What do you know about Rieko Kodama death? Rieko Kodama, one of the earliest significant female figures in game design and publishing, died earlier this year at the age of 58. Sega confirmed to IGN that Kodama, better known in the industry as Phoenix Rie, died on May 9, however her death was not published at the time out of respect for her family.
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Fans discovered Kodama’s death after discovering a memorial message in Sega’s Mega Drive Mini 2, which simply states, “In remembrance of Rieko Kodama.”She is also well known for her artistic contributions to Sonic the Hedgehog (1988) and Altered Beast for the Sega Genesis and Master System (1991).
What Was the Early Life of Reiko Kodama?
Kodama, who was born in 1963, started the gaming industry in her early twenties, first finding work with Sega in 1984 and beginning the process of learning sprite creation. Champion Boxing, her debut game, was launched the same year. She has also worked as an illustrator on the Sonic the Hedgehog series, the Alex Kidd series, and Altered Beast.
She began her schooling in Kanagawa, Japan, undecided between art and archaeology. She chose art and enrolled in an advertisement design trade school. A fellow classmate introduced her to Sega in 1984. She quickly became obsessed with graphic design and chose to focus on generating her own work rather than supporting others in the advertising industry. She was attracted by the video game industry because it was a new industry for her. Home gaming consoles were still relatively new, and the Famicom had only recently been released.
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Arcade games remained dominant in the overall sector. Kodama was curious about the sector because she didn’t frequent arcades and thought that knowing more about it would be a great way to challenge herself. The influence of archaeology may be evident in several of her games, including Phantasy Star and Skies of Arcadia, where the player is frequently required to travel and discover former civilizations.
Kodama began designing characters for arcade games such as Champion Boxing (1984) and Ninja Princess (1985). As one of the company’s few creators, she found herself operating on many projects at once, with credits on as many as five or six games per year
The career of Reiko Kodama
Her early work at Sega included contributions to titles such as Champion Boxing, Sega Ninja, and Quartet. Her artwork was used in several classic Sega games, including Altered Beast and Sonic the Hedgehog. She most recently started working on the Sega Ages series of vintage game ports for the Nintendo Switch. Many of those ports introduced new audiences to games she helped design.
She contributed artwork for Alex Kidd in Quartet for the arcade and Master System (1986), Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa for the Master System (1986), and Miracle World for the Master System (1986). (1987). Every day, Kodama would receive tiny requests to create assets for other projects, such as the dragon from Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord (1987) and a foe for The Black Onyx’s SG-1000 version of The Black Onyx (1987).
The Game Developers Conference (disclaimer: our sibling organization) presented Kodama with the Pioneer award in 2019. In her acceptance address, she thanked fellow Sega partners including Yoshiki Kawasaki for their help in her career.In a rare interview with Kotaku around the same time period, Kodama reflected on the success of Skies of Arcadia, which has remained a cult classic among fans of Japanese Role-Playing Games. “Portrayal of dark worlds was certainly what was trending in Japan at the time, but our team preferred to create an optimistic protagonist who explored the world,” she said in reflection. “[That] gave birth to Skies of Arcadia’s scenario and characters.
Reiko Kodama Death Reason
Sega recently revealed Rieko Kodama’s death. After Retro Gamer editor Nick Thorpe tweeted a tribute to the developer named in the Mega Drive Mini 2 game’s credits, online allegations of her death began to surface. Kodama apparently died unexpectedly in May at the age of 59, but Sega chose not to publicly mourn her death out of regard for her family. Kodama has been associated with Sega since 1984. Kodama began her career with the organization as a graphic designer before going on to produce and direct.
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Because Sega initially prohibited the use of real names there, Kodama was frequently named “Phoenix Rie” in the game credits. Throughout her 35-year career, Kodama worked on several significant Sega projects, among which were some of the studio’s most popular titles. Her relatives and any internet outlets did not provide an immediate explanation for her death. Nobody knew she had died until an obituary was published in the Sega Genesis Mini 2 team credits in October 2022.