Keita Takahashi is one of a kind. First making his mark on the video game world with Katamari Damacy, he’s been a sporadic but welcome presence in the industry ever since, creating Noby Noby Boy in 2009 and working on various projects – such as the ambitious, sadly cancelled MMO Glitch and the show-floor favourite Tenya Wanya Teens – since. Over the next 12 months we’re due not just one but two Takahashi games, first with Wattam for PC and PS4 and, early next year, with his contribution to the recently announced handheld PlayDate. We took the chance to sit down with him at BitSummit last week to talk about… Well, various things.
Let’s start with Wattam, I guess. What’s taken so long! It’s been in development for so long now.
Keita Takahashi: Yeah, it’s been five or six years. You can play the demo now though! Why? There are many reasons, but the biggest reason is we got cancelled by Sony. But we still believed it’d be a good game, so at the time one of the ex-Santa Monica Studio guys, he told me they were looking for a new partner, a new publisher – which is Annapurna – so I was waiting on that. While I was waiting, I was able to make different games, like the Google AR project, currently the Panic Playdate thing. And then, finally we got investment from Annapurna Interactive, we had to find new team members, update the game engine. That’s why it’s taken so long.