Japanese people have the reputation of not saying what they mean. That’s not exactly accurate. Plenty of Japanese people are very good at saying exactly what they mean.
Yet, the Japanese game industry — and the country’s corporate culture — often bent on stifling that. So people are happy to tell you how they feel in private, but worry about repercussions if they take those feelings public. Not Akira Sakuma, though. That guy is out of f**ks to give.
For years, Sakuma toiled on Momotaro Dentetsu at Hudson. Momotaro Dentetsu is a popular train-themed board game style video game. While not popular in Japan, the series was iconic in Japan. And when Konami bought out Hudson, Sakuma decided that he could not go on with the series. In short, he ended the series, even though he does not own the rights to Momotaro Dentetsu. Fans, however, probably don’t want to play a Momotaro Dentetsu if the 60 year-old Sakuma is not at the helm with his longstanding collaborators.
Late last year, the reason why Sakuma said he would “end” the series was if Konami brought in new staffers and a new development team.
This week on Twitter, Sakuma did not mince words about why he wasn’t making any more Momotaro Dentetsu: “As long as there’s a guy named Imura at Konami, I won’t make Momotaro Dentetsu.”
While Twitter has given Japanese developers, like everyone, a platform to complain, usually confrontation tweets like this, especially tweets that list somebody’s name, are taken down pretty quick. But this one’s still up.
From what Sakuma said in a later tweet, it sounded like Imura came in from the Konami side on the management end after Hudson was dissolved. Imura, it seems, was probably doing things like restructuring staff and whatnot, probably upsetting Sakuma. So, if you love these games and want to know why there’s no more Momotaro Dentetsu, the game’s creator says it’s Imura’s fault.