I’m posting today to say that Friday, June 22nd will be my last day at Capcom.
Writing this is incredibly difficult. In no uncertain terms, Capcom
has been a dream for me.
I have chosen a new path which will let me embrace a new dream, but to everyone that ever believed in this dream we shared together, let me say this final thanks. I will leave as I began–a Capcom fan for life, looking forward to all the great games still to come.
My brother Pete introduced me to Street Fighter II in 1991, and it was love at first sight. Even at the height of my early fan fever dreams, however, I could never have guessed that this game would take me around the world. From my first fumblings with the fireball, to battling for local arcade supremacy, and even on to competing in Japan, I still never let myself imagine I could someday meet, much less work alongside the people responsible for these games. To think back on the fact that it’s been my real life for these years is hard for me to believe, even now.
Lured by news of a new project that would eventually become Street Fighter IV, I gave up a happy little life to join Capcom in 2006 with the naive hope of playing some part–any part–in waking up the world to remember something I have known in my blood since the SF2 era: fighting games are amazing. At the time I came on, fighters were few and far between, and Street Fighter had been asleep for a long time. Through the combination of some great games and an incredible community, I’m happy to think that we’ve hit that early target–fighting games are strong again–perhaps stronger than they’ve ever been before.
Based around the early success of SFIV, we were able to create a small model internally to show that the positive impact community can have on our games. From there, the insights and passion from fans across our franchises have made Capcom a far more open, engaged place than the company I knew growing up. Fan-facing events and conversations have become a top priority, and even our typically reserved producers have opened up to the joys and challenges of talking directly to their players. Even as you give us hell and ask us to do better, remember the progress we’ve made together and know that this company is full of great individuals who share your love for the games, and that they are always trying to chart the path to make games that are worthy of your dedication.
To everyone that’s helped me along my path, I’m left only with words that seem hollow from overuse, but: Thank You.
Thank you to Ono-san, and to the now-passed Mark Beaumont, who trusted me with the game and believed in my passion from the very start.
To Niitsuma-san, who invited me on his journey to embrace the crazy heart beating inside the Versus series, and produced games that still thrill me even after thousands of hours.
To the many talented people throughout the fighting teams that gave me a literal schooling of the kind possible nowhere else in the world–I’m a proud graduate of “Capcom U” and have the scars to prove it 🙂
To everyone who has worked alongside me on our community teams, and to Christian Svensson who made it possible, through good times and bad, trying to fight the good fight and make sure our biggest fans had a voice at the decision-making table.
To my many other friends and colleagues at Capcom around the world, I’m proud to realize there are far too many of you to thank directly, so let me say simply “otsukare-sama desu,” and I hope we will meet again.
And finally, to the FGC: In no uncertain terms, you have been my reason for everything. A game can be incredible, but it’s the players and where they take it that elevate it into legend. Both as individuals and as a group, you have taught me more than I could have ever thought possible. Every hour on the road and every air mile towards my first million doesn’t begin to repay the debt I feel to all of you. You are a family to me. Today, the community is strong, and growing stronger. We fight, we make mistakes, we argue, and we compete but in the end we have each other. To you, I can only say “thank you.” You continue to electrify the world and show the power not just of a game, but of a living, breathing community. Strive to be your best selves, to share our magic with the next generation, and above all else, take care of each other. We are a family.