Kamiya was born in 1970 in Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture. At a young age he was already a fan of video games thanks to a neighbour who often invited him to play with his Epoch Cassette Vision console. Gaming appealed to Kamiya mainly due to the sounds it produced. During his early years of junior school he got his own first console, Nintendo's Famicom. The first game he bought was Nuts & Milk. When reading an interview from the Family Computer Magazine that featured game creators Shigeru Miyamoto and Masanobu Endo, Kamiya decided he would become a video game developer.
In high school, Kamiya bought a NEC PC-8801 to study programming but ended up playing video games every day. His favorite games that he credits as an influence on his work include Gradius, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Castlevania, Space Harrier, Cybernator, Punch-Out, Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Snatcher, Sorcerian and Star Cruiser. After graduating from college, Kamiya applied for jobs at various game developers. He was turned down by Sega and had an application accepted by Namco. However, Namco wanted him to be an artist rather than a game designer.
The development of Resident Evil 2 was carried out by a 40- to 50-person group that would later be part of Capcom Production Studio 4. The game was directed by Kamiya, who led the team, which was composed of newer Capcom employees and over half of the staff from the original Resident Evil. In the initial stages of development, producer Shinji Mikami often had creative disagreements with Kamiya, and tried to influence the team with his own direction. He eventually stepped back to an overseeing role as producer, and only demanded to be shown the current build once a month.
To fulfill Capcom's sales plan of two million copies, director Kamiya tried to attract new customers with a more ostentatious and Hollywood-like story presentation. As Okamoto did not want to simply enforce the new direction, he had Sugimura discuss the plot revisions with Mikami and the development staff. The planners redesigned the game from the ground up to fit the changes, and the programmers and other remaining members of the team were sent to work on Resident Evil Director's Cut, which was shipped with a playable preview disc of the new Resident Evil 2 version in order to promote the sequel and to apologize to the players for its belated release.
Devil May Cry
He was later the director of Devil May Cry which started out as the earliest incarnation of Resident Evil 4. Initially developed for the PlayStation 2, the game was directed by Hideki Kamiya after producer Shinji Mikami requested that he create a new entry in the Resident Evil series. Around the turn of the millennium, regular series writer Noboru Sugimura created a scenario for the title, based on Kamiya's idea to make a very cool and stylized action game. The story was based on unraveling the mystery surrounding the body of protagonist Tony, an invincible man with skills and an intellect exceeding that of normal people, his superhuman abilities explained with biotechnology. As Kamiya felt the playable character did not look brave and heroic enough in battles from a fixed angle, he decided to drop the prerendered backgrounds from previous Resident Evil installments and instead opted for a dynamic camera system. This new direction required the team to make a trip to Europe where they spent eleven days in the United Kingdom and Spain photographing things like Gothic statues, bricks, and stone pavements for use in textures. Though the developers tried to make the "coolness" theme fit into the world of Resident Evil, Mikami felt it strayed too far from the series' survival horror roots and gradually convinced all of the staff members to make the game independent from it. Kamiya eventually rewrote the story to be set in a world full of demons and changed the hero's name to "Dante". The cast of characters remained largely identical to that in Sugimura's scenario, although appearances of the hero's mother and father were written out of the story. The game's new title was revealed as Devil May Cry in November 2000.
The game was developed by Team Little Devils, a group of staff members within Capcom Production Studio 4. Some of the major gameplay elements were partially inspired by a bug found in Onimusha: Warlords. During a test-play, Kamiya discovered that enemies could be kept in the air by slashing them repeatedly, which led to the inclusion of juggles by gunfire and sword strikes in Devil May Cry. According to the director, Devil May Cry was designed from the ground up around Dante's acrobatics and combat abilities. The decision was made late in the development process to change the game to a more mission-based advancement, instead of the more open-ended structure of the Resident Evil games. Devil May Cry's difficulty was intentional, according to Kamiya, who called it his "challenge to those who played light, casual games."
Despite the success of the original Devil May Cry, the sequel was not created by Hideki Kamiya or Team Little Devils. The first notice Kamiya's team was given about any sort of sequel occurred during localization of Devil May Cry in North America and Europe, a move which greatly surprised Kamiya. Instead, Hideaki Itsuno was appointed as the director of the sequel. Since the game's release, Kamiya has expressed disappointment that he was not called on by his superiors at Capcom to direct Devil May Cry 2.
