James Kay

Acronyms and in-jokes: The origins of your favourite Japanese video game companies’ names

As much as we like to think of ourselves as free thinkers and immune to corporate advertising, there’s no denying that brand names have found their way into pretty much every facet of our daily lives. Many North Americans routinely use “Kleenex” in place of the word tissue; in the UK it’s not unusual to hear people say that they’re about to “hoover up” when referring to running a vacuum cleaner; and in its heyday pretty much any portable gaming device was casually referred to as a Gameboy.

The likes of Nintendo and Sony have been household names for years, but did you ever wonder where these names come from and what they might mean in their native language? Author of Japanmanship and game developer James Kay sheds some light on the origins of the names Japan’s biggest video game companies use, from Capcom to SNK, and has generously shared a few snippets of info with RocketNews24 for our enjoyment and nerdy enlightenment.

Find out where those world-famous names really come from after the jump.

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Making it in the Japanese Videogame Industry: Exclusive Interview with Developer and Author James Kay

Dutch-British game developer James Kay found his way into the videogame industry after studying Audiovisual design at the Willem de Kooning Academy and moving to London to work at Intelligent Games and Criterion Software. He relocated to Japan in 2001 and, after picking up a wealth of experience at companies including Taito, Genki and Marvelous Entertainment, went on to co-found Score Studios, a company that has received critical acclaim and is fast becoming a big name in the industry.

Detailing the many hurdles that foreigners working in the Japanese videogame industry face, James’ book Japanmanship: the ultimate guide to working in videogame development in Japan may well prove to be an invaluable resource for those thinking of making the move to the spiritual home of videogames.

With the book coming off the presses just last December, RocketNews24 headed to Score Studios in Tokyo’s Yoyogi to meet with James and talk about his book, life in the videogame industry and which Nintendo Princess he’d rather rescue.

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