Ikuma Nakamura, the delightful former Tango Gameworks dev who brought some wholesome vibes to 2019's E3 presentation (opens in new tab), has formed her own indie studio.
A 17-minute documentary from Game*Spark and Archipel shows Nakamura talking about her history with games development, and what led to her surprise departure as creative director (opens in new tab) on GhostWire: Tokyo (opens in new tab) (thanks, PlayDiaries (opens in new tab)).
"You can't make games if you're not healthy," Nakamura said, seemingly referring to crunch culture and touching on the fact that her old Capcom colleagues would sleep under their desks. "I started wondering whether there wasn't a way for me to make games while feeling better. I took the decision to quit before it was too late."
Nakamura took the time off to tour several studios around the world, using insight gained on "what made a good working environment" to open her own indie studio. Nakamura doesn't give a name for the studio in the documentary, nor does she go into much detail about what she's working on. She did add that she wants to "stop making games too seriously", however, and work on "a game full of dark jokes," comparing herself to Deadpool.
Hiring non-Japanese developers is one of Nakamura's main goals for her new studio, saying she wants to learn from new cultures and "speak with people who have the curiosity to learn and understand from each other." She'll also be taking on the role of creative director on her new game, saying she's learning how to "entrust her team" rather than stepping into different departments.
The documentary is on YouTube (opens in new tab), and it's a lovely watch for anyone who enjoyed Nakamura's heart-warming presence on E3's stage two years ago.