, you said maybe none of us will be able to play games. Do you think the apocalypse is coming?

KT: How things are going at the moment, it certainly won't be surprising if something drastic like that happens suddenly. There might be the possibility of the apocalypse.

GS UK: Have you seen any signs of the apocalypse so far?

KT: It might be difficult to visually see what's going on. If we could work individually to do something at this point, there is something we can do to avoid this.

GS UK: Would all the time spent on video games be better spent on saving the planet?

KT: Not necessarily so. Maybe we shouldn't waste our energy. I'm sorry, that's not a very good answer.

GS UK: Are you thinking of leaving the games industry and going and doing something else?

KT: Looking at the long term, it might be a possibility, but you never really know what's going to happen.

GS UK: If you weren't a games designer what would you do?

KT: What do you think I should do? I'd like to go to Alaska and the North Pole.

GS UK: Thanks for your time.

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Discussion

61 comments
truenextgen
truenextgen

One system one way, Hail Hitler Yea thats what Microsoft thinks to. And their Fed in the head . They just wont say ti. No we need paradey. We ned one, Just as much as we need one NFL game.

truenextgen
truenextgen

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

drogaz
drogaz

LOL, that guy is insane. Maybe he'll stop making games and live in the Alaskan wilderness with nothing but animals to keep him company and save the world from the apocalypse.

mov
mov

maybe psycho-analyzing everybody isn't so good for humans to do. it was a fine interview. we know as much as we should.

styphin
styphin

uh ok i think this guy asked more questioned than he answered.

R3DN1N3
R3DN1N3

guru_roodypoo To everyone saying the interview reads weirdly or oddly (which it does), it's because it was almost certainly done through a translator. He doesn't speak English, and I assume our intrepid GS reporter doesn't speak Japanese. Still. "Kooky" doesn't begin to describe the man. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All u gotta do is read the 1st paragraph to get an idea of how demented this guy is: "Keita Takahashi showed off a very early version of his latest title Noby Noby Boy to the audience, as well as using the event as a forum for getting across an environmental message and complaining about his neighbours. "--GAMESPOT.COM Not only that but look at him, he's obviosly on something.

R3DN1N3
R3DN1N3

He's odd. I didn't like the way he responded to alot of the questions. I think he's just trying to be weird a little to hard. I mean who goes to an interview and literally answers a question with a question?! I agree with METAL-ZOMBIEII, he didn't take the interview seriously, in fact I think he was actually quite rude.

MetalZombieII
MetalZombieII

He is either being odd for odds sake, or he is a Higha*s*s. Either way I don't like people who answer questions with questions, because it means he either didn't take the interview seriously, or he was TRYING to come across as quirky and weird on purpose.

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

He is seriously on something, i doubt he even knew where he was or where the UK is. Terrible ignorance by ignoring PAL regions, fortunately most developers aren't stuck in the 90s like him.

Giratina667
Giratina667

Insightful AND sarcastic,something rare I say.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

This guy just flat-out RULES. I'd love to meet this guy, really... and talk about anything other than video games. What a fascinatingly odd person.

lamprey263
lamprey263

GS UK: Why didn't the original Katamari Damacy get a release in the UK? KT: It didn't? I think because we didn't make a PAL version. LOL

RufustheSage
RufustheSage

Seriously, he sounds like a oldin painter. I love this guy, why aren't there more people in the world like him!

capitalthoughts
capitalthoughts

Spoken like an artist. He is very good at creating his art, not good at understanding how financial markets should work. If he really wanted to take power away from the market leaders, well, you don't do that by making exclusives. If he wants to see a one console future, then there shouldn't , nay, can't be any console exclusive games. There really would be no purpose for all three consoles if they were all the same in power and game library and how they played. Yet he creates his own paradox by choosing one system to develop for. I would say the same if he had only chosen the Wii or X360 by the way.

Oni
Oni

I like him ... he's pretty funny ;)

ReckHavoc
ReckHavoc

"this guy does way to much Acid." Totally man.

