A book about the history of Japanese developers shows promise

When I was a wee little kid I spent my time growing up with video games. You can blame my parents for that one, since they introduced me to the world of gaming – when I was only four years old – with a birthday gift of a Commodore 64. It wasn’t long till I moved to Sega’s Master System and then to the Super Nintendo. I grew up playing mostly Japanese games, with fantastic titles, such as Wonderboy, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Street Fighter II, all part of my cart collection.

There is a reason why I am speaking about my history with such wonderful games. This is because I was introduced to a Kickstarter project that I want to bring to light, as it plans to be “a book with more Japanese developer interviews than any other; a wealth of untold anecdotes from Japan’s video game history in English.” For me, this sounds amazing, and I am sure I aren’t the only one who is interested in gaining insight from some of these brilliant Japanese developers that don’t often get to share their history with western gaming fans. The main reason for this is that the language barrier holds a restriction on published content.

This is where one man, John Szczepaniak, hopes to change all this with his new book “The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers.” John Szczepaniak is a writer/journalist who has nine years of experience behind him and has contributed to various magazines and websites, such as The Escapist, Hardcore Gaming 101, GamesTM, and Retro Gamer. He has already begun planning the project and has gained the interest of over 40 Japanese developers, who are ready to participate in this project.

If the project is funded, Szczepaniak plans to fly over to Japan in September and find the best interpreter in the country and begin interviewing as many of these historic Japanese developers as possible. He’s certainly got some delightful pickings from the industry, with Genso Suikoden, tentatively mentioned by one of his guest editors, striking a cord with me – I love that series!

At the current time of this post, the Kickstarter has eight days left and is short by £8,000 from hitting its £50,000 total. If you want to find out more about The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers, then head over to the Kickstarter page and read through the long list of why this should be supported.

Below is John Szczepaniak’s pledge video.

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