Yoshiki Okamoto (岡本 吉起, Okamoto Yoshiki, born June 10, 1961), sometimes credited as Kihaji Okamoto, is a Japanese video game designer. He is credited with producing popular titles for Konami, including Gyruss and Time Pilot, and for Capcom, including 1942, Gun.Smoke, Final Fight and Street Fighter II. He later founded the companies Flagship and Game Republic, and then created the hit mobile games Dragon Hunter and Monster Strike for Mixi. He also played a role in the creation of Rockstar's Red Dead franchise. Several franchises he helped create are among the highest-grossing video game franchises of all time, including Street Fighter, Monster Strike and Red Dead.

Yoshiki Okamoto
Born (1961-06-10) June 10, 1961 (age 63)
Other namesKihaji Okamoto
OccupationVideo game designer
Years active1981–present



Early career at Konami


His early games Time Pilot (1982) and Gyruss (1983) innovated in the shoot 'em up genre during the golden age of arcade games. The Killer List of Videogames included both Gyruss and Time Pilot in its list of top 100 arcade games of all time.[1] Although these games turned out to be successful titles for Konami, Okamoto's employer was not happy as apparently Okamoto had been told to create a driving game instead.[2] Internal disagreements, financial and credible, caused his termination from Konami.

Career at Capcom


Joining Capcom in 1984, Okamoto directed several arcade games such as 1942 (1984), SonSon (1984), and Side Arms (1986). His 1985 shoot 'em up Gun.Smoke later inspired a spiritual successor, Red Dead Revolver, the first installment of the Red Dead series.[3]

The last game he directed was the 1989 CP System game Willow (1989). He would oversee the development of Capcom's subsequent games as a producer and was responsible for recruiting character designer Akira Yasuda for Capcom. Okamoto and Yasuda developed some of Capcom's biggest hits, most notably the beat 'em up game Final Fight (1989) and fighting game Street Fighter II (1991). Street Fighter II is estimated to have grossed $10.61 billion as of 2017, making it the third highest-grossing video game of all time, after Space Invaders and Pac-Man.[4]

Okamoto worked on the 1996 survival horror game Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan). Additionally, he produced the movie adaptation and its sequel.

In 1997, he resigned from Capcom to start his own video game development company, Flagship.[5] He continued to develop video games for Capcom through Flagship.

Okamoto approached Angel Studios with the idea for an original intellectual property entitled S.W.A.T. It later adopted a Western theme at Okamoto's recommendation, redefining the acronym as "Spaghetti Western Action Team".[6] It was intended to be a spiritual successor to Gun.Smoke.[3] Angel Studios began work on the game with Capcom's oversight and funding in 2000, and Capcom announced the game as Red Dead Revolver in March 2002.[7][8] Okamoto then left Capcom,[6] which canceled the game in August 2003.[9][10] Rockstar Games acquired the rights to Red Dead Revolver in December 2003 and resumed development,[11][12] releasing it for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in May 2004.[6]

In 2003, he left Flagship to form another video game company.

Game Republic


In 2005, Okamoto's new independent game company, Game Republic, released its first game Genji: Dawn of the Samurai. Genji is a game set in Feudal Japan with a similar playing style to the Onimusha series. A sequel, Genji: Days of the Blade, was released on the PlayStation 3 in late 2006. A new Game Republic game called Folklore (Folkssoul in Japan) was released in 2007.

Okamoto also developed a typical party game called Every Party, which was a launch title for the Xbox 360 in Japan.

In 2007, Game Republic signed with Brash Entertainment and started working on licensed games like Clash of the Titans. But then in November 2008, Brash Entertainment went out of business, and Game Republic had to turn to Namco Bandai for the release of Clash of the Titans.[13]

In 2011, Game Republic also shut down due to debt, and a year later, Okamoto announced that he had retired from making console games and started working on mobile games.[14]



In recent years, he created the mobile games Dragon Hunter and Monster Strike (2013) for Mixi. Dragon Hunter was a moderate success, before Monster Strike became a major hit, competing with Puzzle & Dragons for the top spot on mobile charts.[15] By 2018, Monster Strike had grossed over $7.2 billion, surpassing Puzzle & Dragons to become the highest-grossing mobile app of all time.[16]

Later years


Okamoto became the chairman of the Japan Game Culture Foundation in November 2017,[17] an organization which seeks to support young game creators.[18] In 2018 he made the Malaysian game development company Okakichi. In November 2022 he was appointed as "game advisor" for the Whole Earth Foundation,[19] a Japanese organization seeking to raise infrastructure maintenance awareness through a cryptocurrency smartphone game.[20]

Since 2020 he has also made three YouTube channels[21][22][23] which he uses to discuss various topics. His "YoshikiOkamotoGameCh" channel in particular looks back at his life as a video game designer for over 40 years, discussing experiences with past games he was involved in, his opinion on other games, and interviews with individuals related to game development. He also used this channel to announce his planned retirement in June 2027.[24]

Influences and style


Okamoto has said that he gets ideas from scenery from movies, citing particularly the works of Akira Kurosawa and Chinese ghost stories.[25] He commented that "We don't make games for ourselves - I don't actually play games very much."[25]


