Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy creator Keita Takahashi will be helping with the development of Tiny Speck's casual MMO Glitch, the company announced today.
The partnership comes out of months of discussions between Takahashi and Tiny Speck, founded by creators of photo-sharing site Flickr. According to a blog post announcing the move, Takahashi and the Tiny Speck team found a lot of common ground.
"We played some Glitch together, batted ideas back and forth and found that we shared the same values — deep beliefs in curiosity, humor, absurdity, and above all a belief in the positive power of play," Tiny Speck founder Stewart Butterfield wrote.
Takahashi, who officially left long-time employer Namco Bandai last year, will move from Tokyo to Vancouver to work with the team, according to the announcement.
The low-profile Takahashi has been largely quiet since releasing the iOS version of abstract PSN playspace Noby Noby Boy last February. The iconoclastic designer has often expressed dissatisfaction with the world of game development, saying he might like to design playgrounds instead.
"It's not that I don't want to make games necessarily… it's just that I don't know that this will be a career for me," he said in a 2006 Gamasutra interview. "If I do the same thing for my whole life, I'll become really narrow minded.
Most recently, Tiny Speck raised $10.7 million in a second round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz and Accel Partners.
In a December Gamasutra interview, Tiny Speck's Butterfield said he hoped Glitch would capture the unique social interaction of a game like Bridge, that he feels is missing from so many other MMOs.
"There's something that happens in the context of [bridge]," he said. "There's the competition, there's the friendly banter, there's the out-thinking each other, and it's just not possible outside."