ⓘ Aya Kyogoku
Aya Kyogoku is a Japanese video game director and producer. She is the current manager of Nintendos Entertainment Planning & Development Group No. 5, which oversees the Animal Crossing, Splatoon, and Wii Sports franchises. Kyogoku is best known for her work on Animal Crossing, where she has alternately served as a producer, director, and supervisor since 2008.
Kyogoku began her career in 2000 at the video game company Atlus before joining Nintendo in September 2003. At Nintendo, Kyogoku worked as a scriptwriter on The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and later as a sequence director on the 2008 game Animal Crossing: City Folk, where she was responsible for all elements relating to the animals behaviour and dialogue, such as writing the script.
Kyogoku and Isao Moro served as directors of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the 2012 sequel to City Folk, making Kyogoku the first woman to direct a video game at Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development EAD. Following the mixed critical and commercial performance of City Folk, Kyogoku sought to "get back to the series roots" on New Leaf. After noting that she was frequently the only woman on development teams, Kyogoku and New Leaf producer Katsuya Eguchi hired a team that was half female; she also encouraged all individuals on the development team to contribute ideas for the game, regardless of their role on the project. New Leaf went on to sell over 12 million copies, and was listed as one of the best games of the 2010s by IGN and Polygon ; Kyogoku credits the diversity of the team for New Leaf s critical and commercial success, stating that "when you are trying to create something that will appeal to many types of people, I have experienced how beneficial it is to have diversity on your team."
In 2015, Kyogoku produced the Animal Crossing spin-off title Happy Home Designer, and is the director of the 2020 main series title Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In 2019, she was named as Manager of Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development EPD Production Group No 5 under the position that Hisashi Nogami was for seven years before he was promoted at Deputy General Manager of Nintendo EPD at the same year as Kyogoku was.
- deSPIRIA 2000, Dreamcast – Assistant Planner
- Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land 2001, PlayStation 2 – Assistant Director
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2020, Nintendo Switch – Director
- Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival 2015, Wii U – Director
- Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp 2017, iOS / Android – Supervisor
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf 2012, Nintendo 3DS – Director with Isao Moro
- Animal Crossing Plaza 2013, Wii U – Producer
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Welcome Amiibo 2016, Nintendo 3DS – Producer
- Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer 2015, Nintendo 3DS – Producer
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 2006, Wii – Scriptwriter
- Animal Crossing: City Folk 2008, Wii – Sequence Director
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures 2004, Gamecube – Scriptwriter