Yukio Futatsugi is a Japanese video game developer. His work includes leading the teams which created Sega Saturn games Panzer Dragoon, Panzer Dragoon II Zwei, and Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Xbox title Phantom Dust. He is the co-founder of video game development company Grounding Inc who developed Crimson Dragon.
Yukio Futatsugi presenting at the Game Developers Conference 2019
|Occupation||Video game developer|
Yukio Futatsugi grew up in Kobe, Japan, where he attended high school. While spending a year in San Francisco at primary school age he fell in love with games such as Pong and Space Invaders, and later decided to pursue a career in video games over his other hobby, filmmaking. Of this choice Futatsugi said "I went with videogames, because I thought the world of games was about to become interesting." He attended the University of Tsukuba in Tokyo where he graduated with a degree in computer science.
-Yukio Futatsugi in 2005, while developing Phantom Dust.
In 1991, after finishing his degree, Futatsugi joined Sega. After two years of what he considered "menial tasks" he submitted a proposal for Panzer Dragoon which Sega accepted, placing him in charge of the project, aimed for release alongside the Sega Saturn in 1995. Following the success of the game Futatsugi's team went on to make two sequels, Panzer Dragoon II Zwei and Panzer Dragoon Saga, both for the Sega Saturn, which they created simultaneously. Following the release of Panzer Dragoon Saga Futatsugi left Sega, moving to Konami for a year where he helped with Ring of Red, and then to SCE Japan Studio where he made the Japan-only PlayStation 2 title Genshi No Kotoba. Futatsugi went on to work at Microsoft where he, for a short while, helped with the development of Magatama before successfully pitching the idea for Phantom Dust which released for Xbox in 2004. Futatsugi was then made a manager, overseeing some early games for the Xbox 360 and as head of the game design unit judged whether certain titles were suitable for release in Japan.
After two years at Microsoft he said he was "getting sick of it" and so in 2007 co-founded development company Grounding Inc. Looking back on his career, Futatsugi said "I used to want to do all sorts of things by myself, but I learned that it's better to draw on the talents of people around you and create something that equals more than the sum of its parts."
In November 2013 Futatsugi said that he had ideas for a sequel to Phantom Dust, and would be open to developing the game if Microsoft wanted to make the sequel. Futatsugi has expressed interest in funding the game through Kickstarter providing the some policy limitations of the service changed.
After working at Sega for two years Futatsugi submitted a game proposal for Panzer Dragoon which was accepted. The game was originally imagined as having vehicles rather than dragons but Futatsugi said "Who doesn't want to try to ride on a dragon?... I wanted more of a softness to the game, and because of that I thought it was perfect." He went on to lead development on Panzer Dragoon II Zwei and Panzer Dragoon Saga before leaving Sega.
Futatsugi co-founded Grounding Inc along with Mineko Okamura, Noboru Hotta, and Toru Hashimoto, based in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward. The company's first games were released in 2009; WiiWare title Pop-Up Pursuit and DSiWare title The Royal Bluff. In 2011 the company released Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword for the Nintendo 3DS and in 2013 released Crimson Dragon for the Xbox One. Futatsugi has said that Grounding have a good relationship with both Nintendo and Microsoft as a result of their games and are interested in working on a mobile game and with Nintendo again.
In 2010, Futatsugi announced that Grounding Inc were working on Project Draco; an Xbox 360 game which would use the system's Kinect for release in 2011. The game was later renamed to Crimson Dragon, with some calling it a spiritual successor to Panzer Dragoon. Following some delays, including the cancellation of a finished version for the Xbox 360, the game was released for the Xbox One on November 22, 2013. Futatsugi said that he hoped the game would be successful enough that he could create an RPG sequel, and that he would like to make a Panzer Dragoon remake in HD.
- Robson, Daniel (8 April 2013). "Flying through life: Meet the man behind Panzer Dragoon". Eurogamer. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Futatsugi, Yukio (17 February 2005). "Entry #1: Introducing My Game: Phantom Dust". 1UP blog. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- Mielke, James (11 September 2007). "Panzer Dragoon Zwei Sega Saturn Retrospective". 1UP.com. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Mielke, James (7 September 2007). "Yukio Futatsugi Speaks". 1UP.com. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Hale, Bradly (14 November 2013). "Yukio Futatsugi Wants Phantom Dust II, Talks Xbox One in Japan". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- Chieng, Kevin (12 June 2013). "Phantom Dust Creator Wants to Make a Sequel With Kickstarter". GameTrailers. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- Cork, Jeff (3 July 2013). "Riding Dragons – A Talk With Grounding's Yukio Futatsugi". Game Informer. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Cook, Dave (20 September 2013). "Panzer Dragoon creator: "Microsoft has been great to us", keen to work with Nintendo again". VG247. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- Yoon, Andrew (15 September 2010). "Project Draco brings dragons to Kinect in 2011". Joystiq. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Sheffield, Brandon (19 December 2011). "From Panzer To Draco: Yukio Futatsugi Speaks". Gamasutra. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- Dyer, Mitch (27 February 2012). "Project Draco Becomes Crimson Dragon". IGN. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Robinson, Martin (20 September 2013). "Why was the original Crimson Dragon canned?". Eurogamer. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- Mitchell, Richard (18 June 2013). "Crimson Dragon is Panzer Dragoon with a side of laser-gravy". Joystiq. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Robinson, Martin (21 November 2013). "Crimson Dragon review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- Cook, Dave (18 June 2013). "Crimson Dragon: Panzer Dragoon creator hopes to make RPG sequel". VG247. Retrieved 30 August 2013.