Game Market 1983 - Chapter 57
After contemplating on my thoughts for a while, I returned to the inventions office to beckon Mr. Kawaguchi to the restroom for a conversation.
“What do you think about those two, Mr. Kawaguchi?”
“I’m excited about them. Our Mr. Yamano already acknowledges Mr. Morita as a character designer, and talks are also going well with Mr. Hayashi. As they’re both from a leading game company, we’ve learned a few things from them too.”
“Right? They’re talents that I worked with on developing Psychic Battle, so I can guarantee their skills. But…”
“Is there a problem?”
“We’re worried about the current direction that Mintendo is taking. Mr. Morita possesses incredible talent for designing, but his specialty is in drawing female characters, while Mr. Hayashi could be considered one of the top game developers in Japan, but he lacks interpersonal skills when working in a group. His personality could be described as saying only what needs to be said?”
“Ah~ I think I understand what you’re saying.”
“This is why I wanted to hear your opinion first, Mr. Kawaguchi. Frankly speaking, what do you think about taking those two in?”
“They’re rare talents that would go to waste if they stay in Mintendo. The current Mintendo has a countless number of character designers and game developers. Their true value would never be fully utilized. In Mr. Morita’s case, he would be transferred to work on the next Donkey Kom title in one month’s time.”
“Assigning a character designer who was endorsed by Mr. Yamano to a game like Donkey Kom? That doesn’t seem right…”
“Your thoughts are on the same plane as mine, Mr. Kawaguchi.”
“We really do need any help that we can get to finalize the finishing touches on Final Frontier…”
“Then this really is the perfect opportunity for both parties…”
“I would welcome them with open arms if they want to come into our Pentagon. The only problem is adding more members to the team without consulting our President who is away at the moment…”
“You can register their employee contracts through a lawyer like before. I don’t think you need to worry about their salaries with the impending launch of Final Frontier 2.”
“Mmm… Alright. But first, we should hear their opinions too. Will they be satisfied by moving to our Pentagon Soft from a conglomerate like Mintendo?”
“I’ll speak to them about this privately. When you return to the inventions office, can you call Mr. Hayashi and Mr. Morita here please?”
In response to my words, Mr. Kawaguchi left for the inventions office with a nod. And a brief moment later. Mr. Morita and Mr. Hayashi walked into the restroom together.
“You were here Director Kang. We didn’t see you for a long time, so we thought you left us here.”
“Haha, how could I. Anyways, how did you guys find Pentagon Soft?”
Morita pulled his thumb and replied.
“I think it’s wonderful here. I had a great time meeting Professor Yamano again, and everyone seemed nice. Even though it’s a small company, there is a sense of camaraderie that can’t be found in Mintendo.”
That’s… You must’ve felt that because you met your old teacher here. I nodded in response to Morita before asking Hayashi.”
“What about you, Mr. Hayashi?”
In response to my question, Hayashi hoisted his glasses up and paused for a moment before speaking.
“There doesn’t seem to be any useless bantering going on while working. Mr. Kawaguchi seems to be a good mood setter, and the work environment seems to be organized so I think I can focus on working at my job without any distractions.”
“That… so you’re saying you like Pentagon Soft?”
“To put it bluntly, yes.”
“Great! I talked with Mr. Kawaguchi a while ago, and he wanted to have both of you on his team as well. However, unlike Mintendo, Pentagon Soft is a small company. Their most successful project to date is the Final Frontier series.”
In response to this piece of information, Morita asked me a question with a bewildered expression.
“Could… you be asking us to leave Mintendo for Pentagon, Director Kang?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
“But this is a little…”
It’s not like I couldn’t understand their reactions, as it wasn’t common at all for employees working at the same company to ask each other to move to another company. Especially for moving from a company in Kyoto to the Pentagon Soft in Tokyo, they had to find a new place to stay amongst other issues… But since they weren’t married yet, moving their residencies didn’t seem to be a huge problem.
Like Mintendo, Pentagon Soft also paid for half the rent for their employee’s apartment. All that was left was their decision. At that moment, Morita slowly opened his mouth and spoke with his uniquely slow way of speaking.
“H, Hey… Morita.. You…”
“I’ve been thinking about this from a while back actually. I can’t create designs for Mintendo which suits my tastes. Mintendo was a hard company to get into, but the kind of work that came my way were all things like designing unimportant items and background scenes. But I’d always hoped for my moment to shine. However, my co-workers had made fun of me for drawing “perverted” girls; I almost contemplated on quitting. During that period, you asked me to work on Psychic Battle, and I was thrilled, Director Kang. I finally felt like someone recognized my talent. Working on the characters for Psychic Battle last year was when I was the happiest in all my four years of working at Mintendo. I thought new doors would open for me after working on Psychic Battle, but alas… I was back to right where I was before.”
“The characters that you create are absolutely fantastic, Mr. Morita. I consider a large portion of Psychic Battle’s success to your work.”
