Taro Yoko (横尾 太郎, stylized in recent years as ヨコオタロウ, Yokoo Tarou, born June 6, 1970 in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture) is a Japanese game creator. He and his wife Yukiko Yokoo run the company Bukkoro.
He attended and graduated from Kobe Design University. He first worked at Namco, then at Sugar & Rockets Inc., and finally at Cavia. After a period of freelancing and unemployment, Yoko was named a director at ILCA, a company founded by one of his oldest business friends, Takuya Iwasaki. According to him, he didn't have a set career for himself after his graduation and only strives to be "popular with the ladies like EXILE". Yoko found himself in his current position thanks to his acquaintances.
Yoko is best known as the creative director for Drakengard and NIER. He is the behind the grim, apathetic tone set within both titles. Most of the characterizations within these games are done under his supervision and approval. Although he is repeatedly told that fans adore his decisions in Drakengard, Yoko has no idea what he wanted to accomplish with the title or why it even has a following. He claims he wants to make works he thinks people will find entertaining, not grotesque or dark.
Early in his career, he allowed photos of his face during interviews. In recent years, he either turns away from camera or hides his face behind a mask. During the Nier interviews, Yoko often wore a mask of No. 7's face. He most commonly uses a mask of his personal black and gray character, which can also be viewed upside down, or a hand puppet named "Yoko Uu", both designed by Yukiko Yokoo. He professes to despise his visage being spread in the media and absolutely abhors interviews, as he finds them a "boring chore" in the development process. Terribly blunt about his opinions, Yoko believes fans can only learn his candid criticisms on his blog or Twitter rather than with the public media or company publications. Within his personal writings, he is quick to note his misgivings about the development process.
Despite the grim nature of his works, Yoko is not a fan of horror or splatter films or real life gore. He does admit to be strangely mesmerized by the artistic portrayals of fake blood. According to Akira Yasui's commentary, the generals mentioned in Kingsblood's weapon story is an inside reference to both him and Yoko.
He also authored a comic series called Kimi Shi ni Tamou koto Nakare or Thou Shalt Not Die, with illustrator Moriyama Daisuke (Chrono Crusade, World Embryo). The title itself uses archaic Japanese and is a literary allusion to a poem of the same name written by Akiko Yosano about the Russo-Japanese War. The comic was later adapted for theater which was also penned by Yoko.
- Drakengard - director
- Drakengard 2 - video editor
- NIER - director
- DEMONS' SCORE - creative director
- Drakengard 3 - director
- NIER: Automata - director
- SINoALICE - author, creative director
Dengeki Online poll
Yoko voted in the character popularity poll and Dengeki Online made his answers public with his permission.
Thoughts for the series's tenth anniversary:
- Never thought a third game would be made. I'm gonna get Fujisaka's autograph on the materials book and sell it on Yahoo Auctions sometime after this.
Favorite characters and reasons for voting (ranked from most to least liked):
- Mother Angel (Queen-beast): She has a nice rustic form you don't see in fantasy RPGs nowadays.
- Fairy: Small so modeling was a breeze.
- Arioch: She doesn't speak much so there was no need to make her overcomplicated.
Hated character and reasons for voting:
- Seere: He's too much of a goody two shoes for me.
- Personal blog
- Twitter profile
- Facebook profile
- ILCA profile
- The Interviews - Yoko answers individual messages sent to him by fans on this site
- Dengeki Online interview series - for Drakengard and Nier
- Creators Night seminar regarding video game scenarios
- Yoko Taro News - Regular news updates on Yoko Taro
- Drakengard 3 Square Enix North America interview