Behind The Games: Meet the Composers - Nobuo Uematsu

GameSpot's series of behind-the-scenes interviews with some of the video game industry's top musicians begins with Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu.


Most people are bound to recognize at least one melody from a popular video game, but how often do you actually know who is responsible for it? Behind the Games: Meet the Composers highlights some of the most talented minds in this specialized segment of the video game industry. Here's your chance to find out how the composers got their start, what their musical backgrounds are, and what drives them to do what they do every day. Whether you're a video game music fan or an aspiring musician, Meet the Composers digs deep to uncover what it's like to be in the shoes of a virtuoso.

Nobuo Uematsu | Composer and Founder, Smile Please Co. Ltd. & Dog Ear Records

No Caption Provided Profile:
Currently Listening to:
A little bit of everything
Currently Working on:
Final Fantasy XIV (PS3 | PC)
Biggest Musical Influences:
Vienna Boys Choir, Elton John, Pink Floyd
First Instrument Played:


Nobuo Uematsu is one of the most prolific and well-known video game music composers today, often referred to as the John Williams of video games. He is known for his work on the Final Fantasy series, but his credits also include anime soundtracks and arranged albums. Even though he left Square Enix in 2004 to form his own production company Smile Please and later started Dog Ear Records in 2006, Uematsu continues to take freelance assignments to compose music for video games, working closely with Blue Dragon developer Mistwalker Studios. Mr. Uematsu is currently working on the soundtrack for Square Enix's upcoming massively multiplayer online game, Final Fantasy XIV.

Born in Kochi, Japan in 1959, Uematsu enjoyed music at a young age, but never had any formal training. As a self-taught musician who learned to play the piano at the age of 12, he spent some time playing in amateur bands as a keyboard player after graduating from Kanagawa University. His big break came in 1987 when he was asked by Hironobu Sakaguchi to compose for a game called Final Fantasy. More than 20 years later, his work is still extremely popular. His Final Fantasy music was the centerpiece of the first-ever video game music concert in the US called "Dear Friends," which was held at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in 2004. He has also been making appearances at the Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy series of concerts, which is currently on tour and scheduled to make stops around North America.

Abridged Discography:

  • Final Fantasy IV (SNES | PS | GBA | DS)
  • Final Fantasy VI (PS | GBA)
  • Final Fantasy VII (PS | PC)
  • Final Fantasy VIII (PS | PC)
  • Final Fantasy IX (PS)
  • Chrono Trigger (SNES | PS | DS)
  • Blue Dragon (X360)
  • Lost Odyssey (X360)
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
  • Away: Shuffle Dungeon (DS)
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