Game designer and producer Kazumi Mizuno has passed away, it has been reported.
Former colleague Norio Nakagata broke the news on Twitter (as spotted by @VGDensetsu), paying tribute to Mizuno, who worked as a Producer, Designer and Director on several notable Namco titles, including Splatterhouse, Cyber Sled, Air Combat and Ridge Racer.
The 1987 arcade platformer Yokai Dochuki was Mizuno's first work for Namco; he acted as both Producer and Director on the game, which would be ported to the Nintendo Famicom and NEC PC Engine, but is relatively obscure outside of Asia.
A year later, he would serve as Producer on Splatterhouse, one of Namco's most memorable arcade releases. He is credited as either a producer or supervisor on some of Namco's biggest coin-op titles, including Ridge Racer (1994, Supervisor), Air Combat (1995, Producer) and Tekken 2 (1996, Product Coordinator).
He served as Director on 1995's Cyber Sled, which would also be ported to the PlayStation, like so many of Namco's popular 3D titles of the period. According to the Twitter user @gosokkyu, Mizuno also worked on Namco's groundbreaking NeGcon controller for the PlayStation, which was designed with Cyber Sled in mind and would be supported by other titles on the console:
Our thoughts are with Mizuno's family and friends at this difficult time.