Sega developer Rieko Kodama has died aged 59. The Japanese has contributed to several successful SEGA games, including Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Skies of Arcadia and Alex Kidd.
In the credits of the Mega Drive Mini 2 is a commemorative message about Kodama that was noticed by a twitter user. Producer Yosuke Oskunari confirmed her death in a response to the tweet on Thursday. Kodama has already passed away in May, but this has only now been brought out out of respect for her family, SEGA tells IGN.
Rieko Kodama started working for SEGA in 1984. She was a graphic designer for several games, including the first Phantasy Star game in 1987, which came out on the Sega Master System, and Sonic The Hedgehog 2, which came out for the Mega Drive in 1992. Kodama later became the director of the Mega Drive game Phantasy Star IV and the producer of the Dreamcast RPG Skies of Arcadia. Because of her work on the SEGA RPGs, Kodama was known as the “first lady of RPGs.” In 2019, Kodama received the so-called Pioneer Award at the GDC game developers conference for her long career as a graphic designer, director and producer.
Ricko Kodama. Source: Sega