Shinji Mikami Biography
Acclaimed Japanese Video Game Developer
Born: August 11, 1965
The name Shinji Mikami may not be significant to most people. His fame and notoriety stem from the work he does behind the scenes working in one of the world's most exciting entertainment industries. While you may not recognize his name, if you play video games, you are sure to be familiar with his work. Mikami's first major contribution to the industry, Resident Evil, not only went on to become one of the most beloved game series of all time but continues to inspire film and books of the same name even to this day. Of course, the impact that Mikami has had on the industry goes much deeper than the success of a single contribution and continues with no sign of losing any steam.
After graduating from Doshisha University, a private university in Kyoto Japan, with a degree in Commerce, a series of events led Mikami to find his passion. Perhaps what is most surprising is that Mikami himself didn't find his interest in gaming until the age of 20, an age when most people would have likely missed their opportunity. After getting addicted to a wrestling game called "Appoooh" and stumbling into a party at the Japanese development powerhouse, Capcom, Mikami more or less lucked into his job. In 1989, Mikami joined the team at Capcom and began working on a series of games that taught him the skills necessary to be an industry leader and set the gears in motion for what would ultimately affect every game he made in the future. From 1989 to 1993, Mikami produced 3 Disney inspired games for both the Nintendo Game Boy and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES):
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit
- Goof Troop
The foundation was laid and Mikami had the skills to begin work on something truly unique. After working a short time on an ambition F1 racing title that was eventually cancelled, Mikami immediately began work on a haunted house style adventure game that was loosely inspired by a popular Japanese horror film called "Sweet Home". In 1996, Capcom released "Resident Evil"
and set in motion an unstoppable franchise that continues to prosper to this day. This was Mikami's first note-worthy release in which he had served as director, a position that would continue to inspire excitement every time that he would take this role for years to come.
After the success of Resident Evil, Capcom created "Capcom Studio 4"
and handed extra responsibilities over to Mikami by allowing him to oversee multiple teams of talented production talent like acclaimed developer Hideki Kamiya. With this new level of responsibility, Mikami's role shifted to that of producer and his duties as game director took a back seat. While his involvement in several major projects, like Resident Evil 2 and the subsequent sequels were less hands on, he did find time to direct and produce another new, moderately successful, horror title called Dino Crisis which hit shelves in 1999. With his hand in so many different titles at once, Mikami's influence, while lesser in nature, was no less pronounced. Over the years, Mikami produced/directed a number of triple A titles including multiple sequels to Resident Evil, including a remake of the original, as well as noteworthy titles like Viewtiful Joe, Onimusha Warlods, and Devil May Cry. In 2003, Capcom/Mikami released P.N. 03, an ambitious title that simply existed ahead of it's time. Without the technology to bring his vision to life the way he envisioned, the title fell flat and left fans of Mikami's work concerned about his future projects.
In 2005, with the release of the highly anticipated "Resident Evil 4"
Mikami single handedly won back the loyalty of his fans while at the same time re-inventing the series that game him his reputation.