Ben Judd — Digital Development Management
Ben Judd is a partner at DDM, the world’s largest video-game agency. During his years at Capcom, he created the internal localization division, voiced Phoenix Wright, and was the first foreign producer with Bionic Commando 3D and Bionic Commando Rearmed. As the head of the Japanese branch of DDM he has worked with many talented teams including Platinum Games, DIMPS, and From Software. After pulling together the key pieces on the Mighty Number 9 Kickstarter, he followed that success by partnering with Koji Igarashi to produce the Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Kickstarter campaign. Ben was the MC for the original Bit Summit and is extremely excited to get the chance to reprise that role for Bit Summit III.
Asami Shigemitsu — achabox
Asami Shigemitsu (born in 1989) is a digital video director and an illustrator currently living in Kyoto. As soon as she graduated from the Faculty of Design Kyoto Seika University, she formed the creative unit “Focha” and started working as a digital video director. Images and designs that use vibrant and colorful illustrations are her signature. Shigemitsu’s productions span a wide range of fields. She is in charge of directing and producing music videos for many artists, she has also worked as a photographer of Bijin-tokei Kyoto and Kobe for one year and a half.
Shigemitsu is the organizer of Granewton, a group that holds picnic events surrounding a giant “short-cake” on the 22nd of every month at Kamogawa River, Kyoto starting from May 2012.
James Mielke — Shinra Technologies
James Mielke (“Milky”) has enjoyed a long tenure in video games, with the first decade of his career spent in the editorial field, where he helmed North America’s Electronic Gaming Monthly and 1UP.com as Editor-In-Chief. After serving as an advisor to a number of notable Japanese development teams over the years, he then moved into game development, first at Q Entertainment, where he worked on such acclaimed titles Child of Eden and Lumines Electronic Symphony, before relocating to Kyoto, bringing his experience to Q-Games, where he worked on the highly-regarded Pixeljunk series. It was while he was at Q-Games that he first planted the seed that would soon grow into BitSummit, and while he has since moved back to his native New York City, he continues to serve Japan’s indie scene as BitSummit’s Creative Director, which is now in its third year.
The masked musical superhero returns once again to bring his special brand of chip-sounds to BitSummit. As tradition dictates, the Professor will once again be opening the show with a performance inspired by game sounds of yore.
Keiji Inafune — comcept
Keiji Inafune was born in Osaka in 1965. During his years at Capcom he released multiple world-famous games, including many titles in the legendary Mega Man (Rockman) and Onimusha franchises. His work cemented his reputation as both developer and charismatic leader of the game industry, not to mention hordes of passionate fans the world round.
In 2006, he was promoted to Senior Corporate Officer at Capcom, working on game development and as a content manager. In 2010 he founded comcept Inc., a game company that continues to introduce innovative games such as those in the Soul Sacrifice and OSSAN Eggs! franchises. His much anticipated new IP, Mighty No. 9, stunned the world by raising nearly $4 million USD during its crowdfunding campaign. It is set to release in North America on September 15th, 2015, with a worldwide release following on September 18th, 2015.
Inafune remains a very active member in the industry, as evidenced by his reveal of ReCore, an entirely new property and an Xbox One exclusive, at E3 2015 in June.
Koji Igarashi — ArtPlay
Koji Igarashi joined Konami in 1990, where he worked as a programmer in the Educational Software division before moving to the Consumer division. His works include: Detana! TwinBee (PC): Enemy programming (first project) Tokimeki Memorial (PC): Scenarist and programming. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PlayStation): Scenarist and programing, late-stage direction.
From Castlevania Chronicles onward, he worked as a producer for the Castlevania series for a number of years, before being moved to the Social division at the end of 2011.
He left Konami in March 2014, and spent six months free before becoming a founding member and Executive Producer of ArtPlay on September 16, 2014. Now, in addition to developing mobile games, he’s getting ready to create another hotly anticipated title—Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a project made possible by the generous backing of his fans through Kickstarter.
