Before entering college, Suzuki flirted with the idea of going into education, having been influenced by his parents. After a while, he thought of becoming an illustrator and then a dentist. However, the latter dream was short-lived, as he didn't pass the required exam for dental school. Ever resourceful, Suzuki began to play the guitar, but he stated in an interview with G4TV that, "No matter how much I practised, I never got that much better."
Turning his attention back to his childhood plastic block endeavors, Yu Suzuki decided to pursue computer programming at the Okayama University of Science. He graduated from there in the early 1980s. He was also interested in music. He played guitar at Music club called "Muscat" at Okayama Ridai.
Suzuki joined Sega Enterprises in 1983 as a programmer, and in his second year he created a racing arcade game called Hang-On. After Hang-On, Suzuki released several hit titles such as Out Run and After Burner II.
In 1993, Suzuki created Virtua Fighter, a 3D computer graphics fighting game, which became enormously popular and spawned a series of sequels and spinoffs. The Virtua Fighter series was recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as an application which made great contributions to society in the field of art and entertainment. For the first time ever, a Japanese game became a part of the Smithsonian Institution's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology Innovation, and is now being kept perpetually at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
Suzuki's Shenmue for the Dreamcast gave rise to a new style of adventure games, bending it away from the typical mold most games of its nature seem to fit into, with Suzuki's own concept denoted as "FREE" (Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment). The story, graphics, and the innovative system exceeded those of many previous games. Shenmue is currently the second most expensive game to be developed (being recently surpassed by Grand Theft Auto IV in which it costing roughly 100 Million USD.) with the whole project costing 70 million USD.
One of Suzuki's most notable arcade games was Ferrari F355 Challenge, a racing simulator created upon a strong partnership with Ferrari. The game itself drew attention not only from the gaming industry overall, but also from the automobile industry. Rubens Barrichello of the F1 Team Ferrari was quoted by Suzuki to "have considered to purchase one for practicing."
Yu Suzuki's interests go far beyond the world of programming, as he is also an accomplished amateur philosopher, painter, and mathematician.
Suzuki is married, and makes his home in Tokyo.
|Space Harrier||1985||Sega Space Harrier hardware||Producer / Director|
|Hang-On||1985||Sega Space Harrier hardware||Producer / Director|
|Out Run||1986||Sega Out Run hardware||Producer / Director|
|Super Hang-On||1986||Sega Space Harrier hardware||Producer|
|After Burner II||1987||Sega X Board||Producer / Director|
|Power Drift||1988||Sega Y Board||Producer / Director|
|Turbo Outrun||1989||Sega Out Run hardware||Producer|
|Virtua Racing||1992||Sega Model 1||Producer / Director|
|Virtua Fighter||1993||Sega Model 1||Director|
|Virtua Cop||1994||Sega Model 2||Producer|
|Virtua Fighter 2||1995||Sega Model 2||Producer / Director|
|Virtua Cop 2||1995||Sega Model 2||Producer|
|Virtua Fighter 3||1997||Sega Model 3||Producer|
|Virtua Fighter 3 Team Battle||1998||Sega Model 3||Producer|
|Ferrari F355 Challenge||1999||Sega NAOMI||Producer / Director|
|Shenmue||1999||Dreamcast||Producer / Director|
|Shenmue II||2001||Dreamcast / Xbox||Producer / Director|
|Propeller Arena||2001 Cancelled||Dreamcast||Producer|
|Virtua Fighter 4||2001||Sega NAOMI 2||Producer|
|Suzuki Yu - Game Works Vol. 1||2002||Dreamcast|
|Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution||2002||Sega NAOMI 2||Producer|
|Virtua Fighter 4 Final Tuned||2003||Sega NAOMI 2||Producer|
|OutRun 2||2003||Sega Chihiro||Producer|
|Psy-Phi||2005 Cancelled||Sega Lindbergh||Producer|
|Shenmue Online||In Development||PC||Director|
|Sega RaceTV||2008||Sega Lindbergh||Director|