Keiichi Ono (director of Disaster) leaves Monolithsoft after 12 years

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,759
1
0
37
http://jp.linkedin.com/pub/圭一-小野/49/bb6/39a

Found his profile on Linkedin. Seems he left Monolithsoft in January this year after almost 12 years with the company. His profile also lists some pretty interesting details about unannounced/cancelled projects at Monolithsoft, and his role on the projects he worked on. He is currently a director at Nubee Tokyo, which seems to be a social games start up. He says he is directing social games for Smartphones.

I've translated his profile below:

Planner/Director
Monolithsoft

May 2000 - Jan 2012 (11 years 9 months)

- Xenosaga Episode 1 (RPG/PS2)
[Cutscene Production] In charge of cutting and directing cutscenes, and implementation of scripts.

- Baten Kaitos (RPG/GC)
[Event/Cutscene Lead] Responsible for direction of all 2D events and 3D cutscenes in the game, defining specifications, and overall supervision of implementation.

- Baten Kaitos 2 (RPG/GC)
Same as above.

- Disaster Day of Crisis (Action/Wii)
[Planning] Responsible for creating the planning pitch, presenting it to the publisher, starting up the project, and staffing.
[Director] Responsible for leading an internal team of about 60 people and coordinating with many other staff from external companies both domestic and overseas.
[Lead Game Design/Script] Responsible for total game design and the main scenario.

- Unannounced Title (Action/Wii)
[Main Planner] Responsible for planning supervision, main game design, and creation of the story plot.

- The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword (Action RPG/Wii)
[Monolithsoft Main Planner] Responsible for leading the planning staff from Monolithsoft who contributed to the project, and supervision of all planning content from Monolithsoft.
[Level Design/Stage Production] Responsible for field layout designs and implementating them with the toolset.
[Concept/Script/Production For Sub-events] Responsible conceptualizing sub-events, writing the text, and implementing them with the toolset.

- Unannounced Title (RPG/---)
[Battle Supervision] Responsible for supervision over the overall combat mechanics in the RPG. Also responsible for game design, defining specifications, staff management, and prototyping using Unity.
 

Krev

Unconfirmed Member
May 8, 2009
10,606
0
0
That's a real shame for Nintendo. Disaster was great fun and deserved to do a lot better.
Hopefully he does good work on cellphones.
 

blu

Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
May 4, 2007
13,639
192
1,175
- Unannounced Title (RPG/---)
[Battle Supervision] Responsible for supervision over the overall combat mechanics in the RPG. Also responsible for game design, defining specifications, staff management, and prototyping using Unity.
He left so we could see the above. His self-sacrifice won't go unnoticed.
 

vdlow

Member
Sep 7, 2011
1,087
0
0
São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Disaster was one of the best games I had the chance to play on my Wii. Now I'm intrigued by this unannounced Wii project (note that he didn't mention Cancelled) and the game without platform that I bet is for the 3DS.
 

Conor 419

Banned
Oct 23, 2011
5,977
0
0
Unannounced JRPG? YES

One step closer to Xenoblade U

-----

Guy's clearly been behind some creative games, wish him all the best.
 

Hisster

Member
Jan 21, 2012
56
0
0
Disaster was one of the best games I had the chance to play on my Wii. Now I'm intrigued by this unannounced Wii project (note that he didn't mention Cancelled) and the game without platform that I bet is for the 3DS.
... or WiiU
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,759
1
0
37
Disaster was one of the best games I had the chance to play on my Wii. Now I'm intrigued by this unannounced Wii project (note that he didn't mention Cancelled) and the game without platform that I bet is for the 3DS.
The Wii action game is almost certainly cancelled. Most likely a follow up to Disaster which Nintendo didn't want to produce after the original game flopped.
 

markot

Banned
Aug 21, 2008
18,838
0
0
He says he is directing social games for Smartphones.


God... will I ever not feel utterly depressed when I read this line >.>;
 

Krev

Unconfirmed Member
May 8, 2009
10,606
0
0
The Wii action game is almost certainly cancelled. Most likely a follow up to Disaster which Nintendo didn't want to produce after the original game flopped.
That's what I was thinking. Nintendo seemed quite unwilling to fund action games after the Wii hit its casual stride, so I don't think whether it was a Disaster sequel or a new IP would have made much difference.
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,759
1
0
37
It was January, wasn't it? Might as well be cross-over game thing. A shame, I love Disaster :(
Unlikely. The NxC/OGSaga/PXZ guys are their own team. They don't tend to share much staff with the other parts of Monolithsoft.
 

jj984jj

He's a pretty swell guy in my books anyway.
Aug 30, 2005
22,609
0
0
32
Toronto, ON
I haven't played Disaster so it doesn't mean much to me. This makes me think it's more likely that Koh Arai and Norihiko Yonesaka are gone as well though, if it hasn't already been confirmed elsewhere.
 

dragonlife

Member
Jan 5, 2008
16,585
0
0
Oh, no. I loved the Baten Kaitos cutscenes :( They were simple but effective. One of the final scenes from BKO still gives me goose bumps. If there's ever a third, I wonder if they'll go the Xenoblade route for cutscenes.
 

