Hitoshi Yamagami is the group manager of the Nintendo EPD Production Group 1, and the producer of franchises like Fire Emblem, Xenoblade Chronicles, and various other games. He is also known for co-creating the concept behind the Panel de Pon series. He was formerly the manager of the Nintendo SPD Production Group 1[1].


Originally hired in April 1989 as a programmer in the R&D1 division, Yamagami's superiors realized that he had a natural talent for creating games, and allowed him to take the lead on his own smaller projects. The first of these games was Dr. Mario, a Tetris inspired game, with its own unique twist on the formula. With the great success of Dr. Mario, Yamagami's bosses gave him even more power, and appointed him as the "Puzzle Master", who would oversee the development of many classic Nintendo puzzle games. When Intelligent Systems pitched the idea of Panel de Pon to Nintendo, Yamagami became head of the project, and together Nintendo and IS created a new kind of puzzle game.

At this time, Yamagami was also appointed as a manager for games being developed by outside studios. However, despite having more duties, he still was required to keep making his own games, and was the lead director for the Game & Watch Collection series.

In 2004, Yamagami became the head of Nintendo SPD Production Group 2, and his involvement in game development shifted to a more producer type role, replacing Takehiro Izushi. Ever since, he has been charge of all games being developed by Intelligent Systems, Game Freak, Monolith Soft, and other developers, mostly in the RPG and puzzle genres with franchises like Fire Emblem, Pokémon, Xenoblade, and many others.

He played a big part in the success of Xenoblade Chronicles, as when Tetsuya Takahashi was prepared to cut out chunks of the game to meet his deadline, Yamagami had development extended which was a drastic change from Namco's managment style.


Special Thanks


Iwata Asks


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.