Takuya Aizu — Inti Creates
CEO, Inti Creates Co, Ltd.
CEO of Inti Creates, which was founded by 10 developers in Chiba Prefecture in 1996 as a limited liability company before going public in 2003. Inti Creates then opened a development studio in Nagoya in 2008.
Best known for creating the Mega Man Zero series, as well as games in the Crayon Shin-Chan series for Nintendo handhelds, among others.
Takuya Aizu worked as a Development Producer on the Mighty No. 9 (comcept, 2013) and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (ArtPlay, 2015) Kickstarters.
Inti Creates also published the Takuya Aizu-produced Nintendo 3DS downloadable titles Azure Striker Gunvolt and Mighty Gunvolt in 2014.
Artist, musician, producer, DJ; Baiyon does it all. This audio-visual artist (who is the creative force behind Pixeljunk Eden and Pixeljunk 4am) will light up BitSummit with his unique electronic sensibilities.
Shuhei Yoshida — SCE Worldwide Studios
04/1986: Joined Sony Corporation 11/1993: Sony Computer Entertainment Operations Department 04/1996: Producer at Yoshida Production Group 10/1997: Executive Producer at Yoshida Production Group Production HQ 04/2000: Vice President at Sony Computer Entertainment America 02/2007: Senior Vice President at SCE Worldwide Studios USA 05/2008: Became President of SCE Worldwide Studios
Tetsuya Mizuguchi — enhance Games
Creator, Game Designer, and Specially Appointed Professor at Keio Media Design
Tetsuya Mizuguchi continues to produce synaesthetic works across the game, film, and music fields. Among many other games, he is best known for Sega Rally (1994), Space Channel 5 (1999), Rez (2001), Lumines (2004) and Child of Eden (2010). He supervises Genki Rockets, an audiovisual project for which he also produces lyrics. He also had a hand in the holograms used for the opening act at the Tokyo venue of the Live Earth concert in 2007, supporting former Vice-President Al Gore’s efforts to curb climate change. In 2010, he once again blended cutting-edge technology with live performances at Sony’s 3D video and music event, make.believe 3D Live. Recently, he has distilled his creative method into the Wants Method, a series of lectures and workshops he has taken to schools and businesses in order to facilitate more startup projects.
In 2014 he founded Enhance Games, where he currently works as the CEO.
Kazutoshi Iida — Ristumeikan University
Kazutoshi Iida is a professor of Film at Ritsumeikan University. He was born in 1968, and graduated from Tama Art University. He made his debut as the director of Aquanaut’s Holiday (PlayStation, 1996). Since then, he has created games such as Tail of the Sun and Doshin the Giant, and is best known as a game maker with a strong artistic bent. In 2011, his installation “Songs of Anagura: Missing Researchers & Their Remaining Devices” won the Grand Prize in the Entertainment division at the 15th Japan Media Arts Festival. He currently conducts research and produces art- and game-themed works at the Film Department of Ritsumeikan University.
Toshiaki Fujino — Triangle Service
After graduating from a game-oriented technical school, Toshiaki Fujino developed games for home consoles at a number of game companies throughout the 90’s. In 2001, he began independent development of shooting games for arcades, and in 2002 founded his own development house, Triangle Service. Triangle Service has developed several original titles for arcades, as well as developing and publishing for consoles.
Jakub Dvorsky — Amanita Design
Jakub Dvorsky was born in Brno (Czechoslovakia) in 1978. He started making computer games when he was fifteen and released his first two titles a few years later. In 2003 finished Academy of Arts in Prague with flash game Samorost as his thesis project. At the same year he founded Amanita Design, a small independent studio which specializes mostly in developing 2D adventure games. Besides Samorost series and other small games, the studio’s best known titles are Machinarium and Botanicula. Amanita Design, which is currently based in Prague and counting around 15 people, now works on three new games, including Samorost3. Jakub was also a production designer for feature puppet film Kooky (Kuky se vraci) by Jan Sv?rak, currently distributed also in Japan.
