Final Fantasy XV Director Tetsuya Nomura Doesn’t Feel His Fame, Defines Himself “The Company’s Slave”

Tetsuya Nomura is very popular between fans of the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts fanchises, but he doesn’t think of himself as a famous man, as he stated as part of an interesting interview on RPGSite (that for once doesn’t ask him if he prefers PS4 or Xbox One), giving us a small glimpse on the Japanese game development culture.

The interviewer asked Nomura-san if ever wished to escape his fame and go back to being an anonymous game developer, and the response was somewhat surprising, and intriguing.

I’ve never actually felt that way ever before! (laughs) I’m not sure if you know the term, but in Japan I’m what you’d call a salary man! (laughs) The company’s slave, basically – I don’t feel any fame too much. I never feel the pressure – and because of that I’ve never felt the desire to drop my name and go anonymous.

That’s actually a quite realistic representation of the Japanese game industry. Setting a few superstars aside, not many developers are put on a pedestal and treated in a much different way than any salary man, even if they are high level ones like Nomura-san. It’s mostly a matter of local culture, that influences individuals to feel more like they’re one of the cogs in the machine instead of an unique little snowflake. In Japan the team normally matters more than the single star developer.

Of course there are exceptions like Kojima or Nagoshi, but what Nomura-san described is the norm.

Join the Discussion

  • admeister

    It’s true, there’s not much personal glory to be had. Of course, I’m sure that Nomura must feel his fame at least a little, people know his name, and he is taken along to events like E3. Not to mention all these interviews.

  • Zerosion

    I found this part of the interview to be the most interesting.

    “The main reason why we had so many spin-offs for Kingdom Hearts is
    because we couldn’t start preparing for Kingdom Hearts III for a while –
    for a long time – because… well, because of some reasons, basically.”

    Almost got him to spill the beans on why there. I’d really like to know XD