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Has the Imageepoch CEO, Ryoei Mikage, been found? [UP: He has!]

Oct 29, 2017
304
#51
Hmmm, I legit forgot about this this guy. I'm guessing he's either in hiding from debt collectors or he's sleeping with the fishes.

Isnt Mikage at Compile Heart? He was in the Trillion Destroyer Promotion Video right?

Also disappearing doesn't have to have sinister implications.

I remember hearing the director (or art directo) of Shadow Hearts (or was it Lufia) went home to take over the family Udom shop after the company folded.
There is no substantial evidence to support him working at Compile Heart.

Also, what you're talking about isn't disappearing. If said person disappeared, you wouldn't know they took over an udon shop.
 

Rainrir

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,337
#53
Hmmm, I legit forgot about this this guy. I'm guessing he's either in hiding from debt collectors or he's sleeping with the fishes.



There is no substantial evidence to support him working at Compile Heart.

Also, what you're talking about isn't disappearing. If said person disappeared, you wouldn't know they took over an udon shop.
The Udon information on came out after they met up and someone updated their blog.

Before that, to outside fans, this person just mysteriously vanished. People even speculated he might have went to Aokigahara. The same for Mikage, he might just have chose to be out of the spotlight now, but all of his friends and family (not us) knows where he is. They just choose not to go public (and why should they?)

My impression is that Yakuza nowadays want the money (police crackdown and recession hit them hard), rather than your life. Dead people don't pay up, and it is just added cost as they need to dispose of body afterwards.

Even If they done him in, they would want to make him an example, so vanishing doesn't suit their needs also.

If he was on the run, then he shouldn't have cameo on the Compile Heart Video. If he has debtors Compile Heart is the one who will take the heat. It just isn't a very Japanese thing to do.
 
Oct 29, 2017
304
#54
If he was on the run, then he shouldn't have cameo on the Compile Heart Video. If he has debtors Compile Heart is the one who will take the heat. It just isn't a very Japanese thing to do.
It's still is unknown if that's even him in the video and circulated screenshots. Everything done in that video can be achieved without Mikage

(edited for clarity)
 

Rainrir

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,337
#55
It's still is unknown if that's even him in the cameo. Everything done in that video can be achieved without Mikage
Yakuza looking for someone to harass for money back wouldn't care for that.

I wonder if Compile Heart got any Yakuza harassment issues.
 
Oct 29, 2017
304
#56
Yakuza looking for someone to harass for money back wouldn't care for that.

I wonder if Compile Heart got any Yakuza harassment issues.
The Yakuza would take issue with a guy in a lucha mask and a message basically saying "contact us?" That's news to me.

You surprisingly know a lot about what the Yakuza does and does not care for, and what they will and will not do. How did you get this information?
 

Rainrir

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,337
#57
They would take issue with a guy in a lucha mask and a message basically saying "contact us?" That's news to me.

You surprisingly know a lot about what the Yakuza does and does not care for, and what they will and wont do. How did you get this information?
I follow Jake Adelstein closely and my Japanese Studies professor (who I keep close contact with and talk about such stuff still) is an authority in Burakumin and Zainichu Koreans, quite a number of which are in the gangs.

Also, being Yakuza is ultimately a business enterprise, despite what Yakuza games make it's fans believe. Business logic determines how Yakuza acts, it is like the Mafia in a sense.
 
Oct 26, 2017
54
#59
Wait, what's the story about Compile's founder?
To give you a summary:
Puyo Puyo made Compile rich but after realizing that Puyo Puyo was the only thing selling, the company started having problems when the game started to sell less than before. He sold the IP to Sega so the company could maintain itself during that year, thinking that he would be able to buy it back when the company returned to profit.
He got a 700 million yen debt after Compile closed down in 2003, because he borrowed money for the company under his name. He founded Compile Heart and he left in 2012.
Now, he’s trying to pay his debt doing various part time jobs. He also made a 3DS game called NyokiNyoki, which was released last year in Japan. As far as I know, his current game Studio, Compile Maru, is indie.
 
Oct 29, 2017
304
#60
I follow Jake Adelstein closely and my Japanese Studies professor is an authority in Burakumin and Zainichu Koreans, quite a number of which are in the gangs.

Also, beinh Yakuza os ultimately a business enterprise, despite what Yakuza games make it's fans believe
Hahaha, okay, I see what's happening here. I think this discussion has about run its course.

But for clarification sake I will say that I never made a definite claim that he was running from debt collectors, nor did I claim that he was snatched by the Yakuza. Also, I never suggested that I understand the inner-workings of the Yakuza.

He is my basement preparing Arc Rise Fantasia revival. Please anticipate.
Oh my god, I absolutely LOVED that game (outside of the voice acting). Arc Rise Fantasia and Sol Trigger are the very best of imageepoch's work, and they're actually damn good games ^_^


Edit:
Why upset / offended.
I'm not, I simply chose to close a conversation that I felt had run its course
 
Last edited:

Rainrir

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,337
#63
Hahaha, okay, I see what's happening here. I think this discussion has about run its course.

But for clarification sake I will say that I never made a definite claim that he was running from debt collectors, nor did I claim that he was snatched by the Yakuza. Also, I never suggested that I understand the inner-workings of the Yakuza.
Why are upset at the throwaway line about the Yakuza games, if it offended you I apologize.

The intent is to actually just say that the popular perception of Yakuza being honorable to a fault or bound by some nebulous honor code (rather than all about business, even the codes exist to facilitate buisness), shaped by popular media featuring them, is not in line with reality.

