Yoshihisa Kishimoto (岸本 良久 Kishimoto Yoshihisa ) (born September 17, 1961), sometimes abbreviated Yoshi Kishi, is a Japanese video game developer known primarily for his involvement with Technōs Japan, Corp. He is best known as the original creator of the Kunio-kun and Double Dragon game franchises, having worked on the original arcade and NES installments in both series. He is currently the President and Representative Director of a game company called Plophet. He refers to himself as the grandfather of the beat 'em up genre.
Kishimoto began his video game designing career in the early 1980s after being employed by Data East, where he worked on the Laserdisc-based video games Cobra Command (also known as Thunder Storm) and Road Blaster. After leaving Data East, Kishimoto was employed by Technōs Japan Corp. During his time on the company, he worked on the video games Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun (released in an altered form outside Japan under the title of Renegade) and Double Dragon. Both Kunio-kun and Double Dragon went on to become Technōs's main game franchises and helped to establish the side-scrolling beat 'em up game genre (known as "belt scroll action game" in Japan).
After leaving Technōs during the 1990s, Kishimoto worked as a freelance game designer and producer for various game companies while working under the trade name of "Plophet". In 2000, he began working as a game developer for the "Plus e" platform, a computer terminal distributed to family restaurants in Japan. During his freelance career, he also acted as producer for budget games released in Japan, such as The Dungeon RPG for the PlayStation and Rogue: Hearts Dungeon for the PlayStation 2.
On April 1, 2010, Kishimoto founded Plophet Co., Ltd., a self-employed company named after the trade name he used during his freelance days. He has served as a creative consultant for sequels to Technōs's former IPs, such as Double Dragon Neon and River City Ransom: Underground.
Wanting to export titles from the Kunio-kun series to other countries, but aware that they would require heavy localization (as evidenced by their previous title, Renegade), Technōs Japan gave Mr. Kishimoto the task of creating a new fighting series that shared a similar gameplay style, but that at the same time appealed to Western audiences from its inception. Inspired by pop culture elements of the era, such as the 1979 street gangs-themed film The Warriors and 1981's Mad Max 2, he created Double Dragon in 1987, marking the start of the beat 'em up gaming genre, as well as one of the most influential (arguably even more than its predecessor Renegade itself).
While the game implemented many Western cultural references, such as its main setting being New York City, as well as emphasizing the idea of dangerous street gangs fighting each other in the city streets, Kishimoto, aware of the sudden resurgence in popularity of classic Eastern martial arts action films in the West, decided to also implement these aspects into the game, being one of the first examples of this particular cultural mixture in entertainment media. Heavily inspired by films starred by legendary martial artist and action films actor Bruce Lee (among other influences), in particular his 1973 film Enter the Dragon (which allegedly is his favorite martial arts film of all time), the game implemented the idea of two young martial artists who take on the streets and fight numerous gang members in their quest to rescue a kidnapped girl.
- Pro Soccer (1982, arcade) – Sub-director
- Cobra Command (1984, Laserdisc) – Director
- Road Blaster (1984, Laserdisc) – Director
- Renegade (1986, arcade) – Director
- Renegade (1987, NES) – Director
- Double Dragon (1987, arcade) – Director
- Super Dodge Ball (1987, arcade) – Director
- Double Dragon (1988, NES) – Director
- China Gate (1988, arcade) – Director
- U.S. Championship V'Ball (1988, arcade) – Director
- Double Dragon II: The Revenge (1988, arcade) – Director
- WWF Superstars (1989, arcade) – Director
- Super Spike V'Ball (1989, NES) – Production Manager
- Double Dragon II: The Revenge (1989, NES) – Producer
- Blockout (1989, arcade) – Producer
- Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones (1991, NES) – Director
- WWF Wrestlefest (1991, arcade) – Director
- Sugoro Quest: The Quest of Dice Heros[sic] (1991, Famicom) – Producer
- Shodai Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun (1992, Super Famicom) – Producer
- Super Bowling (1992, Super NES) – Producer
- Super Double Dragon (1992, Super NES) – Direct Support
- The Combatribes (1992, Super NES) – Producer
- Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka (1994, Super Famicom) – Director
- Sugoro Quest ++: Dicenics (1994, Super Famicom) – Producer
- Othello World 2:Yume to Michi e no Chōsen (1995, PlayStation) – Producer
- Chō Aniki: Kyūkyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyō Otoko (1995, PlayStation) – Producer
- Chō Aniki: Kyūkyoku... Otoko no Gyakushū (1996, Sega Saturn) – Producer
- Slam Dragon (1996, PlayStation) – Producer
- Cowboy Bebop (1998, PlayStation) – Producer
- Gunya Gunya (1999, PC) – Producer
- Simple 1500 Series Vol. 28: The Dungeon RPG (2000, PlayStation) – Development Producer and Director
- Bau Nyā Chū (2000, PC) – Producer
- River City Ransom: Underground (2014, PC, Mac) – Creative Consultant
- Double Dragon IV (2017, PlayStation 4, PC, Switch) – Director
- In Double Dragon Neon, there's a secret mission where the Lee brothers and all of the enemy characters have Yoshihisa Kishimoto heads. In order to reach this level, the player must hit the punching bag found at the beginning of Mission 7 exactly 87 times (in reference to 1987, the year the original arcade version of Double Dragon was released). If done correctly, a chime will sound and after a few seconds the player will be taken to this hidden level, where they must survive a difficult gauntlet of enemies.
- Kishimoto is a fan of Abobo's Big Adventure and considers it a worthy tribute to the series.
- The man who created Double Dragon at Polygon.