Gaming Idols: Top 50 We Ever Interviewed

Interviews have long been a strong passion for us at Kikizo. Today, in celebration of our relaunch into Video Games Daily, we name the 50 best interviewees of the site to date.

By Adam Doree, October 26, 2009

Peter Moore
President, EA Sports

I used to run a site called Segaweb back when Peter Moore was president of Sega of America, and he’s the kind of exec who even when I was new to the industry I could email and get a reply. Over the years that followed when he was the most prominent face on the Xbox management at Microsoft, I enjoyed several roundtable interviews with Moore where you’re always guaranteed laughs and fun-poking (not to mention the odd, ahem, dispute here and there). My most recent interview with him in his role as President of EA Sports was a more private affair, but the great thing about Moore is he can talk passionately and knowledgeably whether you’re sharing time with other journalists or have him all to yourself.

Video Games Daily Interviews: April 2009, Oct 2006, May 2006

Tohru Murayama
Producer, SEGA AM2

Being one of my top three development studios in the world, Sega’s AM2 is a studio we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing on many occasions. One of their younger staff members is Tohru Murayama, who was responsible for the outstanding home conversions of Virtua Fighter 5. Admittedly, we’re bound to include someone on the list with whom we can indulge in a few bouts of the best 3D fighting game ever made – especially if we win. Which we did.

Video Games Daily Interviews: Sep 2007, March 2007

Ray Muzyka
CEO, BioWare and VP, Electronic Arts

“Dr. Raymond A. Muzyka”, his business card proudly states, followed by a series of letters: “BMSc MD CCFP MBA”. I don’t know what these letters mean, other than this is a man who has a ton of qualifications I do not have. “Chief Executive Officer” is fairly easy to understand on the BioWare-branded card, though. But what the card does not say is that he is also a co-founder of the beloved game developer, and also that he is now a Vice President of Electronic Arts, which bought BioWare last year. The card also does not tell you the fairly remarkable story of how BioWare came to be. When we met with Ray just recently, we learned about this story. Ray is an impressive man whose style is relaxed and modest, and is a good guy to interview.

Video Games Daily Interviews: Aug 2008, Feb 2009

Toshihiro Nagoshi
President, New Entertainment Dept, SEGA

As recognised as Toshihiro Nagoshi is among the hardcore games community these days, he’s still one of Sega’s greatest unsung heroes. Many believe he’s just the guy who created Super Monkey Ball and Virtua Striker, and that these days he’s all about the Yakuza series. In fact, he’s one of Sega’s oldest veterans who pioneered the 3D era with Yu Suzuki by creating the bases for arcade Virtua Racing and Daytona USA, two titles that sparked the age of 3D polygon graphics, long before his Amusement Vision studio ever started. Nagoshi also (as far as we know, still) oversees all creative development across the company. Nagoshi isn’t always the easiest Sega man to interview, I have to be honest; I’ve learnt that he can only really be bothered when the communication is working properly in both directions, so a decent interpreter is kind of essential with this guy. Rivalled only by J Allard in terms of his changing appearance over the last few years, Nagoshi is one of Japan’s brigtest stars and always worth sitting down with.

Video Games Daily Interviews: Nov 2006, June 2006, Oct 2005, July 2004, Feb 2003

Yuji Naka
President, Prope and co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog

It was February 2009, and it had been a good few years since we’d sat down with Yuji Naka, twice back in 2003 and again in 2004, when the company’s exit from the hardware business we still relatively fresh in mind. The former president of Sonic Team, who is credited with programming and producing the original 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog, had been hard to track down in more recent years. But after Let’s Tap – Naka’s first game developed under the Prope banner – was announced for North America and Europe, we were finally let loose on him, and pretty much ignored Let’s Tap entirely so that we could instead talk about Sega, Dreamcast and his orange socks. As I footnoted in the interview: “I’d like to chip in on the debate quite rightly raised by Brandon in his Naka interview: I’ve now interviewed Naka four times and met informally on a further two occasions, and he’s never been anything other than pleasant and as accomodating as possible in interviews.” It’s true.

Video Games Daily Interviews: Feb 2009, June 2004, June 2003, Feb 2003

Gabe Newell
Managing Director, Valve Corporation.

