Japanese Game Artist’s Rieko Kodama Cause of Death Explained

In May of 2022, the Japanese video game artist and producer Rieko Kodama passed dead. Sega, a Japanese multinational videogame and entertainment corporation, recruited Rieko Kodama.

She was featured in several legendary Sega games. She is also a trailblazer in the creation of Sega classics such as Phantasy Star and Skies of Arcadia. When the designer passed away, she was 59 years old.

The company did not formally announce the designer’s passing. After the release of Sega’s Mega Drive Mini 2, rumors began circulating regarding the designer’s death. In the credits of the recently released Mega Drive Mini 2, a tribute message to Rieko Kodama was discovered.

Sega producer Yosuke Oskunari responded to the public’s worry and verified that Rieko Kodama has passed away after noticing the memorial post. According to him, the designer died in May of this year.

Japanese Game Artist’s Rieko Kodama Cause of Death Explained

Who Is Reiko Kodama?

Reiko Kodama often recognized as one of the first successful women in the video game industry began her career in video games in the 1980s. During the beginning of her career, Reiko Kodama utilized the name ‘Phoenix Rie‘ instead of her own name. Reiko began her career as a graphic designer, and after years of expertise in the area, she became a director. She is one of the pioneering women in the video game industry.

Reiko Kidama was born in Yokosuka, Japan in May 1963. Reiko’s passion for arcade games began during her childhood. She was also quite enthusiastic about the arts, and it was this love that led her to graphic design. Reiko began her career as a designer at Sega. She joined the videogame company in 1984, where she began working as a graphic designer, and her career took off from there.

Reiko Kodama is noted for her contributions to numerous games. Her works include Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Altered Beast, Alex Kid in Miracle World, Alex Kid in Enchanted Castle, etc.

Even though she participated in other games, she is best known for her contributions to the Phantasy Stars series. She served as the series’ chief creative officer. Additionally, she directed Phantasy Star IV.

As Reiko worked in a male-dominated sector, she was frequently asked about the obstacles or discrimination she had to endure at work throughout her career. Reiko Kodama always complimented her company, Sega, and stated that the company’s culture never made her feel discriminated against because of her gender.

Japanese Game Artist’s Rieko Kodama Cause of Death Explained

Reiko Kodama spoke eloquently about the depiction of women in many areas, the misconceptions regarding the portrayal of female characters in video games, and women’s attitudes toward video games. She has stated that the stereotype that women do not enjoy playing games is false. According to her statements, role-playing games are frequently intriguing and attractive to females.

One such game with a female main character is Phantom Star. Kodama has stated that when she designs a female character for one of her games, she wants the character to be approachable to people of both sexes and that she dislikes the concept of female protagonists whose sole purpose is to be rescued.

The 35-year career of Rieko Kodama is an example for many others to pursue their passions. She remained in the field of design during the 2010s, contributing to titles such as 7th Dragon and Sega Ages. Even though she has passed away, her life and career will continue to inspire millions in the years to come.