Sega has confirmed as we speak the passing of Rieko Kodama. Rumors of her passing started to swirl on-line after Retro Gamer editor Nick Thorpe shared a memorial to the developer discovered within the credit for the not too long ago launched Mega Drive Mini 2. The Ares Arcadia Twitter account reached out to Sega producer Yosuke Oskunari to see if this might need been a mistranslation, however Oskunari revealed that Kodama has certainly died. Sega went on to verify that Kodama handed at 59-years-old again in May, however the firm opted to not publicly announce her dying out of respect for her household.
Kodama has an extended historical past with Sega, relationship again to 1984. Kodama began with the corporate as a graphic designer, ultimately taking over roles as a producer and director. In the corporate’s early days, Sega didn’t permit actual names for use within the credit of its video games, so Kodama was typically credited beneath the identify “Phoenix Rie.” In her 35-year-career, Kodama labored on a variety of main tasks for Sega, together with a few of the firm’s most beloved titles.
As you perceive it. We revered her.
— Yosuke Okunari /奥成洋輔 (@okunari) October 27, 2022
While Kodama’s work might be present in a variety of totally different video games, she was an avid fan of RPGs, and performed a hand in a few of the firm’s most notable style entries. Kodama was the primary artist on the unique Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star II, contributed on Phantasy Star III‘s planning phases, and directed Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium. In the late ’90s, Kodama would return to the style when she led improvement on Skies of Arcadia. The sport launched on the Sega Dreamcast in 2000, and is extensively thought of one of many system’s best video games. In a 2010 profile of Kodama, Nintendo Power journal referred to her because the “First Lady of RPGs.”
It’s unimaginable to overstate the impression Kodama had on Sega throughout her time with the corporate, and on the trade as an entire. In more moderen years, Kodama was the lead producer on the Sega Ages collection of video games, which might be discovered on Nintendo Switch. Her passing is a tragic second for the trade, however it’s a lot richer for having had her in it.