Tetsuya Mizuguchi (水口 哲也, Mizuguchi Tetsuya, born May 22,
1965) is a Japanese video game designer, producer, and businessman.
Along with ex-
Sega developers he is the one of the co-founders of the
video game development firm Q Entertainment. He formerly worked for
Sega as a producer in their
Sega AM3 'arcade machines' team,
developing games like
Sega Rally Championship and
Sega Touring Car
Championship, before moving on to become the head of Sega's United
Game Artists division, the team responsible for
Rez and Space Channel
5. Mizuguchi is known for creating video games that incorporate an
emphasis on interactive sound design, evidenced by Rez, Lumines, and
Child of Eden.
Q Entertainment in 2013. He is currently the
CEO of Enhance
Games, a company he founded in 2014.
2 Q Entertainment
3 Genki Rockets
4.3 Executive producer
6 External links
Before entering the game industry, Mizuguchi majored in literature at
Nihon University's Faculty of Arts. Asked how he chose a career in
video games, he explained, "I preferred doing something in relation to
human senses or entertainment - something more in relation with human
nature, a field where I could do some research. ... Unlike the arts,
where it is often a matter of taste whether something is good or not,
creating good interactive entertainment is more easily definable. I
Sega because it was using new technology and I was able to study
things like human movements."
Mizuguchi worked for Japanese game publisher, Sega, from 1990 to 2003
and began his career – not on a game – but by designing arcade
cabinets and an interactive 'ride' titled Megalopolis, combining
then-embryonic 3D polygonal graphics and CGI (Computer-generated
imagery) with the physical experience of Sega's hydraulic 'AS-1'
motion simulator. He went on to develop the acclaimed racing
Sega Rally Championship, which was influential in the
racing space, inspiring future racing game franchises like Colin McRae
Rally (another rally simulator) and the rally segments of Gran
Turismo. After forming his own division within Sega,
Sega AM Annex,
he continued in the racing genre with
Sega Rally Championship 2 and
Sega Touring Car Championship, before moving onto early rhythm-based
music games like Space Channel 5, Space Channel 5: Part 2, and Rez.
Space Channel 5
Space Channel 5 and
Rez are referenced in modern gaming media as
essential and influential to the development of the modern wave of
music-rhythm games, with
Harmonix Music Systems
Harmonix Music Systems co-founder, Alex
Rigopulos citing Mizuguchi as an influence in Harmonix's history.
Mizuguchi's final position at
Sega was Chief Creative Officer of
United Game Artists
United Game Artists game division.
On September 2003,
Sega performed an internal restructuring of its
staff. Among these changes was the dissolution of United Game Artists
and the transfer of its members into Sonic Team. The following month,
Mizuguchi announced that he would leave
Sega on October 10, 2003. He
cited the changes in the corporate culture after the Sega-Sammy
merger, and viewed that as an obstacle to what he wanted to do. He
announced that he would work independently in the video game industry
through an – at the time – unnamed company.
That company would be Meguro-based
Q Entertainment (which he
co-founded with a core team of ex-
Sega veterans) which initially
produced two puzzle games for portable, handheld gaming systems:
Lumines for the
PlayStation Portable and
Meteos for the Nintendo DS.
Both games have been released in Japan, North America and Europe. With
Q Entertainment, he later produced
Lumines Live! which was released
Xbox 360 through Microsoft's
Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade service on
October 18, 2006. On November 7, 2006 he also produced
Lumines II for
PSP, the sequel to the popular original (this time supplementing the
original score with a heavy integration of music videos), and a
shooter/puzzle hybrid game called
Every Extend Extra
Every Extend Extra (a heavily
modified 'synesthesia' update to an existing PC freeware title, Every
Extend, by indie developer "Omega"), which was released on August 7,
Later, to coincide with a Microsoft event at
Tokyo Game Show
Tokyo Game Show in 2005,
Mizuguchi announced that
Q Entertainment was working on an action game
called Ninety-Nine Nights. A departure from his focus on musical
Ninety-Nine Nights was Mizuguchi's attempt through an action
game to tell the story of a massive, international conflict as viewed
through the eyes of various factions. To facilitate the completion of
Ninety-Nine Nights, he traveled regularly between Japan and South
Korea to work with
Ninety-Nine Nights external developer, Phantagram.
Mizuguchi also oversaw the development of
Gunpey (for PlayStation
Portable and Nintendo DS), an update on the puzzle franchise
originally created by
Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi's development
team, Koto Laboratory. The PSP version was rendered in a very Rez
style, with vector graphics visuals and an electronic music
soundtrack, while the DS version was aimed at a younger audience,
featuring a more cartoon-like approach. Additionally, around the same
time, a new version of
Every Extend Extra
Every Extend Extra was produced by Q
Xbox Live called
Every Extend Extra
Every Extend Extra Extreme, which
was released on October 17, 2007.
