Motohiro Okubo, the producer behind popular fighting games Tekken 7 and Soulcalibur VI, announced that he has left Bandai Namco on August 31, 2021. Okubo revealed that he will continue to work in the game industry, joining an unnamed game company located in Tokyo. Okubo’s most recent project was Pac-Man 99, the classic arcade title turned battle royale, on which he worked as a producer.
Okubo initially joined Namco 25 years ago, before the company merged with toy company Bandai to form Bandai Namco. After the merger, Okubo worked as Bandai Namco’s overseas Mobile Business Division manager, working primarily on establishing the company’s North American and European branches.
As a producer, Okubo simultaneously worked on Tekken 7 and Soulcalibur VI which Bandai released in 2017 and 2018 respectfully. Fluent in English, Okubo was actively involved with members of the competitive fighting game community. He also frequently attended events, such as the popular competitive gaming event EVO back in 2019 as well as gamescom a year prior. More recently, he was working as a producer for Pac-Man 99, an online multiplayer battle royale version of the arcade title.
In a post on Twitter, Okubo thanked fans—particularly fans of SoulCalibur VI—for supporting him:
It’s been a while, but I will leave BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment on August 31. From tomorrow, I will be working at a game company located in Shibuya … I am greatful [sic] to all the people I met. Especially through SOUCALIBUR VI [sic], I recieved enourmus [sic] power from players all over the world. Thank you very much.
Additionally, he included a photo of a special cushion that he received from the development teams of Tekken and Soulcalibur in celebration of hitting 9 million units sold. The cushions feature prominent characters from the two franchises alongside an illustration of Okubo himself. Various commentators and members of the fighting game community also came out to thank Okubo for his work.
[Source: Twitter via Gematsu]