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Suikoden creator Yoshitaka Murayama has died

Yoshitaka Murayama, known as the writer and director of the Konami RPG series Suikoden, has died. Murayama’s death was reported by Rabbit & Bear Studios, which he founded in 2020. In a statement published Wednesday, Rabbit & Bear said he passed away on February 6 due to complications arising from an “ongoing illness.”

Murayama gained fame with the 1995 release of the original Suikoden, and enjoyed even greater success with the sequel, Suikoden 2, which we said in our retrospective on the games “is often considered one of the finest JRPGs ever.” He served as the writer and director on Suikoden 3, but left Konami shortly before its release to launch his own company, Blue Moon Studio, which developed the PS2 shooter 10,000 Bullets.

He returned to his roots in 2020 with a Kickstarter for a spiritual successor to Suikoden called Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, and reflecting the popularity of his original work it was a resounding success, earning more than $4.5 million on a $500,000 goal. Two years later, Konami got in on the action with the announcement of remasters of the first two Suikoden games.

Sadly, neither project came to fruition before Murayama’s death: The Suikoden remasters were delayed in August 2023 and don’t yet have a new release date, while Eiyuden Chronicle is set to launch on Steam on April 23—just over two months from today.

“Murayama first began this journey of the creation of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes in 2020 through the support of his very loving fans on Kickstarter,” Rabbit and Bear said in the announcement. “Throughout the three-plus-year-development of the game, it was always the passion from his fans that continued to drive his creative vision and motivate him to put his all into the project.

“His hard work on Eiyuden Chronicle as scenario writer was finished but as his co-workers and friends, it saddens us to know that he won’t get to see the reactions from his fans. However, even with those feelings we need to accept the reality that he is no longer with us and continue to push his dream forward by releasing Eiyuden Chronicle to the world. We want to maintain his legacy and vision with this game and know that he would have wanted the rich world he has created with Eiyuden Chronicle to live on.”

505 Games, the publisher of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes and the 2022 spinoff Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, paid its own tribute to Murayama on Twitter.

“It is with deep and profound sadness that we have learned of the passing of our friend Yoshitaka Murayama, the creator of the forthcoming Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes,” 505 wrote. “Not only was he a true pioneer and visionary, creating cherished memories for millions of people around the world, but he was a wonderful partner and a dear colleague. His enthusiasm and creativity knew no bounds and the gaming world will feel emptier without him.”

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