Shinji Mikami (三上 真司), born on August 11, 1965, is a Japanese game designer best known for his work on the Resident Evil series.
After graduating from Doshisha University, Mikami was hired by Capcom in 1990 as a game planner. During his early years at the company he mostly worked on Disney-licensed titles, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1991), Aladdin (1993) and Goof Troop (1994).
Mikami's next step was to create a game based on the earlier Capcom title Sweet Home. The idea was a horror-themed game where a team of special forces were trapped inside a mansion infested with zombies and other monsters. The game was called Biohazard, and was renamed Resident Evil upon its release in the United States. The game became an unexpected hit for Capcom, and a sequel was soon commissioned. Eventually Resident Evil grew into a successful franchise under the supervision of Shinji Mikami. Capcom then asked Mikami to create another survival horror series, which became known as Dino Crisis.
Capcom then decided to establish Production Studio 4 as a means of keeping the survival horror team together, and appointed Shinji Mikami as the General Manager of the studio. With his new position, Mikami worked as executive producer on most Studio 4 titles including Dino Crisis 2, Phoenix Wright and Devil May Cry (originally conceived as the fourth Resident Evil title).
In 2001, Mikami made a controversial decision to make all future Studio 4 games exclusive to the Nintendo GameCube, despite it not being the leading format at the time. The first GameCube exclusive was a remake of the original Resident Evil which was to realize Mikami's true vision of the game, and well as a prequel Resident Evil Zero. Neither of these two games sold as well as Capcom had hoped, but Mikami decided to pursue his GameCube exclusivity, and announced five new games which he dubbed the "Capcom 5". Of the five GameCube exclusives, Mikami was to direct one title himself (P.N.03) and act as producer on the remaining four titles (Viewtiful Joe, Dead Phoenix, killer7 and Resident Evil 4).
P.N.03 and Viewtiful Joe were the first of the Capcom 5 released. The Mikami-directed P.N.03 was a critical and commercial failure, while Viewtiful Joe gained praise but still failed to reach sales targets. Capcom's disappointment with the Capcom 5 grew more evident, as Dead Phoenix was cancelled and Viewtiful Joe was ported to the PlayStation 2, breaking Mikami's exclusivity agreement with Nintendo. Mikami voluntarily stepped down as General Manager of Production Studio 4 but still remained a member of the team.
With the failure of P.N.03 now behind him, Mikami decided to concentrate on the creative aspects of the remaining Capcom 5 titles and took over directorial duties on Resident Evil 4. Under his direction, the Resident Evil series went through an evolution of changes. Resident Evil 4 was then released to critical acclaim and became a big selling title on the GameCube. As with Viewtiful Joe, Resident Evil 4 was later ported to the PlayStation 2 but Mikami refused to be involved in the conversion. That same year, Mikami co-wrote the story for the final Capcom 5 game killer7, which received mixed reviews.
Shortly after the success of Resident Evil 4, Shinji Mikami departed from Capcom Production Studio 4 and joined many of his former colleagues at Clover Studio. Originally founded in 2004, Clover Studio was established by Capcom with the aim of creating new, original and innovative IPs, and its development staff was largely made up of former Resident Evil and Devil May Cry members. While working at Clover, Mikami supervised the development of an old-school style beat 'em up called God Hand. In 2006 Clover Studio was dissolved by Capcom following disappointing sales of its games Okami and God Hand, and Mikami resigned from Capcom along with many other Clover Studio staff.
Soon after Clover's closure, Shinji Mikami, along with Atsushi Inaba (Clover Studio founder) and Hideki Kamiya (Devil May Cry creator) formed a new development studio called Seeds Inc. The company then changed its name to Platinum Games in a merger with ODD corporation.
In 2009 Shinji Mikami worked at Platinum Games to direct Bayonetta. In March 2010 it was revealed he established a new development studio called Tango. Currently he is still working on Vanquish for Platinum Games as a freelancer.
Last updated: Jul 09, 2013