“Thank you, Director. After working on Psychic Battle, I felt that I wanted to be able to draw what my passion was regardless of anything else. Since my teacher, Professor Yamano, is also working in Pentagon, I’ve made up my mind about applying to work here.”
Good… I secured an extremely talented character designer. Now how should I approach bringing this stubborn coding machine over to my side? Unlike Morita, Hayashi was well respected for his coding skill at Mintendo so it must have been hard for him to make a decision to move to another company.
“Mr. Morita decided to work here… What about you, Mr. Hayashi?”
“I think I’ll have to think about this for a moment.”
“That’s fair enough. Taking your time in thinking and let me know what your decision is. Although Pentagon is a smaller company compared to Mintendo, the salary should be similar. And since you’re coming over from Mintendo, you will be treated quite well. On top of that, there currently is an empty inventions office in Pentagon, Mr. Hayashi.”
“There is an empty inventions office?”
“With your skills, you should be able to become a team leader for the next software project.”
“Me… team leader?”
Okay. He’s wavering. Just a little more would do…
Hayashi had a calm and collected personality, but this didn’t mean he didn’t have any ambition. With Hayashi having trouble working with his co-workers, his talent could be best utilized by assigning him to work on a project by himself. Or, having him take on a managerial position to assign tasks to his team members could work out too. Of course… I’d feel a little sorry for the people in his team. Well, Hayashi shouldn’t bother them too much if they complete their tasks…
“But even if we move now, wouldn’t it would be difficult for us to help with Final Frontier, a game we’ve never worked on?”
“Don’t worry about that. You two will be assigned to a completely new project as soon as you arrive.”
“A new project for Pentagon Soft?”
“Mmm… the name of the project isn’t decided yet, anyways…”
I paused for a moment before continuing.
“Do you guys… have any experience in dating?”
Ensuingly, both Morita and Hayashi became mutes. Phew… I couldn’t speak for them, but looking at them reminded me of myself before I arrived here.
“I’m planning on revolving my next game around dating and relationships. Unlike the previous games we’ve worked on so far, there will be an extra emphasis on the story line which would also require a corresponding amount of hard work to be put in.”
At that moment, Morita yelled out after processing the word “Dating”.
“A dating game would definitely need female characters!!”
“We wouldn’t simply need them, they will be the main characters. This game would simulate dating in real life for the players. If I had to assign this a genre, I would put it under “Dating Simulation”.”
“D..Dating simulation…? What kind of a name is that…?”
As the types of genres up until now had been titles like action, role-playing, adventure, shooting, etc… This new type of simulation could feel incredibly awkward for them.
But from the era I’m from, there is even a genre called “Hit ‘n Run”.
Could you ever possibly imagine this? The genre “Hit ‘n Run”...
I also couldn’t believe my eyes the first time I saw that name…
“Director Kang, I’m also in favor of this dating simulation theme. The point is that the characters I would create will be dating each other within the game, right?”
“You don’t have to hurry, haha. I’ll develop the storyline along with how you design the characters.”
“My hands are itching to draw just by listening to you.”
Now now… As expected, Morita was completely set on fire. But the important point to keep in mind was, the graphics couldn’t be too revealing as there were female players like Yuki who would prefer to enjoy the game with a peaceful mind.
Before long, Hayashi who had been listening to our conversation spoke up.
“I.. will have to think for a bit.”
Hayashi was probably trying to scrutinize this decision carefully. I believe he would become an invaluable asset to Pentagon, but the question was whether or not he would make the move…
“Then we’ll get going now.”
“Alright, well it was nice meeting you, Mr. Morita and Mr. Hayashi.”
Mr. Kawaguchi shook both Morita and Hayashi’s hands and smiled warmly towards them. It was obvious that Kawaguchi was in love with the idea of hiring these two.
“I’ve already decided to quit Mintendo and work here. I will be submitting my resignation letter as soon as I arrive in Kyoto.”
“We would be delighted to have Mr. Yamano’s old student work here, Mr. Morita. Psychic Battle was a technically intricate masterpiece, but your character illustrations have multiplied the enjoyability of the game. Some of our employees are your fans~”
That was right.
If Psychic Battle had macho male characters whose armor came off every time they took damage instead of the current female characters, I could guarantee that the sales would be down by more than 50%.
Attracting male gamers with female characters was the way to go.
“And coding that intricate projectile battle system was also never seen before, Mr. Hayashi. Our company is currently lacking in programmers, so I do hope you think of us in a positive light when you’re making your decision.”
As Mr. Kawaguchi said his farewells with a bow, Hayashi followed suit and bowed in return with a bumbling face.
Hayashi seemed to be pleasantly surprised that a leader like Kawaguchi would bow to him first.
Returning to the Shinjuku station went smoothly as we snagged a ride on Pentagon’s company car.
“I’ve discovered a new door in life thanks to you, Director Kang.”
On the return trip, Hayashi was alternating between a smile and a frown; it seemed that he was finally starting to see the light in moving to Pentagon Soft.
At that moment, a voice called out to me from behind me.