EAD Tokyo - A tale of 2 men. Past, Present, Future.

Sep 30, 2006
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#1


History
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In 2003, twenty members of the Entertainment Analysis & Development Division volunteered to relocate to Nintendo's Tokyo Office to expand development resources. These twenty volunteers were primarily from the Super Mario Sunshine team. Management saw it as a good opportunity to expand and recruit several developers who were more comfortable living in Tokyo then relocating to Kyoto.

Takao Shimizu (original manager and producer) and Yoshiaki Koizumi (director) began hiring several recruits in Tokyo coming from several established companies like SEGA, Koei, and Square-Enix. Shimizu and Koizumi jointly spearheaded their first project Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat. Then in 2007, released the opus magnum known as Super Mario Galaxy. After the release of Super Mario Galaxy, Koizumi was promoted to manager and producer and officially opened Tokyo Software Development Group No. 2.

Satoru Iwata originally flirted with having Masahiro Sakurai join as the third wing of EAD Tokyo for Smash Bros. Brawl. But ultimately, they decided to rent an office near by.

Games
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Mr. Shimizu - Tokyo Software Development Group No.1
Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat (development / 2004)
Super Mario Galaxy (development / 2007)
Jibun de Tsukuru Nintendo DS Guide (development / 2010)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (co-development / 2011)
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary (co-development / 2011)

Mr. Koizumi - Tokyo Software Development Group No.2
New Play Control: Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat (development / 2008)
Flip Note Studio (development / 2008)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (development / 2010)
Super Mario 3D Land (development / 2011)

The Future
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The development is actively recruiting and increasing in size. Regarding future projects nothing much is certain at this point. There have been rumblings of a Flip Note Memo (3DS / Wii U?) and vague mention of early work for the next 3D Mario. Will the Jungle Beat series return? How about new or resurrected intellectual properties? Perhaps E3 will reveal some more information on what many consider the top development talent in the industry. What are GAF's expectations?
 
Feb 21, 2010
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#8
EAD Tokyo=Da Best

Whatever they touch turns to gold, especially Koizumi. He should be in charge of Zelda, Metroid, Mario or whatever the hell else he wants. Now with Ueda disappearing into the sunset he will be the most important game designer in Japan. I also see him taking a bigger role and getting to do what he wants as Miyamoto leaves.
 
#11
I agree, these guys are virtually, if not without rival.

Give the 3D Land team Banjo or Sonic, BOOM, best game in either series.

Much better than you'll see from Rare or Sonic Team respectively.

3D Land is very likely my #1 Mario game, and Sunshine was probably mine prior, and I played Galaxy, but I wasn't so impressed after awhile, I wanted to try Galaxy 2, so maybe that is much better.

What really won me over with 3D Land is the masterful blend of 2D and 3D Mario elements, everything just clicked and other platformers should take high note.

Just imagine a Sonic game where it was just like that, and no, Gens does NOT count!

If anything, Adventure 1 was the closest, but still, 3D Land is all Mario greatness that stuck with everything that made the IP wonderful, not trying this disorienting sphere walking or trying to have an epic soundtrack when it doesn't need it.

One of the few franchises (along with Sonic Re: Sonic Colors) that doesn't need a big, epic orchestrated soundtrack, similicity and upbeat is what Mario does best audio-wise for me.

I'm sure I'll be flamed for the audio bit, but that's how I feel.
 

Htown

STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
Feb 19, 2008
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#17
They need to take one of those groups off of Mario and put them on the next Zelda game. Zelda could use the splash of creativity that hit the Mario franchise this generation.
 
Jun 10, 2004
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#18

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
#19
One thing that's been bugging me, MobyGames claims Shimizu worked on Lost Planet 2, surely that's some other and not Nitnendo's Shimizu?

http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,53607/

If he did work on OOT3D and FSAE, then no worries, he's still at EAD Tokyo. :) Did you see his name in the credits of those games?
I posted the credits on my blog for both. It is also on an Iwata Asks. Shimizu actually worked on The Legend of Zelda BS as a director, so he has history with the franchise. I am betting his group will have something unexpected for 3DS or Wii U.

Miyamoto mentioned a lot of his EAD guys bug him about making a Zelda 2 remake or sequel. One of them, Yoshiaki Koizumi had a prototype up an running of a Zelda 2 game running on the SNES Super FX.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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#21
Kind of random but Shikamaru Ninja, do you remember a while back when Katsuya Eguchi said that a new Metroid was in development for Wii U? What was that all about, is he or one of the EAD studios developing it themselves?
 

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
#27
Kind of random but Shikamaru Ninja, do you remember a while back when Katsuya Eguchi said that a new Metroid was in development for Wii U? What was that all about, is he or one of the EAD studios developing it themselves?
I'm not sure what he meant by that. There is no way EAD is developing a Metroid game. Closest thing you will see is SPD develop Metroid Dread for 3DS inhouse. A console Metroid. I have no idea. But I kind of think Eguchi was forward thinking with the Battle Mii concept. Maybe it might be a full fledged all-star battle royale. Samus. Fox. Mario. etc.

These guys, Retro and potentially Project Sora are the three beast mode Nintendo teams.
Technically. EAD Tokyo is now two development groups. Like EAD Kyoto is 5 development groups. But then again they all can pool together resources, personnel if need be.

Project Sora has a dream job. The sole job of creating hardcore driven Nintendo games.
 
Jul 13, 2010
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#33
New Mario
New Zelda
New Pikmin (I doubt its far in development at all)
New DKCR?

They should really be given the reins for the next Zelda. SS was okay but looking at the evolution of 3D mario with Galaxy I can only imagine the amazing Zelda the team would have created.
 
