hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Is Capcom killing Yoshinori Ono?

3:00 PM on 06.12.2012 // Kyle MacGregor

Attendees of this year's Captivate event in Rome probably had a pretty good idea of exactly who and what would would be in attendance at Capcom's annual showcase. Yoshinori Ono wasn't among them. Just a few weeks after the Street Fighter IV producer was transported to hospital with a sudden, unexplained illness, Ono-san sat down for an interview with Eurogamer.

Spanning decades and revealing a darker side to the work-life of those in the employ of the Japanese publisher, Ono's story might give some insight as to why so many of Capcom's high profile developers have left the company in recent years.

With the creators of Mega Man and Resident Evil now long gone, Yoshinori Ono has become the public face of Capcom. Charged with the responsibility of managing both the creative direction and marking of the publisher's fighting brands, Ono has had his hands full since the resurgent genre sprang to life.

After wrapping up a lengthy promotional tour for Street Fighter X Tekken, Ono returned to his Osaka home for a well-deserved night's rest. Planning to get a few hours of shut eye before work in the morning, he made it as far as the bathroom, only to unexpectedly lose consciousness and collapse. After being rushed to the hospital, medical testing revealed the fatigued Ono possessed a blood acidity level "on par with someone who had just finished running a marathon."

Nobody told me to take a rest. When I returned to work, Capcom didn't even acknowledge that I had been in hospital. There was no change in my schedule. I was at home for an entire week before the doctors allowed me to return to work. When I returned to my desk there was a ticket to Rome waiting for me. There's no mercy. Everyone in the company says: 'Ono-san we've been so worried about you.' Then they hand me a timetable and it's completely filled with things to do.

Things weren't much different when Ono joined the company in 1993. As a newly-hired sound programmer, Ono found himself with the grueling task of hand-writing music in binary. "Even back then Capcom was very good at squeezing people to the last drop of their blood to get work done," he explained, recalling a two year period where he lived out of the office, only managing to sleep in short bursts and rarely making it home. 

Despite the long, exhausting hours it's the fans that help Ono get out of bed in the morning. He explains that it's the community that "fuels [his] passion." Specifically likening Street Fighter to a game of cards, the producer notes that the fighter is a system of rules through which people connect and express themselves. Previously limited to groups of friends huddled around a console or acquaintances in the arcade, Street Fighter IV took that community global -- something that almost didn't happen.

In the interview, Ono reveals that Capcom looked at the game that rejuvenated the genre as "an unwanted child" and waste of resources that likely never would have came to fruition without the support of the fans. But Ono isn't going to stop there. He still wants to "support the next generation of fighting game," by expanding the community and bringing it closer together.

The full article is an incredibly captivating read and truly behind-the-scenes look at an industry that's all too secretive about the conditions its workers endure to bring us the games we love. I strongly encourage you give it a look. 

The Rise and Collapse of Yoshinori Ono [Eurogamer]

Kyle MacGregor, Associate Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidKyle Tips
World-renowned selfie photographer. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
If you imagine this song as Kojima speaking these as parting words to his creation of Metal Gear, it's actually pretty heat breaking...
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
It's my Birthday 22 today, Bleh!
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
One thing I've learned about the Japanese fighting game players: They are willing to play any fighter no matter how good or bad it is, and they don't shit on the game or the community behind it.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I killed Darth Vader by crashing a spaceship into him 10/10
Parismio avatarParismio
Watched the first ep of One Punch Man and I was not disappointed. It seems like they'll be adding their own stories into it because I don't remember that fight in the last 5 minutes in the manga. I'll have to reread it to make sure.
Paul S avatarPaul S
What the hell is Sega using in the printing of their PS3 game manuals? I wouldn't be surprised if some dumb kid stuck one in a plastic bag and started huffing the fumes to get high.
CeeDotGreen avatarCeeDotGreen
Been playing MGO obsessively, still can't find anyone in their right mind that uses the Hush Puppy. So of course I'm gonna be the dumb bastard that tries.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Why don't we have more games that use filtered 3D models to creat faux-pixel art? It's such a cool, smooth style, but you never see any games using it.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Oh lawd. Next Saturday, Gamestop will have three hour access to Tri-Force Heroes. Nintendo, really wish we could just get normal demos from you more often, please!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
I made this. Want one? [IMG]HTTPS://[/IMG]
JawshButturBawls avatarJawshButturBawls
Star Wars Battlefront is pretty good. Except the beta is basically a demo with nothing in it so that upsets me. but it's still pretty good.
gajknight avatargajknight
Just cleaning up the last of Gotham's Most Wanted before I finish Arkham Knight. Those Riddler trophies...much more fun than Arkham City but my word, stop it Rocksteady. Love the game though, outstanding. In my top 5 this year, fo sho.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
SCIENCE. IS. AWESOME. [youtube][/youtube]
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Looks like my copy of Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash won't be here till Tuesday. What do I pay for Amazon Prime for again? I think I might have to stream me playing it.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I have just heard someone say Uncharted was a "role playing game."
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The glitched walking animation people carrying crates in Novigrad do is hilarious.
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Undecided what to do with my weekend now my fiancée is away. One part of me says I should work my ass off, another says I should go watch The Martian while the last part tells me to be a slob, play games and masturbate to Highschool DXD.. Such a hard lif
Steel Squirrel avatarSteel Squirrel
The 1.10 patch for The Witcher 3 is out. Downloading for PS4. Pretty excited to see the changes, especially since it said the damn swamps in Velen would finally see performance enhancements, along with like a million other areas. So good! Yes?
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Just got confirmation that a feature I spent way too long writing is going up on Sunday. Not a bad way to start the weekend off, though I wish I had a slot on a weekday.
gajknight avatargajknight
PB&J sandwiches. Saturday morning cartoons. A blanket. Ominous sounds coming from the next room. Blood seeping from the walls. A dark figure standing in the corner, staring, watching. Darkness, everywhere. Such darkness. This is childhood.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -