Naoto Ohshima (大島 直人 Ōshima Naoto?) is a Japanese artist and former Sega employee who designed the characters of Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr. Eggman. Ohshima gained notoriety at Sega for creating characters and playing integral roles in the development of games like Phantasy Star, Sonic the Hedgehog, NiGHTS into Dreams..., Burning Rangers and Sonic Adventure. He used to be credited under the nickname "Big Island," which is a literal translation of his family name.
After leaving Sonic Team in 1999, he formed an independent game company with former Sega employees called Artoon, and later Arzest, of which he is currently vice president. During his time at these companies he has been involved with various games including Blinx: The Time Sweeper and its sequel, Yoshi's Island DS, the Nintendo 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey.
On 23 July 2020, it was announced that Ohshima was working with Yuji Naka, and they had founded Balan Company, Square Enix's action game brand. Ohshima was the character designer of Balan Wonderworld, with Naka as director, and with Ohshima's Arzest developing. It marked the first time since Sonic Adventure that Ohshima and Naka had worked together on developing a videogame.
Notable non-Sonic works
- Phantasy Star — Design
- NiGHTS into Dreams... — Director, visual designer, character designer
- Blinx 2: Masters of Time and Space — Director
- Yoshi's Island DS — Producer
- Balan Wonderworld — Character designer
- Sonic Adventure - CG movie producer
- Before they released, Naoto Ohshima devoted fan artwork to both Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces on his Twitter page.
- Naoto Ohshima at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.