Nov 4, 2010
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#36
Besides Sunshine and maybe sorta thinking Jungle Beat's a tad overrated in certain circles (though underrated overall) these guys have made most of my favorite games, so this should be a neat read.

Though I thought the 3DS port of OoT was handled by an American company? Or was that the SF64 3DS port? Or were they collaborative efforts?
 

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
#37
Though I thought the 3DS port of OoT was handled by an American company? Or was that the SF64 3DS port? Or were they collaborative efforts?
EAD Tokyo Group No. 1 co-developed the 3DS Zeldas with Grezzo. Grezzo did the main development but EADTKG1 provided the source engine, handled the music, and produced it.

EAD Group no. 5 co-developed Star Fox 64 3D with Q-Games. Q-Games did the main development but EADG5 provided the source engine, handled the music, and produced it.

Similar stories.
 
Jun 29, 2009
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#41
These guys, Retro and potentially Project Sora are the three beast mode Nintendo teams.
I agree with the former two but completely disagree with the latter. Sakurai's terrible decisions with Brawl make me question his ability, and the fact that the new Kid Icarus doesn't look all that great just seems to further support that.
 
Sep 2, 2007
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#42
Besides Sunshine and maybe sorta thinking Jungle Beat's a tad overrated in certain circles (though underrated overall) these guys have made most of my favorite games, so this should be a neat read.

Though I thought the 3DS port of OoT was handled by an American company? Or was that the SF64 3DS port? Or were they collaborative efforts?
Oh shit he made sunshine?
Wikipedia tells me it was his first work as director.
Well, anyone can make errors in their life, and it was his first time.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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#44
I agree with EAD Tokyo praise but I think the Zelda team gets way too much criticism. People are acting like SS is a total disaster, that game was incredible in so many ways. Arguably the best one since Majora's Mask and it did a lot of new things.
 
Jul 9, 2007
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#45
EAD Tokyo is Zeus Tier. When Miyamoto does step down as his supervisor role, Koizumi should take over. Sure, it'd be a loss to have him no longer the head of his own team, but he knows what makes gameplay great. He has the Nintendo touch that few devs have.
 
Sep 2, 2007
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#46
:O
Game Released System(s) Credit(s)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 1991 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Printed art work, layout and story of the manual
Super Mario Kart 1992 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Illustrator
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 1993 Game Boy Story, script writer, manual writer
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island 1995 Super Nintendo Entertainment System CG designer
Super Mario 64 1996 Nintendo 64 Assistant director, 3D animator
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 1998 Nintendo 64 3D system director, story, character design (Adult Link), creator of "Z-Targeting System"
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX 1998 Game Boy Color Story, script writer, manual writer
Super Smash Bros. 1999 Nintendo 64 Original game staff
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 2000 Nintendo 64 Game system director, story, creator of "Three-Day System"
Super Mario Sunshine 2002 GameCube Director
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 2002 GameCube Assistant director
Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat 2004 GameCube Director
Super Mario Galaxy 2007 Wii Director, story, game design
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 2008 Wii Special thanks
New Play Control! Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat 2008 Wii Producer
Flipnote Studio 2008 Nintendo DSi Producer, director
Super Mario Galaxy 2 2010 Wii Producer
Donkey Kong Country Returns 2010 Wii Special thanks
Super Mario 3D Land 2011 Nintendo 3DS Producer

HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK, THIS MAN!
And he started as an artist inside the company. A real inspiration.

It's not like Sunshine was a bad game.

You can see echoes of its bonus levels in 3D Land.
Im sorry but I think is shit. Its the worst mario game ever stuffed with camera problems and bugs galore (and the dialog...), looks more like a game done by Sonic Team than Nintendo. The bonus levels are the only good thing to came out of that game.
 

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
#48
Koizumi really came up with "Z-targetting"? Never seen that printed. Also regarding Super Mario Sunshine, I could be wrong, but I think I remember reading that the original prototype did not star Mario. But Miyamoto (as often publicized) insisted the team should use Mario if the project ever wanted to see light of day.
 

speedpop

Has problems recognising girls
Jun 9, 2004
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Brisbane, Australia
#49
:O
Game Released System(s) Credit(s)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 1991 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Printed art work, layout and story of the manual
Super Mario Kart 1992 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Illustrator
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 1993 Game Boy Story, script writer, manual writer
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island 1995 Super Nintendo Entertainment System CG designer
Super Mario 64 1996 Nintendo 64 Assistant director, 3D animator
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 1998 Nintendo 64 3D system director, story, character design (Adult Link), creator of "Z-Targeting System"
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX 1998 Game Boy Color Story, script writer, manual writer
Super Smash Bros. 1999 Nintendo 64 Original game staff
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 2000 Nintendo 64 Game system director, story, creator of "Three-Day System"
Super Mario Sunshine 2002 GameCube Director
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 2002 GameCube Assistant director
Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat 2004 GameCube Director
Super Mario Galaxy 2007 Wii Director, story, game design
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 2008 Wii Special thanks
New Play Control! Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat 2008 Wii Producer
Flipnote Studio 2008 Nintendo DSi Producer, director
Super Mario Galaxy 2 2010 Wii Producer
Donkey Kong Country Returns 2010 Wii Special thanks
Super Mario 3D Land 2011 Nintendo 3DS Producer

HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK, THIS MAN!
And he started as an artist inside the company. A real inspiration.
Koizumi is the new Miyamoto for Nintendo except with an additional emphasis on lore. The only problem is he has not been given the green light to create a full fleshed game that is something completely original. Then again I would love to see what ideas he has crafted inside his head for Zelda.