Takeshi Miyaji, best known as one of the directors on the original Grandia, recently died at the age of 45.
This is according to a statement sent out by G-Mode, as reported on by Andriasang. He was a co-founder and the CEO of G-Mode, a mobile games developer in Japan. Early in his career, he was involved with games like Silpheed and Lunar: The Silver Star. Following that, he had worked at Game Arts along with his brother, Yoichi Miyaji, who continues to serve as the company’s president CEO.
While there, Takeshi was one of the key players in the development of the first two games in the Grandia RPG series (first as a director, and then as a producer). The first was originally released for Sega Saturn, but only made it to the United States as a PlayStation 1 game in 1999. (It has since been re-released as a PS1 Classic on the PlayStation Network.) It was very well received by critics at the time and is still highly regarded today. In 1999, it was faced with big competition as Final Fantasy VIII, the sequel to one of the most popular RPGs of all time, FFVII, had been released earlier in the year.
The Grandia series has since seen saw two more numbered sequels (the most recent of which, Grandia III, came to the PS2 in North America in 2006) and a number of spin-offs, including Grandia Online, a still-in-development MMO.
Prior to the release of Grandia II in 2000 on Dreamcast (it would later be ported to PC and PS2), Miyaji spoke with GameSpot about what he thought the future of RPGs would bring. He said, “Basically I think there are three keywords: network, multiplayer, story. Four to five years down the road, those three aspects will play a giant role in RPGs. Additionally, any game that retains fun elements is the type of game people will always support, no matter how far the technology stretches.” He also said, “My ultimate goal is to bring great games to the market. If people who play Grandia II are happy with it, then I’ve accomplished my goal.”
Miyaji died on Friday, July 29, although the cause of death has not been revealed.
We here at Anjel Syndicate would like to extend our condolences and best wishes to the entire Miyaji family. Our thoughts and hearts go out to you all.
Part time employee of a major video game retailer.