Kelly Wallick — Indie MEGABOOTH
Kelly Wallick is the founder and President of the Indie MEGABOOTH – a showcase that brings indie games into the heart of conferences previously dominated by AAA budgets and an initiative that works to create support networks for small development teams. She’s involved in local community building along with creating cross community networks and acts as an advocate for indie developers with platform holders, distributors, publishers and press. The MEGABOOTH’s current focus is on expanding community support efforts and addressing discoverability issues for indie games.
Jake Kazdal — 17-Bit
Jake Kazdal has been in the games industry since the NES heyday. He 4.5 years spent at Sega in Tokyo working on classics such as Space Channel 5 and Rez before joining EA and working with Steven Spielberg and the Command and Conquer team. In 2009 he formed what became 17-BIT, which is based in both Seattle, WA and Kyoto, Japan.
SWERY — Access Games
Hidetaka Suehiro, known to many as SWERY, is one of the founding members of the Osaka-based game developer Access Games and works at the company as a game director, game designer and scenario writer.
SWERY originally joined the game industry shortly after completing his degree in film and video advertising at Osaka University of Arts. Swery worked at various game companies until he founded Access Games in January 2002. His directorial debut, SPY FICTION focused on the western audience rather than the Japanese audience, and this eventually him to develop Deadly Premonition in 2010, an acclaimed modern cult classic game. Deadly Premonition eventually made its way into the Guinness World Record as “the most controversial survival horror game”, and in 2011, Swery was listed among the fifty most influential game creators in the western game industry.
Along with a number of other projects, SWERY is currently working on the PC release of D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die, which received critical acclaim when it was first released on Xbox ONE.
Dan Gray — ustwo studio
Executive Producer at ustwo
Daniel and his team at ustwogames picked up multiple honours for their mercurial hit Monument Valley, including an Apple Design Award, iPad Game of the Year and even some GDC, D&AD and BAFTA wins. Before ustwo, he spent eight years working for some of the world’s most prestigious games studios, starting his career at Peter Molyneux’s Lionhead Studios on the Fable series, before continuing his journey as Head of Production at Hello Games to bring the critically acclaimed Joe Danger series to life across console, PC and mobile.
Daniel’s sole aim is to create innovative, thought-provoking and unpredictable titles across mobile devices and beyond – his team are currently working on multiple projects that follow this philosophy.
Contemporary artist, game creator, masked dancer, and cartoonist. He won the Grand Prize in Bokosuka Wars at the first ever ASCII Software Contest in 1983, and has developed and released more than 10 titles, such as “I’d Eat That Wonderful Lunch Two, No, Three Times!” and “Rodem the Wild,” under the Itachoco Systems label (1994-Present). He handles the design, scenario writing, programming, music and game creation by himself.
He also performs Mask Dances and an avant-garde puppet show titled The Ballad of Itachoco.
Pygmy Studios released Rodem the Wild for Playstation Mobile in July 2014.
Atsushi Inaba — Platinum Games
Atsushi Inaba was born in Ishikawa prefecture in 1971. After working for several game companies, Mr. Inaba joined Capcom in 1998. From 2000 he worked in the game development division as a producer. In 2004 Mr. Inaba was given a seat on the Board of Directors for Clover Studio, a development-focused subsidary of Capcom. In 2006, Mr. Inaba left Capcom to form his own company, named SEEDS. In October 2007 SEEDS merged with the company ODD and was rebranded Platinum Games. Since this merger Mr. Inaba has served as the head producer for the development division, where he continues today.
This group of Perfume-loving middle-aged dudes, trying to take their fandom to the next level, realized that the inevitable next step was to form a rock band. After sharing the BitSummit 2014 stage with dozens of guests (including Kyoto’s own Mayumaro), they proved that BitSummit knew what it meant to truly rock.