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Takashi Iizuka (飯塚 隆 Īzuka Takashi?) is a key producer, director and designer within Sonic Team. Early in his career, he worked directly under Hirokazu Yasuhara as a senior game designer on Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and quickly progressed to direct NiGHTS into Dreams and supervise development of Sonic R. In 1999, he is credited as the driving force behind Sonic Adventure, the franchise's third adventure in the third dimension, as it had been his idea to create a role-playing game featuring Sonic the Hedgehog himself.

After the success of Sonic Adventure, Iizuka headed to America, where he and a few other members of Sonic Team began work on such games as Sonic Adventure 2 and NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams. Iizuka continued as head of this department, known as Sega Studio USA, until 2008, when it was disbanded, and team members, including Iizuka were absorbed back into the Japanese division. Thus, he became the head of Sonic Team.

Career history[]

Early career[]

His first collaboration with Sega involved working with Sega Technical Institute on Sonic 3 & Knuckles as a designer. Later, he helped supervise Traveller's Tales with the development of Sonic R. In Japan he was lead designer for NiGHTS into Dreams. He directed and headed up lead design for Sonic Adventure as well (it was his idea for a Sonic role-playing game).

Sega Studio USA[]

In 1999, he and a small part of Sonic Team moved to San Francisco to establish Sonic Team USA, in order gain feedback from the western market. Over in the U.S. his team worked on the international release of Sonic Adventure. Afterward, his team started to develop their own games, where he was the director and lead designer for Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog, and NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams. In an effort to further broaden Sonic's appeal to western markets, Iizuka gave western developer, Backbone Entertainment, a shot at developing Sonic titles (Sonic Rivals & Sonic Rivals 2) under his team's supervision for the PlayStation Portable console.


In 2008, part of Sega Studio USA was absorbed back into Sonic Team Japan. Iizuka became the head of Sonic Team and also the new producer for Sonic Team's games.

After the success of Sonic Frontiers, Iizuka was promoted to Executive Officer and given the title of "Sonic Creative Officer" for future Sonic-related projects, starting his position on April 1st, 2023.[1]

Production history[]

  • NiGHTS into Dreams (1996) — Lead Game Designer
  • Christmas NiGHTS (1996) — Game Designer
  • ChuChu Rocket! (2000) — Product Support (Sega of America)
  • NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (2007) — Director, Producer, Lead Game Designer
  • Project 575 (2014) — Project Support
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris (2014) — Project Support
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (2014) — Supervisor (SEGA)
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (2014) — Supervisor (SEGA)
  • Tembo the Badass Elephant (2015) — Supervisor
  • Puyo Puyo Chronicle (2016) — Project Support
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018) — Supervisor (SEGA)






  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic Veteran Takashi Iizuka Is Taking On Executive Officer Role At Sega. Nintendo Life. Ollie Reynolds (1 March 2023). Retrieved on 5 March 2023.
  2. Musgrave, Shaun (30 June 2015). An Interview With Sonic Team's Takashi Iizuka About 'Sonic Runners'. toucharcade. Retrieved on 1 July 2015.
  3. Shea, Brian (30 July 2021). Sonic Team Looks Back At The Blue Blur's First 30 Years. Game Informer. Retrieved on 7 August 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Sonic Frontiers: 123 Rapid-Fire Questions With Takashi Iizuka. YouTube. Game Informer (12 July 2022). Retrieved on 13 July 2022.

External links[]