R.I.P. Kenji Eno, May 5, 1970 – February 20, 2013

Kenji Eno, subject of episode 7 here at Hinge Problems, passed away yesterday of heart failure at the age of 42.

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He was a strange and unique game developer, who was only recently returning to making games.  He will be remembered for his work as founder/head of WARP, the company that brought us the strangeness of D, it’s almost entirely unrelated sequel D2, the invisible enemies FPS + Myst-alike Enemy Zero, and a whole lot of questions.  In Japan, he will also be remembered as a musician and producer.

It’s hard to explain what Kenji Eno’s games mean, but looking at them now, they are a window back into the 90s, when technology was expanding at a rapid pace, and experimentation with what could be done led to some strange places.  His games were made back when a small team of people with a unique vision could get a game on 4 discs published for a home console, and someone could get excited about it.

Though he had released a large game in quite some time (his most recent games work being music for an iOS game, and a small WiiWare project), in certain circles such as Hinge Problems, his strange and wonderful games were legendary.  Tributes are going out all over the net, not the least touching of which is this one, from Fumito Ueda, the developer of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, who got his start working at Warp.

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Kenji Eno, you will be missed.

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