Sunday, May 16, 2010

Land of the Rising Sun

I was up until about 5 AM last night -- haven't done that in YEARS! Why is that? It's because I spent the last week in Tokyo, Japan. Yuke's, our external developer is headquartered there, and this was my first experience there. I didn't really know what to expect, as this was my first trip off the continent. I made sure to take my wife because of this, because you only get one first time...

We arrived in Japan, and after a 11 hour flight, we had to get on a bus from the airport to the hotel which took two hours. Needless to say, we were beat! The next morning was work time, as we boarded a subway train to Yokohama Station where Yuke's is located. I must say, if cars are not necessary in Tokyo -- the subway system is AMAZING!

Since we're getting pretty close to completion on SvR '11, we needed to review with the dev team (engineers), what was currently in the latest build, and give our detailed feedback on what exactly we'd like to see. The Yuke's office was cool, because it was my first experience at a Japanese studio, I didn't quite know what to expect. The office is rather small, but you definitely get a sense of what the studio has accomplished over the years (with SvR, UFC, Japanese wrestling games, etc.). We quickly got into it though, with the Yuke's 3 representatives from the game team watching us as we go through a build calling out our feedback (through a translator of course), while listening to their reasoning.

I'm not familiar with this process, because at EA, our dev team was right there with us. But, I quite enjoyed this part, as it's something different, and provides a challenge. The build is coming along nicely... We have alot of work to do, but we'll get there.

Tuesday was my birthday, and towards the end of the day, I heard a faint singing, and then the door busted open, and in came a herd of Japanese guys and girls, with a cake singing their rendition of Happy Birthday. I was overwhelmed, completely overwhelmed. They put a party hat and sash on me. They also gave me a hand drawing they did (picture above), and gave me a copy of Wrestle Kingdom 2 signed by the game's director. They hardly knew me, yet they treated me like they've known me for years -- this was a common feeling I got in Japan. I was humbled for sure.

By the time we left Japan, I didn't want to go to be honest. I loved my experience there, and can't wait to go back!

Next stop -- E3. Will you be there? How about that meetup!


  1. Marcus Cena,

    Nice picture :)

    Good luck with E3 buddy!

    ~Demolition Guy~

  2. Happy late birthday

  3. Wrestle Kingdom 2 is actually a really awesome game. The SvR series could stand to adopt some of its features.

  4. wow! that's awesome! happy birthday man! good luck with the rest of the process!