Year Game Role
1982 Time Pilot Game designer
1983 Gyruss
1984 1942
1985 Exed Exes
1986 Hyper Dyne Side Arms
1987 1943: The Battle of Midway Producer
Black Tiger
1989 Destiny of an Emperor Game designer
Willow Director
U.N. Squadron
Buster Bros.
1990 1941: Counter Attack
Mega Twins
Magic Sword Game designer
Nemo Director
1991 Three Wonders Producer
1992 Varth: Operation Thunderstorm
1994 Eco Fighters
Armored Warriors Director
1995 Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge Producer
1996 Star Gladiator General producer
Mega Man 8 Executive producer
1997 Street Fighter III: New Generation General producer
Battle Circuit
Mega Man: Battle & Chase Executive producer
Mega Man X4
Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix
Breath of Fire III
Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact General producer
1998 Resident Evil 2 Supervisor
Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes Executive producer
Plasma Sword: Nightmare of Bilstein
Mega Man & Bass
1999 Trick'N Snowboarder
Power Stone
Dino Crisis Supervisor
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne Executive producer
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis Supervisor
Strider 2 General producer
2000 Resident Evil - Code: Veronica Supervisor
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes Executive producer
Breath of Fire IV
Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000
Mega Man X5
2001 The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages General producer
One Piece Mansion Executive producer
Mega Man X6
Maximo: Ghosts to Glory Advisor
2002 Auto Modellista Executive producer
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter Supervisor
2003 Devil May Cry 2 Executive producer
Chaos Legion
Group S Challenge
2005 Genji: Dawn of the Samurai Executive director
2006 Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner Producer
Brave Story: New Traveler Executive director
Genji: Days of the Blade
2007 Folklore
2008 Dragon Ball: Origins Executive producer
2010 Dragon Ball: Origins 2
Clash of the Titans Executive director
Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom
2011 Knights Contract
2013 Monster Strike Game designer


  1. ^ Greg McLemore and the KLOV team. "The Top Coin-Operated Videogames of all Times". Killer List of Videogames. Archived from the original on 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  2. ^ Kent, Steven. "VideoGameSpot's Interview with Yoshiki Okamoto". Archived from the original on December 7, 1998.
  3. ^ a b Parish, Jeremy (October 26, 2016). "Red Dead Redemption's Curious 8-Bit Origin Story". USgamer. Archived from the original on 2018-10-26. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  4. ^ "World of Warcraft Leads Industry With Nearly $10 Billion In Revenue - GameRevolution". GameRevolution. January 26, 2017. Archived from the original on 2018-08-18. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  5. ^ Ricciardi, John (November 1997). "Okamoto Leaves Capcom". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 100. Ziff Davis. p. 28.
  6. ^ a b c Hester, Blake (October 17, 2018). "How the Red Dead franchise began". Polygon. Archived from the original on October 21, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (March 30, 2004). "Red Dead Interview". IGN. Archived from the original on August 11, 2017. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  8. ^ IGN Staff (March 22, 2002). "Capcom Unveils Four Major Games". IGN. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  9. ^ Niizumi, Hirohiko (July 22, 2003). "Capcom no longer sponsoring Red Dead Revolver". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 11, 2017. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  10. ^ Gamespot Staff (August 12, 2003). "Capcom cancels Red Dead Revolver and Dead Phoenix". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 11, 2017. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  11. ^ Calvert, Justin (December 18, 2003). "Rockstar rescues Red Dead Revolver". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 11, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  12. ^ Burnes, Andrew (December 18, 2003). "Rockstar Announces Red Dead Revolver". IGN. Archived from the original on August 11, 2017. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  13. ^ "The Fall of Game Republic". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  14. ^ "Game Republic's Yoshiki Okamoto says he's 'retired' from making console games". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  15. ^ Kuchera, Ben (2014-11-13). "Monster Strike: The redemption of Capcom legend Yoshiki Okamoto". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2016-05-29. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  16. ^ Spannbauer, Adam (October 23, 2018). "Monster Strike Revenue Passes $7.2 Billion, Making It the Highest Earning App of All Time". Sensor Tower. Archived from the original on 2018-10-25. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  17. ^ "Street Fighter II Producer Yoshiki Okamoto is Whole Earth Foundation's Game Advisor". Medium. TEKKON Official. June 26, 2022. Retrieved Feb 18, 2024.
  18. ^ "岡本吉起が代表を務める公益財団法人日本ゲーム文化振興財団が、今年も若手ゲームクリエイター助成支援の募集を開始 (translation: The Japan Game Culture Promotion Foundation, represented by Yoshiki Okamoto, has started soliciting for this year's young game creator subsidy support.)". Famitsu. 2019-09-03. Retrieved February 18, 2024.
  19. ^ "Street Fighter II Producer Yoshiki Okamoto is Whole Earth Foundation's Game Advisor". Medium. TEKKON Official. June 26, 2022. Retrieved Feb 18, 2024.
  20. ^ Isabella Steger (May 20, 2023). "How Gamers Can Earn Crypto Cash Hunting for Broken Manholes". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved Feb 18, 2024.
  21. ^ YoshikiOkamotoGameCh's channel on YouTube
  22. ^ YoshikiOkamotoWorkshop's channel on YouTube
  23. ^ YoshikiOkamotoSubCh's channel on YouTube
  24. ^ Yarwood, Jack (Aug 16, 2023). "Street Fighter II Producer Yoshiki Okamoto Plans To Retire In Next Four Years". Time Extension. Retrieved Feb 18, 2024.
  25. ^ a b "Creators' Conference: Japan's Top Designers Talk". Next Generation. No. 32. Imagine Media. August 1997. pp. 22, 24.