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Katsuhiro Harada is now general manager at Bandai Namco overseeing original titles; Michael Murray becomes Tekken's new main producer

Who will direct Tekken 8, and more importantly who will we ask for 'stuff' now?

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • May 12, 2019 at 10:31 a.m. PDT • Comments: 33

Katsuhiro Harada has been working on the Tekken franchise since its first title over 25 years ago where his job title would expand from voice actor / producer to director / executive producer — plus his temperament and humor would essentially make him the face of the brand.

Now the longtime game maker's role is expanding once again, as Harada recently announced on Twitter that he has been promoted to the title of general manager at Bandai Namco overseeing all of the company's original IP including the likes of Tekken, Soul Calibur, Dark Souls, Ace Combat and more.

On top of his shiny new title and position, the original voice of Yoshimitsu stated that he will also remain on as the leader and supervisor of Bandai Namco's eSports Strategy team which he began as in December 2018 following community concerns about Dragon Ball FighterZ tournaments being cancelled or left off of major event lineups.

Harada does not reveal what his direct involvement will be with the Tekken franchise will be going forward, however. His Twitter bio still lists him as a game director / chief producer of action and fighting games after it was updated with the general manager position, so there's still a good chance that he'll still put on his directorial hat once again for the next big fighting game project.

Michael Murray has also become a familiar face in the fighting game community often times appearing with Harada as his translator at big events, and now his role within Bandai Namco and Tekken are also growing.

As of April, Murray announced that he is now the main producer of the Tekken series in Japan including merchandising and pretty much everything else relating to the best-selling video games.

The new producer began his work with the franchise on Tekken 4 as part of the localization team before becoming a game designer in Tekken 6.

It's not surprising that Bandai Namco would want to expand Harada's — and Murray's — roles in the company considering the Tekken series has sold over 47 million copies in totality while their other recent fighting game endeavors with Dragon Ball FighterZ and Soul Calibur 6 have also proved to be successful.

While the producer turned director turned manager will likely be much busier going forward, his continued involvement in the eSports scene means that we'll likely get to see him on stage at big events like the Tekken World Tour Finals alongside Murray.

You can take a look at the announcement Tweets from Harada and Murray below.

Harada and Michael Murray's promotions image #1 Harada and Michael Murray's promotions image #2
Click images for larger versions

Image source: Tekken World Tour Finals.
Sent in by Heta.

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