Hideki Kamiya Claims the Original Ōkami Development Team Was “Weak”

Kamiya says fans likely think a great team put together the game, but “actually, that wasn’t the case.”

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 07/09/2024 12:06 1 Comment     ShareThis

The name Ōkami likely conjures up many positive memories for fans, but for developer Hideki Kamiya is brings something else to mind: lackluster coworkers. Kamiya was the head of Clover Studio back during the development of Ōkami. Clover was a part of Capcom and had a hand in producing a number of different titles that garnered cult followings but didn’t always sell particularly well. Ōkami was chief among the studio’s greatest accomplishments, but despite being a critical darling, Kamiya alleges that the actual talent who made the game weren’t up to his standards.

Speaking in an interview with Ikumi Nakamura (an artist and director for the former Tango Gameworks) for Unseen on YouTube. In the exchange, Kamiya and Nakamura discuss their time working together, including when they were working on Ōkami. Apparently, Kamiya felt that the assemblage of workers that tackled the development of Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry were a more talented bunch than the ones who took on Ōkami. Kamiya said the workers’ skills were “weak” and that “all the users who played and loved Ōkami probably all think there was a great team behind it, but actually, that wasn’t the case.”

Ouch. Some harsh words from Kamiya, but he and Nakamura discuss a range of topics, all of which you can check out in the video above. What do you think of Ōkami? We loved the rerelease that hit Nintendo Switch back in 2018, but tell us your opinion down in the comments and online!

Source: Unseen YouTube Channel

One Response to “Hideki Kamiya Claims the Original Ōkami Development Team Was “Weak””

  • 1570 points
    penduin says...

    What a bizarre evaluation. He was there, so he likely has a point one way or another, but it’s a very odd characterization of a team I admittedly know almost nothing about.

    The artwork, I’d have to call quite strong. Even if the artists were difficult to work with or poor at communication etc, the audiovisual flare of Okami implies talented and/or dedicated artists. Can’t really fake that.

    The programming also has to have been solid (by game standards, anyway). There are glitches and skips, but no more so than, say, Metroid Prime, a game whose team is rightfully praised across the board. The PS2 was not a straightforward machine to code for, and the unique painted look and canvas texturing look clearly had a lot of care put in. (The still-fine Wii port should have been so lucky!)

    I suppose we can only imagine what he might mean. Maybe some team members were a drag on others, maybe management failed to protect individuals from the noise and nonsense that inevitably comes up in the workplace. Maybe they were just green and learning how to make things happen. In any case, the result was lightning in a bottle.

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