Former Animal Crossing co-director starts teaching career
Isao Moro teaches children how to program
Animal Crossing co-director Isao Moro has started a new career as a programming teacher.
Moro, who co-directed the Animal Crossing series’ most recent mainline instalment New Leaf for Nintendo 3DS, departed Nintendo in 2018 for unknown reasons.
However, it’s since emerged that the designer has relocated to the island of Okinawa to teach programming to children.
Before his departure, Moro had worked as a director on almost every Animal Crossing instalment, starting with 2005’s Wild World as system director.
Moro was sub-director for 2008’s City Folk for Wii, and became co-director for 2012’s New Leaf and 2015’s Happy Home Designer. His final game project was contributing to Splatoon 2 for Switch.
Explaining his decision to quit Nintendo, Moro told 4Gamer that he always had a desire to move to the southern island of Okinawa and this was contributed to by his child’s impending move to elementary school.
His wife had knowledge of the area through work visits and the designer was also attracted by the region’s attractive diving areas, he said.
With programming set to become mandatory in Japanese schools from 2020, Moro was compelled to use his experience to start a programming class.
Moro teaches basic programming languages to 8-to-9-year-olds and also has them program special robots built from Lego.
Katsuya Eguchi, who created the original Animal Crossing title for Nintendo 64 (only released in Japan), is still at Nintendo as deputy general manager of the EPD division.
The next instalment of Animal Crossing, New Horizons – which is also set on a tropical island – is directed by Aya Kyogoku, who worked alongside Moro as co-director for Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
Kyogoku was the first female director at Nintendo’s Entertainment Analysis and Development group and for New Leaf lead a team said to have been made up almost equally of male and female developers.
Former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata had previously said he was shocked at how popular the title went on to become and among female players.