The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers

A project in Southampton, United Kingdom by John Szczepaniak

Funding Successful

A book with more Japanese developer interviews than any other; a wealth of untold anecdotes from Japan's video game history in English
Backers: 1549
Average Pledge Per Backer: £45

Funded: £70,092 of £50,000
Dates: May 27th -> Jun 30th (34 days)
Project By: John Szczepaniak
video gamedocumentarybookseducationalhistoricnon-fiction +Suggest

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Last Updated: June 30 @ 06:31 -0400 GMT


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Latest News

Book Review: Japansoft: An Oral History - A True Treasure You Need To Read

January 28th - via:
A few years ago, British journalist and author John Szczepaniak launched a Kickstarter campaign with a grand vision – to document the memories of some of Japan's most influential yet underappreciated games developers. (Read More)

The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers Reviewed

December 31st - via:
The Untold History Of Japanese Game Developers is a book that aims to tell the untold story of Japanese game developers. (Read More)

Kickstarted Video Game Books You Can Buy Right Now

December 23rd - via:
Kickstarter and IndieGogo aren't just for video games.. they also have video game books campaigns! (Read More)

The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers Book Now Available

August 27th - via:
In June of last year, The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers book project received 140% of its required funds and a legion of excited fans. As the project wore on things got a bit messy but the promise to provide a finished book never disappeared. Here we are now just a little over a year later and this book filled with developer interviews and history is available on Amazon. (Read More)

The Untold Backstory of The Untold History Of Japanese Game Developers

July 1st - via:
The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers was a Kickstarter project formed to bring interviews, retrospectives, and more about Japanese video games to a Western audience. Many classic developers are much loved, but left without much historical documentation for English-speaking audiences to look into. Lovers of Japanese games flocked to the project and saw that it was funded 140% over its goal. Project coordinator John Szczepaniak had a lot of work ahead of him on his trip to Japan, but with supportive backers everything was assumed to go off without a hitch. (Read More)

Last Day of Pledging!

June 29th - via:
Firstly: Kenichi Nishi is on board! Also... We're in the last stretch before the Kickstarter officially ends.I want to thank everyone for making this possible. The fact we've gone 30% over the goal will allow for considerably more interpreter time,... (Read More)

Platinum DVD tier sold out

June 26th - via:
Just a quick update. I've spent around 11 hours fielding emails all day, give or take an hour for Star Trek this evening. If I have not replied to your emails, I am very sorry. I will try to work on them first thing tomorrow. Though I also intend to... (Read More)


June 25th - via:
I've been given the go-ahead from my associate who helped arrange this, to announce the Platinum Tier. The artist is Hitoshi YONEDAYou may recognise Hitoshi Yoneda as the artist behind a lot of classic Falcom artwork, and also Phantasy Star covers.... (Read More)

We did it! The goal has been reached!

June 25th - via:
Greetings everyone, We've made it! As of typing this, we are over the £50k mark. Thank you to all my backers, and everyone who tweeted, blogged, posted Youtube videos, shouted in the streets, and passed on the message. I will post a more detailed... (Read More)

Yuzo Koshiro is on board!

June 24th - via:
Just a small update. He should need no introduction, but Yuzo Koshiro is happy to be interviewed. As well as being a prolific musician since the 1980s, he is also head of developer Ancient, which produced Protect Me Knight, pictured below.... (Read More)

£5000 reward and name in the book

June 20th - via:
A lot of work to do today, so I'll keep this brief. Keep spreading the word though, we're almost there! £5000 The hilariously expensive tier is taken! The signature book is now gone. I've spoken with the backer, and I can confirm it is 100%... (Read More)

T&E Soft and disk preservation

June 19th - via:
Just a short report, since I'll be out all day today and won't be back until the evening. Current flagged emails: 6 (though technically one is regarding my expertise on Sony's Net Yaroze, not this KS) I will reply to emails as I get the chance - I... (Read More)

Guest Editors and my own chosen topics

June 16th - via:
Given that the Guest Editor tiers are all gone (I'm considering adding a few more, since the money-to-print-cost ratio looks good enough to increase the overall page count), I think it's time to describe the content more. I've already listed those... (Read More)

Submit a Question & Guest Editor tiers all gone!

