Reiko Kodama, a pioneering Sega developer, has passed away
One of the most influential creators in the history of Sega and the role-playing genre as a whole, Reiko Kodama, has passed away at the age of 59.
According to IGN, she passed away in May, although the firm did not make the news public at the time. However, fans have discovered a homage to Kodama in the Mega Drive Mini 2’s credits, forcing Sega producer Yosuke Oskunari to confirm the tragic news.
She made significant contributions to Sega’s canon of iconic games and shows. From the time she joined the firm in 1984, she did pixel art for shows like Alex Kidd and Fantasy Zone and eventually moved on to other creative projects.
At the time, she was the lead artist on the first Phantasy Star game, and she continued to work on the series throughout its sequels, eventually becoming the series’ director.
Skies of Arcadia for the Dreamcast is another one of her major accomplishments, and she again directed production on that game. She also worked on the art for other games like the first two Sonic games and Altered Beast.
Perhaps most notably, Kodama has been called “The First Lady of RPGs” for her groundbreaking work as a notable woman in games production; she also leaves behind a legacy of characters and games that were created with everyone in mind, not just the stereotypically male audience.
In an interview, she commented, “I usually do not think to make games strictly for a female audience, myself, but I think my RPGs attract a larger female audience.” There appears to be a predominately male audience for violent, war-themed titles. Keeping this in mind could help companies attract more female gamers.