Harada's parents broke into tears when he initially got involved with video games - he used psychology background to boost sales

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • September 23, 2013 at 8:08 p.m. PDT
Harada's parents broke into tears when he initially got involved with video games - he used psychology background to boost sales The path to success is not always one everyone agrees with, and in Katsuhiro Harada's case, his career choice actually caused his parents to initially break down into tears.


Harada's parents have since changed their opinion now that he's become a highly successful developer for Namco Bandai, but like many others, he had much humbler beginnings.

Katsuhiro joined a Namco arcade to become a promoter, and he started off planning events and tournaments for Street Fighter.

With his background in studying mental functions and behaviors, he was heavily interested in the patrons at the arcade, and he did things like moving machines to different locations to find out if they'd perform better, or seeing if specific drinks would increase the duration gamers would play on the setups.

"Because of my psychology degree I was fascinated with human behavior. I'd try moving cabinets to certain spots in the arcade to see if they'd perform better depending on their location. At one point I became obsessed with finding out whether certain types of drink would increase the amount of time that people would play games for, or influence how much they’d spend."

His early dabbling into the human mind paid off, as he smashed a sales record two months in a row, and received an award of commendation from Namco's president at the time. So while Harada's parents were initially against the idea, after some of his early success, they came around. Hit the jump to read on.
On how he became so successful at his job, Harada stated that, "I spent an entire year chatting to customers, finding out exactly what they liked or disliked about certain titles. I began to think that I could probably make a more successful title than many of the game creators working at that time."

After his early success working at an arcade, he now had a platform to approach management and request that they move him into game development — which they did.

Harada has of course went on to have an amazing career, noting that the Tekken franchise is #1 in terms of sales in the entire genre now, but that doesn't mean he's mastered the arts of cellphone etiquette.

Kastushiro went missing back in June of this year, but the cause of his disappearance was just a powered down cellphone.

"I just needed to take some time out because I've been working so hard. But I learned a valuable lesson through this episode. In today's society, if you turn your cell phone off for any length of time, then people presume that you're missing."

These details and more are explored in the piece on Edge Online's website. Hit the link to read the full interview.
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