Welcome to a new chapter in the ever continuing battle of Sonic versus Mario. This time, it looks like a rather unexpected person is joining team Mario – the man who helped create Sonic the Hedgehog. Hirokazu Yasuhara, who worked at Sega for more than a decade, will join a team that is assumedly comprised of people he fiercely competed with back in the 1990s, and could likely be working on a Mario game in the near future.
Yasuhara’s role at Nintendo was not confirmed. The developer joined the Sega team in its infancy in 1988, working alongside fellow Sonic visionary Yuji Naka. He worked as a director, game planner, and designer for some of the most iconic games in the Sonic series, up to and including Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic R, which were released in the late ’90s. Yasuhara hasn’t been a lifelong Sega teammate, though. He left the company in 2002 to join Naughty Dog.
He also left that position to take a job at Namco Bandai. The timing there is not perfectly clear, but he was given a credit in games including the Wii’s Pac-Man Party. It will be interesting to see if any more details about Yasuhara’s new position are laid out any time soon. Otherwise, no doubt someone will be scanning the credits of Nintendo titles in the next several months to see where the game design guru will be making his mark next.