Datschge

Member
Sep 23, 2006
5,149
0
1,020
He is currently a director at Nubee Tokyo, which seems to be a social games start up. He says he is directing social games for Smartphones.
He left because that's what he wanted to do? He seemed to fill pretty important roles for being not one of the shareholders of Monolith (Takahashi, Honde and Sugiura all own some). One core staff less for a not-so-possible BK3. =(

Looking at the website, Bandai Namco doesn't have (what little) shares in Monolith anymore. When did that happen? And staff size seems to fluctuate quite some (2009: 83, 2010: 79, 2012: 92).
 

jj984jj

He's a pretty swell guy in my books anyway.
Aug 30, 2005
22,609
0
0
32
Toronto, ON
Oh, no. I loved the Baten Kaitos cutscenes :( They were simple but effective. One of the final scenes from BKO still gives me goose bumps. If there's ever a third, I wonder if they'll go the Xenoblade route for cutscenes.
I doubt there will ever be another, but if a miracle does happen and it's made I'm sure Koh Kojima can do a good job with it.

He left because that's what he wanted to do? He seemed to fill pretty important roles for being not one of the shareholders of Monolith (Takahashi, Honde and Sugiura all own some). One core staff less for a not-so-possible BK3. =(

Looking at the website, Bandai Namco doesn't have (what little) shares in Monolith anymore. When did that happen? And staff size seems to fluctuate quite some (2009: 83, 2010: 79, 2012: 92).
It went up because they opened a new studio in Kyoto.
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,759
1
0
37
I haven't played Disaster so it doesn't mean much to me. This makes me think it's more likely that Koh Arai and Norihiko Yonesaka are gone as well though, if it hasn't already been confirmed elsewhere.
Norihiko Yonesaka is definitely gone. He worked on the scenario for Mononoke Wanted! last year. It's a mobile game on Mobage by ex-Arc the Lad guys: http://www.4gamer.net/games/104/G010481/20110725014/
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,759
1
0
37
He left because that's what he wanted to do? He seemed to fill pretty important roles for being not one of the shareholders of Monolith (Takahashi, Honde and Sugiura all own some). One core staff less for a not-so-possible BK3. =(

Looking at the website, Bandai Namco doesn't have (what little) shares in Monolith anymore. When did that happen? And staff size seems to fluctuate quite some (2009: 83, 2010: 79, 2012: 92).
If I had to guess, I would say he left because there wasn't much room for him to contribute in an important role anymore. He got gradually promoted into more senior roles as Monolithsoft expanded previously, but after Disaster they kinda downsized into making less projects with larger teams instead (Xenoblade, and now a big WiiU project). Since Nintendo is no longer keen to greenlight non-RPG titles like Disaster, maybe he decided there wasn't enough freedom for him any longer.

The staff size is growing again now because Honne has moved into the new Kyoto studio which Nintendo bankrolled for a closer working relationship with the developer. They're staffing up now for Takahashi's big WiiU project at Tokyo, and whatever the Kyoto guys are working on for the 3DS.
 

wsippel

Banned
May 25, 2006
14,534
0
0
Erfurt, Germany
If I had to guess, I'd say Nintendo folded what was left of the Disaster team into Takahashis and Honnes teams after Zelda was done, and some of the creative heads aren't really needed anymore or didn't want to move to Kyoto.
 
Sep 2, 2007
17,992
1
0
But, but.... Disaster was fucking cheesy awesome and fun :(
It was like a Disaster movie mix+the rock plot+MGS+Armageddon
special ending

Why did you killed the game nintendo?

Now I want to replay it again, too bad I have work and Im playing Xenoblade (5 hours in and is amazing).
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,759
1
0
37
If I had to guess, I'd say Nintendo folded what was left of the Disaster team into Takahashis and Honnes teams after Zelda was done, and some of the creative heads aren't really needed anymore or didn't want to move to Kyoto.
No. There was no more Disaster team after Disaster. The majority of the staff on both Disaster and Soma Bringer worked on Xenoblade. There are only so many staff to go around in the company. Since Ono was not a lead on Xenoblade he was trying to get other projects off the ground, and being put in charge of outsource stuff like planning for Skyward Sword. I would say it's more likely that none of his proposals post-Disaster got approved, and he just decided to leave.
 
Mar 5, 2009
2,090
0
0
I never knew they played such an integral part in Skyward Sword's development. I knew they did some work, but level and field design?

Skyward Sword's field design was damn good, too. They never got boring, in all the times I moved through them.
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,759
1
0
37
I never knew they played such an integral part in Skyward Sword's development. I knew they did some work, but level and field design?

Skyward Sword's field design was damn good, too. They never got boring, in all the times I moved through them.
A shitload of people worked on Skyward Sword. We don't know which exact parts Monolithsoft worked on.