I highly recommend not doing this thing.
He likes to exaggerate and sensationalize, but I have the training to see when he is doing so (like Yakuza links in Nintendo) since i actually done field work before in JP.
 
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Dust

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,363
#65
I remember this, it was specualted he was/is hiding due to financial troubles and didn't want to be held accountible, but at this point there might be something more to that.
 
Oct 28, 2017
120
#69
To give you a summary:
Puyo Puyo made Compile rich but after realizing that Puyo Puyo was the only thing selling, the company started having problems when the game started to sell less than before. He sold the IP to Sega so the company could maintain itself during that year, thinking that he would be able to buy it back when the company returned to profit.
He got a 700 million yen debt after Compile closed down in 2003, because he borrowed money for the company under his name. He founded Compile Heart and he left in 2012.
Now, he’s trying to pay his debt doing various part time jobs. He also made a 3DS game called NyokiNyoki, which was released last year in Japan. As far as I know, his current game Studio, Compile Maru, is indie.
Thanks for the run down. Always kind of wondered how Sega ended up with Puyo Puyo. The Japanese video game industry sure does have some fascinating stories.
 
Oct 28, 2017
10,836
#70
What do you think? "Yeah we currently have him all beat up in the basement of a bar in Shinjuku, right now". Come on.
lol.

I completely forgot about him but this is a little bit worrying, i thought it was a stunt

He is hanging out with Masahiro Akishino, the founder of Wolfteam who has been missing since 1994 under similar circumstances
Are you for real, I never knew !
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,765
#71
What do you think? "Yeah we currently have him all beat up in the basement of a bar in Shinjuku, right now". Come on.
No need to be a dick.

First off, I was thinking murder not locked in a basement.

Second, by vocal I mean it becoming known to those associated to the yakuza as a tactic to ensure compliance. Plenty of crime syndicates use this tactic to keep borrowers in line.
 

Hudo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,475
#72
I am probably very naive, but how can some just vanish? It is a bit hard to belief with all the current technology etc. How would someone in todays world even pull that off? Buying forged papers on the deep web or something?
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,980
#74
Oh wow i forgot all about this! Hope the guy is alright. Don't remember hearing much besides some shady husiness of some type and him vanishing
 
Oct 29, 2017
304
#77
There is a really fascinating news story about this just waiting to be written.
I'd definitely be interested in knowing how all this turns out. I wasn't exactly a big imageepoch fan, but I loved a couple of their games. I hope nothing awful ended up happening to the guy, though.

I remember when the news of him disappearing game up, and the thing from Compile Heart. Though is been so long since anything was mentioned, I had forgotten about the situation until this thread.
 

Nintex

Banned
Member
Oct 28, 2017
672
#80
He probably just moved somewhere and no one in Japans bothers to look him up.
That's a more credible explanation than: "Oh boy he must've been kidnapped by the Yakuza!"

That happens a lot actually. Executives or developers that leave the industry end up working at some generic b2b software company.
He probably showed up in a video with a mask later as an inside joke or something.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,328
#82
No need to be a dick.

First off, I was thinking murder not locked in a basement.

Second, by vocal I mean it becoming known to those associated to the yakuza as a tactic to ensure compliance. Plenty of crime syndicates use this tactic to keep borrowers in line.
I was just being a bit snarky, wasn't meaning to be a dick. I get your second point but this guy has literally dropped off the map, wouldn't surprise me if he left the country through his connections. Yakuza is deep in the video games industry in Japan, going by what I've read over the years.
 

UltraGashInferno

Self-Requested Ban
Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,241
#83
I didn't know about this, but looking into it a little the situation does seem extremely similar.
Are you for real, I never knew !

There isn't a whole lot about it on English internet afaik, but it's real.

to add to the spookiness, Imageepoch is probably a descendant of wolfteam somehow, prob via compile heart, right? Maybe this guy was inspired lol

Real version is probably that they both just dropped out of the public spotlight. Nobody does an interview like "yep, I'm a farmer now" and none of these people are famous enough for the media to give a fuck.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,435
#84
I will say this about Mikage, he knew how to hype his games up by putting some really high profile names in them, the problem was is that when you would actually play the games the actual contribution of those people had been greatly exaggerated for the most part (looking at you Sands of Desctrution).

Oh yeah and besides Last Ranker which I think is their best game, the 7th Dragon series is really good too, thankfully the developers where able to continue with a new entry after Imageeepoch folded.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,238
#91
Whoa. I guess the mystery has finally been solved.

Took a look at his actual site and it's pretty barebones. Also mentions nothing of his previous employment.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,435
#93
Oct 27, 2017
218
#94
Well, I wish him the best in this new endeavor.

Kinda wild that he still wants to work in the industry after all that.
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,734
#95
I'm not sure? Developing a F2P browser MMO might be a fate worse than death.
Whatever works, I suppose. Hironobu Sakaguchi and Mistwalker are basically 100% on Terra Battle at this point. As long as Mikage's browser game is successful, it might help him climb back up.

The question still remains on exactly what path it was that led him here, though.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,024
#96
Wow, hadn't thought about this in a while. Good he's alive and unharmed, there were rumors he got done in due to taking loans from yakuza and all kinds of stuff.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,966
#99
The blog post is kind of interesting. It mentions updating frequently, so I'll try keep up with that and see if he drops anything re: his absence. Apparently this is a thing that was started in 2015.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,013
The 4gamer interview is surprisingly candid. He talks about the end of ImageEpoch, trying non-gaming work to stay afloat (but failing terribly at it), and struggling to pay his workers.