At the 2010
Electronic Entertainment Expo
Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, took the
stage at the start of game publisher Ubisoft's annual media event to
reveal, to the surprise of the assembled media, the spiritual
successor to his game Rez, called Child of Eden. The game was released
in July 2011, one of the marquee games for Xbox 360's
control system. In late September 2011,
Child of Eden
Child of Eden was released for
PlayStation 3, adding high-definition in-game cinemas, and support for
motion control via PlayStation Move, as well as Stereoscopic 3D
His company's latest game is
Lumines Electronic Symphony, which
launched on February 22, 2012, and currently holds an aggregate score
of 83 out of 100 with at least 45 out of 50 reviews registering as
'positive.' The game is considered a reboot of the
Lumines series, and
the true sequel to the original PSP game. Mizuguchi put an all-new
team in charge of the project, with the task of revitalizing the
series, and completing the game in time for the PlayStation Vita's
North American and European launch.
Besides designing video games, Mizuguchi has expressed interest in
directing music videos. One of the music videos included in
for the song Heavenly Star by
Genki Rockets was directed by Mizuguchi,
who also co-wrote the lyrics of the song. He is known for
collaborating with various DJs and music producers for the soundtracks
of his games, including Ken Ishii, Tsuyoshi Suzuki, and Mondo Grosso.
On July 7, 2007, the character Lumi from
Genki Rockets (also the
principal character from Child of Eden) opened the
Live Earth concert
in Tokyo in a holographic performance, and introduced a holographic
video projection of Al Gore.
On September 20, 2012, a news article reported that "Tetsuya Mizuguchi
has stepped away from games production for the time being, taking on a
more delegatory role within Q Entertainment."
Mizuguchi speaks English, and conducts the majority of his interviews
with Western media exclusively in English.
He is a specially appointed professor teaching at Keio Media Design
In 2014, he left Q Entertainment, and founded Enhance Games, where he
is the CEO. He is the only employee of the company.
In 2006, Mizuguchi pursued his love of technology and electronic
music, founding the band
Genki Rockets with a consistent group of
collaborators, including songwriter and producer Kenji Tamai, as well
as singers Rachel Rhodes and Nami Miyahara. Mizuguchi would write all
of the album's lyrics and contribute melodic ideas to Tami, who would
them work on the tracks in the studio. Described as a 'hybrid unit' by
Mizuguchi, the vocals of the two singers were digitally combined to
sound like one singer, while Rhodes represented the visual identity of
the 'band.' Not unlike the band Gorillaz, Rhodes' alter-ego, 'Lumi,'
was conceived as a 'virtual idol,' except in this instance, unlike
Hatsune Miku, Lumi is based on a real human girl.
Genki Rockets has
thus far produced two albums,
Genki Rockets I: Heavenly Star and Genki
Rockets II: No Border Between Us, consisting primarily of electronic
pop music, sung mostly in English, with occasional Japanese phrases.
Megalopolice - Tokyo City Battle (1994; Arcade)
Sega Rally Championship (1995; Arcade,
Sega Saturn, PC) AM5
Manx TT Superbike
Manx TT Superbike (1995; Arcade)
Sega Rally 2 (1998; Arcade, Dreamcast, PC) AM5
Space Channel 5
Space Channel 5 (1999; Dreamcast, PS2) UGA
Rez (2001; Dreamcast, PS2) UGA
Space Channel 5: Part 2 (2002; Dreamcast, PS2) UGA
Lumines (2004; PSP, PS2, PC) Q Entertainment
Lumines Live! (2006; Xbox 360) Q Entertainment
Lumines II (2006; PSP) Q Entertainment
Ninety-Nine Nights (2006; Xbox 360) Q Entertainment, Phantagram
Child of Eden
Child of Eden (2011; Xbox 360, PS3) Q Entertainment, Ubisoft
Meteos (2005; Nintendo DS) Q Entertainment
Every Extend Extra
Every Extend Extra (2006; PSP) Q Entertainment
Gunpey (2006; Nintendo DS, PSP) Q Entertainment
Every Extend Extra
Every Extend Extra Extreme (2007; Xbox 360) Q Entertainment
^ a b c "Bitsummit". bitsummit.org. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
^ a b c "An Interview with Tetsuya Mizuguchi". Next Generation.
No. 23. Imagine Media. November 1996. pp. 80–81.
Sega AM Annex". Next Generation. No. 23. Imagine Media.
November 1996. pp. 76–79.
^ Kikizo Staff.
Tetsuya Mizuguchi Interview 2005. October 13, 2005.
Retrieved October 15, 2005.
^ Martin Robinson. Mizuguchi moves away from game production.
September 20, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
^ YouTube – Interview with Tetsuya Mizuguchi
^ YouTube –
Lumines 2, interview with creator Mizuguchi
^ YouTube – Tetsuya Mizuguchi
Tetsuya Mizuguchi on his return to music games".
Polygon. 2015-12-07. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
^ "Manx TT". Next Generation. No. 16. Imagine Media. April 1996.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tetsuya Mizuguchi.
Tetsuya Mizuguchi's weblog
Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Page on 1UP.com
"Northern Lights: A Week With Q Entertainment" 1UP.com coverstory
Tetsuya Mizuguchi about his games and his music-video
spacechannel5.org – A Space