Taro Yoko

You might know Taro Yoko by name, but you definitely don't know his face. He might ring a bell as that creepy dude in the mask during Square Enix's E3 2015 press conference, in which he announced he was working on a new Nier title with Square Enix and Platinum Games.

Turns out, Yoko has been gathering his freelancing game design skills and using them to get his own company started up called Bukkoro. The company doesn't have much to announce just yet, but it does have an official website and a mascot who is just as creepy as it is cute. So far, Bukkoro employs Yoko, his wife Yukiko, and the scenario writer of Drakengard 3 and Nier, Hana Kikuchi.

All you can buy from Bukkoro are LINE stamps to help with a little initial funding, but one illustration says that something is coming "definitely soon…" His wife is also a well known video game artist who draws for the mega-popular Taiko: Drum Master. My guess is she doesn't find herself far removed from the wrong side of employment.

Quite a bold move. Drakengard 3 and Nier are such awkward titles that it would be hard for a creative type like Yoko to get funding on a major level. They were interesting games with bold storytelling, really choppy and poor programming, and design choices that wouldn't make it past a AAA cutting floor, but they were hardly the kind that turn a profit.

And yet, here we are with a full fledged sequel to Nier actually being funded by a major publisher. We've seen stranger things in recent memory than this guy somehow landing a budget. Anything could happen.