News + Ikumi Nakamura's new studio and getting sick from work

News + Ikumi Nakamura's new studio and getting sick from work

The world became aware of Ikumi Nakamura after her unveiling of Ghostwire Tokyo at E3 2019. It was Shinji Mikami's new game, but all eyes were on her and her incredible energy with which she took the Bethesda stage hostage for those two minutes that are were, in essence, the funniest moment of the entire American fair. A few months after that presentation, however, Nakamura left Tango Gameworks making him lose track for quite a long time. Today's news is that Nakamura is back on the scene, and this time she plans to do so with a new independent studio she owns.

Ikumi Nakamura told about his new studio in a short documentary produced by Game * Spark and Archipel, to whom he also confided that he had clear ideas on a possible new IP to get to work on once the development team was assembled. After conceiving Ghostwire Tokyo and quitting her job, Nakamura would like to get to work on a video game that doesn't take itself too seriously. She has in fact compared herself to Deadpool and apparently she would like to develop a title full of black humor. Among other things, Nakamura said he wanted to focus his study on a multi-ethnic team and which values ​​gender equality among its members as much as possible. The curiosity born around her announcement is great, especially because Nakamura has a respectable pedigree being, among other things, Mikami's favorite pupil himself.

Among the statements of Ikumi Nakamura, however, there is something far more important than the announcement of his new study:

We risked not seeing her at work anymore

News + Ikumi Nakamura's new studio and getting sick from work
To learn more:
Is Okami 2 in development or have we misunderstood Twitter?

Nakamura has a very respectable resume. In an extremely patriarchal country like Japan, in fact, she made her way to become the creative director of Tango Gameworks. His first steps, however, Nakamura moved them within the late Clover Studio, where he made his debut as an artist for Okami. From there she first collaborated with Platinum Games during the development of Scalebound, then officially canceled, and then passed under the supervision of Mikami who integrated her into Tango, where she worked on the two chapters of The Evil Within and followed three years. development of Ghostwire Tokyo, and then resigned shortly after the official reveal. In the meantime, she also found time to drive the internet crazy when she talked about the fact that she and Hideki Kamiya wanted to work on an official Okami sequel.

At the same time as the launch of his new studio, Ikumi Nakamura also spoke about the reasons behind his leaving the company. Once again, the working conditions of those who are part of this industry are involved, for a change. Nakamura said she got sick from work, crushed as she was by the pressures and workloads she had imposed on herself. She quit before it was too late and her mental health issues made her lose her passion for game development. He told it in simple words which, however, contain the essence of the problem for those who work in this environment.

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.

I began to wonder if there wasn't a way to make video games that could make me feel better. I decided to quit before it was too late.

Ikumi Nakamura

How the workload impacts on those involved in development

News + Ikumi Nakamura's new studio and getting sick from work
To learn more:
CD Projekt Red and the culture of crunch

I too am among those who fell in love with Nakamura during those two minutes on the E3 stage. The spontaneity and purity that emanated on that stage captivated me, it was evident how much she was in love with her creation and how much passion she had put into telling it to the public. Yet apparently at that specific time Nakamura was facing a situation that could have led her to quit, as more and more developers do. Ikumi Nakamura had the strength to get back in the game and do it in his own way, with a new and independent studio. For every Nakamura, however, there are hundreds of passionate people in the world who end up escaping the industry without ever working on a video game again in their life.. It is too heavy and can have a gigantic impact on both the health and family of those employed in this industry.

It is a serious problem and must be faced head on if a definitive solution is to be found. We can't just stand by and watch as people in love with the gaming world exhaust themselves in the office to the point of renouncing the passion of a lifetime. In the last period there has been a lot of talk about it due to the numerous scandals on the management of the CD Projekt Red and Naughty Dog team, but too little is said about it and rarely have real evolutions been seen. The problem is that the culture of the crunch is based on a cultural distortion deeply rooted in the environment. As Nakamura herself recounts, when she worked at Capcom the offices were full of people sleeping under desks during development., and it was precisely this self-denial and this demonstration of passion that fascinated her to the point of wanting to pursue her career in the sector.

Good luck, Nakamura

News + Ikumi Nakamura's new studio and getting sick from work
To learn more:
Dr. Crunch and Mr. Hype, the two gaming personalities

Emulating the behavior of one's superiors often leads to unsustainable work rates. Often, in fact, those who work in this environment are subject to a grueling psychological blackmail for which they are pushed to do more and more as the profession of those who develop video games is considered a sort of dream job. Probably for many it is, I have no doubt about it. It was the same for Nakamura, at least to the point where the physical and mental effort did not lead her to leave everything, abandoning Ghostwire Tokyo, a project conceived and wanted by her, in the hands of someone else. I don't have a hard time believing it was a terribly difficult decision. It is no coincidence that she is compared to a mother who abandons her child.

What matters is that Ikumi Nakamura has regained strength today and has founded a new studio. I hope he can build on the experience gained elsewhere and can make his studio a virtuous example of sustainable development, as well as free from socio-cultural access barriers. Honestly said, over the years I have become more and more interested in the world of development thanks to people like Nakamura and curtains like the one who saw her protagonist on the Bethesda stage a couple of years ago. That incredible passion should be a credit to the industry, not blackmailIt is, after all, what made the medium great.

Good luck, Nakamura-San!

add a comment of News + Ikumi Nakamura's new studio and getting sick from work
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.