He directed the original Viewtiful Joe. The game was conceived as a "staff-focused project" aimed at increasing the skill of its creators, specifically director Kamiya. Kamiya provides the voice for Six Machine in the game.
In 2006, Kamiya worked as the director and lead designer for Ōkami, an action-adventure game that resulted from the combined ideas of Clover Studio. According to Kamiya, the game was originally built around "depict[ing] a lot of nature", but had no central concept or theme. Kamiya eventually created a minute-long demonstration movie showing a wolf running about a forest, with flowers blossoming in its wake, but still lacked any gameplay. Kamiya and other members of the team introduced ideas around the nature aspect and eventually led to the game's initial prototype, which Kamiya admitted was "incredibly boring to play". Eventually, they settled onto the gameplay found in the final product, With the core feature of allowing the player to pause the gameplay at any time to draw on the landscape to affect the world around them.
The gameplay style is a mix of action, platform, and puzzle gaming genres, and has been noted by many reviewers to have numerous similarities in overall gameplay style to The Legend of Zelda series, an inspiration that Kamiya, a self-proclaimed Zelda-fan, has admitted has influenced his general game design.
Clover Studio was closed by Capcom in late 2006. Kamiya later left Capcom after that.
In May 2008, the company, now renamed to PlatinumGames, announced a four-game deal with publisher Sega. The games involved in the development and publishing deal included Bayonetta, a "stylish action game" for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 directed by Kamiya. The game was considered as the successor of Devil May Cry with Kamiya having used its latest sequel Devil May Cry 4 as part of his research. First announced at E3 2012, Kamiya directed The Wonderful 101 for the Wii U, which was released in September 2013. He also supervised production on the sequel to Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2, released on the Wii U in October 2014.
Kamiya has stated he is interested in making a new Star Fox game, and due to a lot of fans asking him on Twitter over and over again, he was encouraged to submit ideas to Nintendo without success. Eventually, PlatinumGames did end up working with Nintendo on the next installment of the Star Fox series, entitled Star Fox Zero, and its companion game Star Fox Guard, both of which were released in April 2016. Kamiya was working on Scalebound, a new action role-playing game for Microsoft Studios until its cancellation in January 2017. Currently, he is presumably working on the third installment of the Bayonetta series, and he also serves as supervisor for the Nintendo-published action game Astral Chain.
- Arthur to Astaroth no Nazo Makaimura (1996) - planner
- Resident Evil 2 - (1998) - director
- Devil May Cry - (2001) - director
- Viewtiful Joe - (2003) - director
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations (2004) - voice actor
- Viewtiful Joe 2 (2004) - story
- Okami - (2006) - story, director
- Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble! (2005) - game design, story
- Bayonetta (2009) - director
- The Wonderful 101 (2013) - director
- Bayonetta 2 (2014) - writer, supervisor
- Scalebound (cancelled) - director
- Bayonetta 3 (TBA) - director
- Hideki Kamiya, Hideki Kamiya's Blog - A Self-Introduction, Facebook
- Action Hero: An Interview With PlatinumGames' Hideki Kamiya, Game Informer, publisher: GameStop, December 2009, page 11
- "Resident Evil 2: New In-Depth Interview!", January 1998, Tips & Tricks, issue 37, publisher LFP, Inc.
- "Resident Evil 2 Survival Guide", year 1997, publisher: Gamefan Books, pages 106A–108A
- "Research on Biohazard 2 final edition", September 1, 1998, publisher: Micro Design Publishing Inc
- "Devil May Cry Graphic Edition", December 2001, publisher: Kadokawa Shoten
- "Bio Hazard Perfect Guide: Inside of Bio-Hazard", March 1997, publisher: ASCII Corporation
- "Afterthoughts: Resident Evil 4", author: Kevin Gifford and Mark MacDonald, April 2005, Electronic Gaming Monthly, publisher: Ziff Davis Media Inc., issue 190, pages 51–52
- Electronic Gaming Monthly, December 2001 issue, pg. 56
- Viewtiful Joe, staff credits
- Resident Evil (PS) credits - MobyGames
- Resident Evil 0 (GCN) credits - MobyGames