Hirokazu Yasuhara, the level designer behind the sublime racing lines of the original Sonic game, has joined Nintendo.
Gamasutra reports the Sega veteran has left a position at Namco Bandai and will take up a new, as yet unrevealed role at Nintendo Software Technology in the US.
The NST division does a lot of behind the scenes work for other titles released under other studios names, but also regularly produces games of its own, generally portable releases of established Nintendo IP.
While not as well recognised a name as character designer Yuji Naka, Yasuhara’s highly influential and revolutionary level design is perhaps even more important in the story of Sonic the Hedgehog’s rise to prominence during the 1990’s.
Yasuhara stayed with Sega from 1988 until around 2000, after which he kept quite mobile, with stints at 2K, Naughty Dog (his credits include the Uncharted series) and Namco Bandai.