Straight off the bat, it’s tough not to like someone whose company has produced what I think is still the best FPS of the last five years, not to mention the stunning surprise that was Portal. But Gabe is also an exceptional interviewee; as anyone who’s ever read an interview him would know, he’s probably the executive who’s least frightened to speak his mind honestly that we can think of. When you ask Gabe a question, he takes every part of it in, and delivers answers that, rather than being pulled out of his arse or paraphrased from a press release, are thoughtful, insightful, often surprising and always said with conviction.

Video Games Daily Interview: Sept 2007

William Oertel
Producer, Konami

It can be very refreshing when a people actually pause for thought before responding to a question, to ensure that what they say is original and meaningful. We met Oertel for a chat about Silent Hill Origins on the PSP once, and he’s that sort of interviewee. He gave detailed and genuinely thoughtful responses to broader questions about fear and the psychological kind of fear in his game. Top marks.

Video Games Daily Interview: June 2007

Makoto Osaki
Lead Developer, SEGA AM2

Although I didn’t personally handle our most recent, VF5R-focused interview with AM2′s Makoto Osaki, I’ve interviewed him in the past and he’s a fan favourite here. Not only is Osaki a true AM2 veteran, he’s also generous with his time when it’s deserved, happy to engage in all manner of off-topic chat because it’s all part of the love of Sega’s history – and people like that can be pretty hard to find at the company these days.

Video Games Daily Interviews: Oct 2008, March 2007, June 2004

Andy Payne
UK Industry Veteran

Andy’s not somebody gamers hear of every day in the games business, but there’s little doubt that he has a gaming accolade or two under his belt. Having built the most successful budget PC software label, Mastertronic Group, Payne’s firm owns the republishing sector. He’s also a member of the trade body ELSPA. Our interview with Andy included an unhealthy amount of 1990s Sega related banter before discussing the ELSPA side of things, with Payne speaking openly and frankly about a number of issues such as Internet piracy, the incredible Daily Mail “Murder by PlayStation” fiasco, and industry executives who simply, “don’t actually understand what’s going on”. Perfect.

Video Games Daily Interview: Jan 2005

Dave Perry
CEO, Acclaim, Industry Veteran and Creator of Gaikai

Dave Perry is a superb, approachable guy to interview. Industry veteran, 16-BIT era legend, and the founder of Shiny Entertainment, he is the man behind classic 1990s hits like Earthworm Jim and MDK, and today a visionary with some exciting ideas about the future of gaming. Perhaps the tallest man in the industry, Irish-born Perry is the kind of guy this site was made for, with my long overdue interview with him taking around an hour if I recall, and spanning a lot of really interesting topics. With Gaikai on the horizon, we hope to meet with him again soon.

Video Games Daily Interview: Sept 2008

9 Responses to “Gaming Idols: Top 50 We Ever Interviewed”

  1. xino says:

    Damn..Hayashi did not make the list

  2. HeatPhoenix says:

    Did you guys just never interview Miyamoto or something?

  3. Adam Doree says:

    Miyamoto – not in recent years, although in our interview archive ( you can find an acient video interview cut together from a roundtable, as well as a follow-up roundtable. I didn’t think it would be fair to include those as they’re a different kind of interview. If we’d done a 1-1 with him lately obviously he’d be on the list!

    I’m sure he’s devastated though obviously.

    Hayashi wasn’t on the list because our interviews with him were not done by me, and these are just my personal choice/opinion.

  4. Pokemon says:

    the image of Julian Gerighty is not cool. maybe it is better if you add more proper image.

  5. DR Jam says:

    I thought Jade (Ubi, AC), and Ono (Capcom, SF4) would make the cut. But honestly, that’s a really good list. And it’s perfectly understandable if some of the biggest industry haven’t made the list. At least it’s good motivation, as if you needed more incentives, to other icons to open up: Ed Boo, Will Wright, the guy from Epic Mickey, etc…

    Also it’s about the most fun interviewees so, maybe not every visionary makes for a fun interview.

  6. Doree says:

    Yeah… Jade I haven’t met, Ono I didn’t get a chance to meet until literally just last week at the 3DS launch… even though others have previously interviewed him for the site.

    I am happy to replace the Julian image with another if someone sends one in.

    You know who I’d most like to add to the list? Hiroshi Yamauchi. But that’s not going to happen. ;)

  7. bellashanna says:

    Hi: julian
    It’s me . shana. write back soon!

  8. bellashanna says: it’s me. shana

  9. bellashanna says:

    Julian Gerighty. It’s me


Kikizo Classic: