Developer Lineages

I watched Bowl of Lentils' video on the history of Falcom last night, and one of the things that stood out to me was how many companies spun off from this studio. It got me wondering if anybody‘s compiled a list of which studios can trace their own lineage back to an established company their founders originally worked for. Somebody has to have gathered this info already - the Love de Lic Legacy comes to mind - but not knowing where, if anywhere, to find it, I figured, “Why not let the Insert Credit forum piece things together?” The only stipulation I’ll add is that this doesn't include departments within a studio (Nintendo R&D), or direct branches off the main studio (Sonic Team), or middleman companies that exist for a very specific purpose (The Pokémon Company). Some degree of creative independence is necessary.

Anyway, here's what I got.

## Nihon Falcom

  • - Ancient (Yuzo Koshiro)
  • - Quintet (Tomoyoshi Miyazaki, Masaya Hashimoto)
  • - Studio Alex (Kazunari Tomi)
  • - Monolith Soft (Tetsuya Takahashi)
  • ## Konami

  • - Treasure (Masato Maegawa)
  • - Kojima Productions (duh)
  • ## Irem

  • - Nazca
  • - Produce (Shinji Imada)
  • ## Capcom

  • - Platinum (Shinji Mikami, Atsushi Inaba, Hideki Kamiya)
  • ## Toaplan

  • - Takumi
  • - CAVE (Kenichi Takano)
  • - Tamsoft (Toshiaki Ota)
  • - Gazelle
  • ## Compile

  • - Eighting
  • ## Love de Lic

  • - Skip (Kenichi Nishi)
  • - Vanpool (Taro Kudo)
  • - Punchline (Yoshio Kimura)
  • - Onion Games (Yoshio Kimura)
  • ## Square-Enix

  • - Mistwalker (Hironobu Sakaguchi)
  • - Smile Please (Nobuo Uematsu)
  • ## LucasArts

  • - Double Fine (Tim Schafer)
  • - Terrible Toybox (Ron Gilbert)
  • ## id Software

  • - Ion Storm (John Romero, Tom Hall)
  • ## Ion Storm

  • - Junction Point Studios (Warren Spector)
  • ## Wolf Team/Telenet

  • - tri-Ace (Yoshiharu Gotanda, Masaki Norimoto, Joe Asanuma)
  • ## WARP, Inc.

  • - Team Ico (Fumito Ueda)
  • ## Atari

  • - Activision (David Crane, Alan Miller, Robert Whitehead)
  • ## Human

  • - Grasshopper Manufacture (Goichi Suda)
  • - Nude Maker (Hifumi Kouno)
  • - Sandlot (Takehiro Honma)
  • - Vaill (Masashi Haraki)
  • Nihon telnet and human would be great ones - I can expand later but just throwing the seeds out there for now!

    "Hudson" in general is probably too wide, but that's another deep mine for this.

    Japan Studio has GenDesign and Bokeh Game Studio. Might be more.

    Edit: Misunderstood the assignment a bit, I think. I guess these would be descended from Sony, not Japan Studio. Or would they be descended from Sony Interactive Entertainment?

    A couple:


  • - Sacnoth / Nautilus [Koudelka, Shadow Hearts]
  • - feelplus [Lost Odyssey]
  • - AQ Interactive (+ Cavia + Artoon)
  • - Marvelous
  • - Yukikaze [Penny Blood kickstarter]
  • Wolfteam

  • - Namco / Tales Studio
  • It's tricky when "base" dev team (programmers, art folks etc) may go to some team/company while other creative heads (directors, etc) into others.

    And of course: Shin Nihon Kikaku > SNK > Playmore > SNK Playmore > SNK (j/k)

    Yeah, how to denote existing studios that absorbed developers from defunct ones? Like CiNG → Arc System Works? or Quest → Square?

    I've got another one:

    IO Interactive → Ultra Ultra → IO Interactive lol

    I should clarify that when I started this thread, the lineage I had in mind was a key figure or set of key figures at a given company leaving so they could start their own company, and for the purposes of this thread (things change if we use this as the basis for some kind of larger project) things would be a lot simpler if we stuck to that version. To derive a concrete example from @“bnn”#p124499 ‘s post: Mistwalker would count for our purposes, since Hironobu Sakaguchi left Square-Enix to found it, but AQ Interactive wouldn’t, since they started as an independent company that only later got folded into Square-Enix. This is also why I didn't connect Nazca to SNK in my original post.

    I think it would be interesting to look in to LucasArts. At the very least we have Double Fine and Terrible Toybox, but I’m sure there must be more

    (Terrible Toybox might not count, I think that is just Ron Gilbert on his own?)

    @“Video Game King”#p124507 While I understand the need of focus, I lament a bit that like that one can't really know “where are those guys now”. Like that Namco retained a decent chunk of the Wolf Team staff (still working on Tales to this day) should be notable enough, rather than the usual boring implication that only tri-Ace did.

    Perhaps we need to list some key figures so it's easier to see who are we following, maybe like:


  • - Grasshopper Manufacture [Goichi Suda]
  • - Nude Maker [Hifumi Kouno]
  • - Sandlot [Takehiro Honma]
  • - Vaill [Masashi Haraki]
  • Grasshopper Manufacture

  • - Supertrick Games [Hideyuki Shin: director, Killer is Dead / Let it Die > Deathverse]
  • >

    @“Video Game King”#p124507 Mistwalker would count for our purposes, since Hironobu Sakaguchi left Square-Enix to found it, but AQ Interactive wouldn’t, since they started as an independent company that only later got folded into Square-Enix.

    Does Monolith count?

    @“christoffing”#p124536 I would argue it does, although whether to place it under Falcom, Square, or Namco is anybody's guess.

    Also, while I would be open to listing key figures who founded a given company, I think I'd have to limit it to three per company just to prevent things from spiraling wildly out of control.

    Gazelle doesn‘t count because that was a pre-existing company that Toaplan staff joined later. Same with Takumi. feelplus was originally Scarab, though I think it was pretty much a dormant company by the time it became feelplus. And I don’t recall Game Arts having anything to do with Falcom. (Studio Alex [Lunar] was started by someone from Falcom, though.)


  • - Now Production (deputy development director Yutaka Nakata [unconfirmed if this is the same person])
  • - [Natsume]([NatsumeAtari]( (Takashi Matsumoto, sales department [unconfirmed])
  • Telenet Japan

  • - Media Entertainment (Shinobu Ogawa, Riot deputy development director)
  • - [J-Force]( (Wolf Team head Masahiro Akishino)
  • - [Feycraft]( (Riot planner Shojiro Endo)
  • - [Glodia]( (programmer Osamu Ikegame)
  • - [Gau Entertainment]( (Wolf Team programmer Toshio Toyota)
  • - Media.Vision (Riot director Takashi Fukushima, Akifumi Kaneko)
  • - [Arcadia]( (Appears to have been formed by former Telenet staff)
  • Human

  • - Sol (Yoichi Soki)
  • - [A-Max]( (Ryoji Amano)
  • - [Dream Japan]( (Chachamaru Sasazawa)
  • - [ShunDa]( (Masato Masuda, though I don't know when he left Human)
  • (I link to my site to provide context, but I can remove the links if that's a problem.)