Street Fighter producer forms new studio

Noritaka Funamizu takes flight from Capcom and forms a new operation.

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TOKYO--According to an interview on the Japanese Web site Yomiuri Journal, ex-Capcom producer Noritaka Funamizu's newly established independent studio, Craft and Meister, is in the process of creating a new game that will be announced next summer.

Funamizu, the former executive director and R&D Division 1 chief at Capcom, resigned from the company in June. He joined up with another former Capcom producer, Katsuhiro Sudo, to form the new studio. With only eight employees, Craft and Meister is currently a tiny outfit concentrating on game planning and design rather than engineering and programming.

"Back when video games were becoming trendy, we could try making different types of them," Funamizu told Yomiuri when explaining his departure from Capcom. "But nowadays, there are rules of success that companies need to follow in order to avoid risks. We have lost the freedom to make the games we want. I wanted to make my own games without having to follow the modern methods."

Funamizu is best known as the producer of the Street Fighter series, but has also worked on more-recent titles such as Resident Evil Outbreak and Monster Hunter. Sodo, who worked with Funamizu in Capcom's R&D Division 1, was the producer on both Auto Modellista and Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs. Zeon.

Funamizu and Sodo are not the only high-level designers to leave Capcom and establish their own studios--Street Fighter director Yoshiki Okamoto left Capcom over a year ago to form Game Republic. Okamoto's first title, Genji, was announced earlier this month and was playable at the recent Tokyo Game Show.

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