Suikoden and Eiyuden Chronicle scenario writer Yoshitaka Murayama passed away on February 6

Rabbit & Bear Studios announced that Yoshitaka Murayama had passed away on February 6, 2024. The Japanese scenario writer was most famously known for producing the Suikoden RPG series, but he rose to prominence most recently for his successful Kickstarter project to produce Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes.

The studio broke the news with statements in both Japanese and English. But while the official English version mentioned "complications with an ongoing illness", the original Japanese text instead noted "multiple organ failure" as his cause of death.

Murayama's birth year was never confirmed in any Japanese sources, but his name first appeared when he joined Konami in 1992. He originally applied to be a programmer, but then ended up working in the planning team. It was here that he penned the storyline for Genso Suikoden, which Konami eventually released for the PlayStation in Japan in late 1995 and in North America as Suikoden in late 1996.

Murayama continued to take charge of the Suikoden series from there. In addition to 1998's Suikoden II, he also wrote the story for the 2000 spin-off visual novel Suikogaiden. The writer was also involved in Suikoden III's development temporarily, but he left Konami and the Suikoden team partway in 2002. He then worked on other game series as a freelance. Some of the notable post-Suikoden titles he was involved in include FuRyu's 2017 entry The Alliance Alive and Koei Tecmo's Warriors Orochi 4 in 2018.

This sad announcement also means that Murayama would not survive to see his major projects rise to prominence once again. Rabbit & Bear Studios is still committed to releasing Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch on April 23. Meanwhile, Konami is also working on compiling and remastering the first two Suikoden entries. Suikoden I&II HD Remaster: Gate Rune & Dunan Unification Wars was originally slated for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2023. However, Konami later delayed its release to an unspecified time.

The official English statement from Rabbit & Bear Studios is also available to read right below:

Hello everyone,

It’s with a heavy heart and deep sadness we must inform you that the scenario writer and head of Rabbit & Bear Studios, Yoshitaka Murayama, has passed away on February 6th due to complications with an ongoing illness.

Murayama first began this journey of the creation of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes in 2020 through the support of his very loving fans on Kickstarter. Throughout the three-plus-year-development of the game, it was always the passion from his fans that continued to drive his creative vision and motivate him to put his all into the project.

His hard work on Eiyuden Chronicle as scenario writer was finished but as his co-workers and friends, it saddens us to know that he won’t get to see the reactions from his fans.

However, even with those feelings we need to accept the reality that he is no longer with us and continue to push his dream forward by releasing Eiyuden Chronicle to the world.

We want to maintain his legacy and vision with this game and know that he would have wanted the rich world he has created with Eiyuden Chronicle to live on.

His family sincerely appreciates your prayers and support but asks for privacy and that no flowers, mail, or other offerings be sent.

We will have more information on organizational changes to Rabbit & Bear as well as changes to some of the Kickstarter rewards in the near future.

For now, we appreciate your continued support.

Rabbit & Bear Studios,
Junko Kawano
Junichi Murakami
Osamu Komuta