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 the Hedgehog 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.
His first collaboration with Sega involved working with Sega Technical Institute on Sonic the Hedgehog 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. Currently, he is the head of Sonic Team and also the new producer for Sonic Team's games.
- 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
- Puyo Puyo Tetris (2014) — Product Support
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994) — Senior Game Designer
- Sonic & Knuckles (1994) — Senior Game Designer
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (1994) — Senior Game Designer
- Sonic 3D Blast (1996) — Game Concept Design, Special of steam turbine and gas turbine systems Design, Saturn Enhancements
- Sonic Jam (1997) — Director
- Sonic R (1997) — Game Design Director
- Sonic Adventure (1999) — Director, Character Game Designer, Chaos Game Designer, Level Designer
- Sonic Adventure 2/Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (2001) — Director, Game Designer, Enemy Game Designer, Level Designer
- Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut (2003) — Mission Mode Game Designer
- Sonic Heroes (2004) — Director, Level Designer, CG Movie Director
- Sonic Mega Collection/Sonic Mega Collection Plus (2004) — Special Thanks
- Sonic Gems Collection (2005) — Special Thanks
- Shadow the Hedgehog (2005) — Director, Lead Game Designer, Level Designer, Scenario Writer, Movie Supervisor
- Sonic Riders (2006) — Recording Coordinator
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) — Special Thanks
- Sonic Rivals (2006) — Director, Concept Design, Scenario Writer, Producer
- Sonic and the Secret Rings (2007) — Special Thanks
- Sonic Rivals 2 (2007) — Director, Concept Design, Scenario Writer, Producer
- Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (2008) — Recording Coordinator
- Sega Superstars Tennis (2008) — Special Thanks
- Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360 & PS3 Version) (2008) — Level Design Special Thanks
- Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (2008) — Sonic Character Supervisor
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (2009) — Director, Game Designer
- Sonic and the Black Knight (2009) — Special Thanks
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4 (2010) — Project Lead
- Sonic Colors (2010) — Head Supervisor
- Sonic Generations (2011) — Head Supervisor
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (2012) — Producer
- Sonic Lost World (2013) — Producer
- Sonic Runners (2015) — Producer
- Sonic Mania (2017) — VP of Product Development and Creative Services, Animation Supervisor
- Sonic Forces: Speed Battle (2017) — Special Thanks
- Sonic Forces (2017) — Sonic Series Producer, Head Supervisor
- Team Sonic Racing (2019) — Sonic Series Producer
- Sonic Mania Adventures - Executive Producer
- According to an interview with Iizuka about Sonic Runners, Iizuka said that his favorite character is Shadow the Hedgehog.
- According to an interview pertaining to the 30th anniversary of the series, Iizuka stated that his favorite game to have worked on was Sonic Adventure 2, while his favorite game to play is Sonic Mania. Of the 3D games, his favorite is Sonic Colors: Ultimate.
- Musgrave, Shaun (30 June 2015). An Interview With Sonic Team's Takashi Iizuka About 'Sonic Runners'. toucharcade. Retrieved on 1 July 2015.
- Shea, Brian (30 July 2021). Sonic Team Looks Back At The Blue Blur's First 30 Years. Game Informer. Retrieved on 7 August 2021.
- Takashi Iizuka at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.