HK-47-M4
HK-47-M4

*Sigh* Today is a really slow news day.

zgreenwell
zgreenwell

Its a PS3 exclusive because there are more PS3s in Japan. Obviously he figures this game will do better in that territory. He's probably right.

guru_roodypoo
guru_roodypoo

To everyone saying the interview reads weirdly or oddly (which it does), it's because it was almost certainly done through a translator. He doesn't speak English, and I assume our intrepid GS reporter doesn't speak Japanese. Still. "Kooky" doesn't begin to describe the man.

MasterChief725
MasterChief725

Wow...this guy is weird....and he is wrong, katamari is awesome, and making noby noby whatever PS3 exclusive was dead wrong. Too bad....

snarple_basic
snarple_basic

This guy is just funny as hell. I like him, but It sounds like he'll either go insane and live with the animals or just be very depressed creating video games for the rest of his life.... Damn depressed doing videogames? I know I wouldn't mind doing the 3d modeling for a game company for the rest of my life, beats what im currently doing.

noelveiga
noelveiga

He's just being "an artist". That's the kind of behaviour you get to see quite a bit from spoiled rich kids in arthouse film festivals. I have to say I love his games and I think we'll always need a couple of guys like him on the market. Just... let's not let it get out of hand, shall we?

CapitalG17
CapitalG17

...He's like a bizzarro-Itagaki-san from a parallel universe, where Tecmo and Namco occupy each other's spots in the cosmos.

HuxleyHobbes
HuxleyHobbes

That's... the oddest interview I've ever read. I can see how he came up with Katamari now.

chimairawr
chimairawr

I think we're going to have to presume GS weren't the only ones asking questions to the guy, and that they can't put up the questions from others. Either way, he seems a bit weird.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

He answered a lot of the questions with more questions, isntead of just answering them directly or even beating around the bush. He's... odd in my opinion.

LINKloco
LINKloco

celark wrote: Have you noticed how he talks very similiarly to the King of All Cosmos from Katamari? lmao. Yeah, and the reporter was the Prince.:lol:

Doolum
Doolum

weird interview,weird guy.weird stuffs.

Reetesh
Reetesh

very strange yet nice Interview :D

nyoroism
nyoroism

What's with this? The katamari director asks questions and then the UK guy just spouts questions. I read it like the GS guy was a robot.

sinncross
sinncross

Whoever this reporter is, please fire him! He just asked questions.. some of which didn't flow, and there is virtually no conversational tone.

blacktorn
blacktorn

That was a craptastic interview lol

dorohala
dorohala

I dont understand what da F*** he said but he is weird man !!!

dudlyarse
dudlyarse

Boyes did a good job of changing her questions as the interviewee went in a certain direction. And yeah Aerothorn, if he's not going to be directly involved in the Katamari games anymore, that's not good. ...this guy's a character. He definitely gives people, those who feel the Katamari games are a concoction of an illicit drug adventure, something to work with.... Just look at his photo!

kyo_tetsuei
kyo_tetsuei

Oh my god, this guy is totally crazy. The mind that brought you Katamari, folks.

legend133
legend133

is it me or is this guy a total @$$. some of his answers are totally useless. Or maybe GSUK caught him on a bad day?

Aerothorn
Aerothorn

Too bad he won't be involved in more Katamari...they'll just churn it out like DDR:(

celark
celark

Have you noticed how he talks very similiarly to the King of All Cosmos from Katamari?

lennygundam14
lennygundam14

WTF ROFL, this is the funniest and wierdest interview yet

resident_rozza
resident_rozza

Yet another preson who speaks about only wanting one major console to be developed. Strange is everybody inclined to this concept of having one console? Also Takahashi-san is a very strange individual...

LINKloco
LINKloco

That dude is weird like his games.

qaz88aof
qaz88aof

ok... wtf did i just read!?

khalid_b
khalid_b

LOL the apocalypse is coming!