About Jerry Momoda

Jerry Momoda

My career in video games began in 1982. Amongst the first ten employees of Nintendo of America, I was hired as their original Game Master and Market Research Analyst. To help early Nintendo games break through in America, I analyzed, tested, and documented my findings with R&D in Japan. In a small way I contributed to the early works of Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda.

Seeking new challenges and adventures, I headed south to California to become a product manager for Sega. I would go on to work for SNK, Atari Games and Namco America. Working on over 90 commercially released titles, several reached critical acclaim and commercial success. I am honored to have learned from and work with some of the most talented people in this industry.

The game franchise I’m most proud of is Namco’s “Tekken” series. At a product planning meeting in Tokyo, pitched a concept for a fighting game that would become Tekken. A global success from day one, I focused on building Tekken into a brand. Tekken 2 and Tekken 3 represent those efforts. This enduring franchise continues to be a cornerstone of Namco and recently celebrated it’s 20th anniversary. Tekken is the best selling fighting game in history.

The peak years of arcade video games were long before the Internet existed. Sadly there is now a lot of misinformation about the early years, published by people who never were there. The experiences I write about are the straight scoop.

Today I’m enjoying retirement. I still enjoy analyzing games for their ability to engage and hook players. I blog, advise game developers and assist a San Francisco Meetup Group, Game Dev Art & Tech SF. I enjoy helping developers create games that better engage players.

I’ve dabbled in other industries, but frankly nothing compares to video games. In 1983 I gave a quote that still rings true today. “In my job, I get to be a kid forever!”

Featured in:

gaming historian universal vs nintendo

A well crafted video about the historical court case, Universal vs. Nintendo in 1983. It comes at a pivotal time in Nintendo’s history, on the heels of Donkey Kong and in the midst of the Famicom launch in Japan. Look for me. One of Norman Caruso’s early works. A must view!

walter day collection icon

An interview for the Walter Day Collection, by Todd Friedman. I answer questions about my early experiences in video games and where I see them going. I first met Walter Day and Bill Mitchell when the US National Video Game Team visited Nintendo, in Redmond, WA in 1983.

Retro Gamer Interview Cover

Mike Bevan of Retro Gamer interviews me for the 30th Anniversary of Duck Hunt. It starts on page 78.

The Story of Punch-Out!! Norman Caruso has created a comprehensive history of Nintendo’s Punch-Out! series. Norman included a short section of my involvement in the classic 1983 arcade game.

Thanks for stopping by!

3 Responses to About Jerry Momoda

  1. Marty Smith says:

    Congrats on a great career choice. I know we have not worked together for a long time but I know enough of your history to chime in and tell you how much it was people like yourself that inspired be to forge my own path in the Video Game Industry. Its been a fun ride and it still is today. I can remember the first game I ever played in an arcade (Missile Command). I knew what my career had to be and followed that dream. Thanks for the times we were able to hang out and for the example you have always been for me even when you did not know it. Always a fan…

    Marty “The Man” Smith

    • Jerry Momoda says:

      Thanks for the kind words Marty. I guess it’s like the saying, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Or as Billy Mitchell says, “Work is for people who can’t play video games.” Those times when I worked outside of games, it was WORK. I remember your 24-7 smile and glad to know you’re still happy. I’m playing in an Atari alumni golf tourney this weekend. The creator of Missile Command will be there. I’ll tell him a big fan said “hi.”

  2. hopper says:

    Jerry, watching The Story of Punch-Out!! | Gaming Historian on YouTube and wanted to reach out. You did a great job creatively and was wondering if you’ve heard about the graded video game mkt? Games have finally crossed the gaming and collecting chasms to art. Would love to share my market research with you it’s MIND BLOWING. Could I send you my newsletter?

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