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"Risk-takers are always sexy" - Yoot Saito

Designer of Seaman and SimTower candidly returns to commercial gaming for the money, suggests a spiritual sequel is on the way

Yoot Saito, a developer best known for his work on unusual and original titles like Seaman, SimTower, and Odama, is returning to making video games after a few years in app development. Speaking with Wired recently, Saito was blunt about what brought him back to making commercial games.

"We need to make money," Saito said. "That's the motivation. Computer games make money."

Saito's last game was 2012's luggage-themed simulation/puzzle game Aero Porter on the 3DS in 2012. Since then, his company has been pouring its resources into R&D and putting together projects like the iPhone app EarthBook, an interactive globe that lets users see the comparative state of the world at different points in history. Saito described EarthBook as being "for nobody," adding, "We lost all the money."

As for his next project, it could be seen as very much in keeping with Saito's history, or not at all in keeping with it. Saito said it's likely he'll work on a spiritual sequel to one of his previous successes. Even if that sounds like an uncharacteristically safe play for the developer, it's clear from his advice for young designers that he still holds the same values that shaped his earlier work.

"When working with a publisher, never hesitate to take risks," Saito said. "That's the point. The risk takers are always... sexy. I love them."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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