June 15th - via:
Just a short update. All the Submit a Question and Guest Editor tiers are now gone! Thank you to everyone who generously pledged for them! That's fantastic. I've currently had replies from 6 of the 8 Guest Editors, and will be making a big post... (Read More)

One last charge over the hill, comrades

June 13th - via:
Since my last update I've continued to contact and be contacted by various developers, or those who know developers. Notably one of my backers in Japan has been helping me, and is trying to put me in touch Yoshio Kiya, who developed one of Japan's... (Read More)

Interview on Polygon

June 8th - via:
Just a quick update to say that my interview with Polygon has been published. I should point out, my being quoted as mentioning sekaikan was a result of Zack Wood and his excellent write up on Gamasutra. I read his article, posted in the comments,... (Read More)

Untold Stories of Japanese Developers project aims to share the culture's 'holistic' approach to games

June 8th - via:
John Szczepaniak is afraid the Japanese-English language barrier is preventing us from mining the history of the Japanese video game industry, and as consoles — and people — pass on, we're in danger of losing it altogether. That's why he has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a book about it. (Read More)

Taking the weekend off

June 7th - via:
This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read. (Read More)

Yoshiro Kimura is on board!

June 6th - via:
Yoshiro Kimura has invited me to drink whiskey with and interview him in Japan! He's worked on a variety of excellent games, including Moon: Remix RPG Adventure (which takes a completely new approach to the RPG genre), and Lack Of Love, while at... (Read More)

Now part of the IGDA

June 5th - via:
I am now a member of the International Game Developers Association, and we are officially on the curated IGDA page for Kickstarter. Hopefully this will add some gravitas to the project which news websites will pick up on. There has not been a lot of... (Read More)

Takashi Tokita is on board!

June 4th - via:
The legendary Takashi Tokita says he is happy to be interviewed. Below are the covers to just a few of his games. He told me he couldn't believe it's been 30 years since the launch of the Famicom. Indeed, I thought, how times have changed. Tokita-san... (Read More)

Structure of the book

June 3rd - via:
Someone asked me if I would be covering Kenji Eno in the book, since he passed away recently. This was one of many events which motivated me to consider such a book, since I had long been a fan of Eno's work, and his boundary pushing persona.... (Read More)

Roy Ozaki of Mitchell Corp is on board!

June 1st - via:
In addition to Strider creator Kouichi Yotsui, I have confirmation that Roy Ozaki, president of Mitchell Corp, wants to be interviewed. The company produced Pang / Buster Bros, Osman / Cannon Dancer (pictured), Puzz Loop / Ballistic / Magnetica, and... (Read More)

Japanese readers want the book

May 30th - via:
Wow, another intensely busy day. And we've reached 25% of the goal! Thank you all! I was happy to see that Makoto Goto posted in the public comments section wishing me luck with the project. That was really nice to see, since as many will know,... (Read More)

More potential interviewees!

May 29th - via:
Time for a (long) report.It's both amazing and heart warming the amount of support I've received since launching this Kickstarter. Thank you all.I also want to share some developments, and describe the everyday routine of contacting developers. I say... (Read More)

28 May Update

May 28th - via:
Just a small update before I sign off for the evening. Thank you to everyone who pledged, the show of support has been tremendous. Thank you also to all who shared the message, tweeted, and discussed this. I've had emails from at least 4 Japanese... (Read More)

Some non-Japanese contacts I have

May 28th - via:
I want to edit my Kickstarter front page, but apparently I've reached my character limit, so I am moving this entire section from the main page to the updates. It's not that significant since it's unlikely these contacts will be involved in the main... (Read More)

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