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2010: Interviews of the Year Part 1

Sony, Valve, Sega, Hello Games and Lionhead revisited

We run a lot of interviews throughout the year on GamesIndustry.biz, and we try our hardest to cover all areas and aspects of the business, from the top suits to the creative designer. This year we've had - as a rough calculation - more than 200 full interviews with publishers, developers, politicians, start-ups, industry giants and even the odd genuine legend.

So here's part one of the editor's pick of the most interesting, insightful and inspiring interviews from 2010.

Shuhei Yoshida, Sony

One of my personal favourite interviews of the year has to be Shuhei Yoshida's frank and revealing discussion at the Tokyo Game Show in September. It helped that our journalist, Rob Fahey, is currently based in Japan, and has a good understanding of local culture and language. As he said at to us at the time, "that last question was the ticket. He opened up like a sunflower, kept laughing and smiling the whole way through the answer."

The last question was about the structural changes at Sony since the departure of hardware man Ken Kuturagi, the promotion of Kaz Hirai and Yoshida's new role as head of Worldwide Studios. As far as I'm aware, it's the first time Sony has been open about the changes and effects of that shake-up - from being dictated to by an engineer in Japan to being led by a software-focused head willing to consult every internal team around the globe - and having a few years pass allowed Yoshida to put the new structure in context.

The first real results from that management change was PlayStation Move, said Yoshida, where creator Richard Marks had carried a hand-made prototype to Japan to demonstrate the technology to senior management.

"That's a totally, totally different approach from the days when Ken was running the company. As soon as Kaz took over Ken's position, Kaz told the people in Japan that from now on, they had to talk to Worldwide Studios about anything about the platform, and get our feedback on any decisions. I thought, "wow"!"

"But there had never been that kind of process. People understood Kaz' vision, but they didn't know what to do, or who to talk to. They had set milestones in terms of developing hardware. I felt like I could uniquely go into that group of engineers in Japan and suggest a new process - interject the right kind of software teams to the right kind of hardware issues that need solutions."

Yoshida even opened up to suggest that new process will be adopted for the successors to the PlayStation platforms, with software developers having a hand in the creation and influencing the direction of new hardware, something that hasn't happened with previous consoles.

"Our central tech groups, the Worldwide Studios tech groups, have been making game engines or tools for the studios in the group - but now they are part of the tools of development and the low-level middleware library development. That means the future platform, the PlayStation platform tools and OS... At least part of those will actually be developed by game developers."

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.