Kazuki Takahashi, creator of YuGiOh, has passed away at 60, as reported by NHK News. According to NHK, his body was found off the shore of Nago City, Okinawa, around 10:30AM on 6 July 2022, wearing snorkeling equipment. His identity was confirmed today, with the coast guard and police now investigating the circumstances around his death.
With how sudden the news came about – Livedoor picking up the story not too long ago at time of writing themselves – it will likely be a while before results of the investigation will be publicly announced. Any announcements regarding the franchise’s future projects are likely to be put on hold so that related parties are given the time to grieve until the logistics are sorted out.
YuGiOh continues to be one of the most influential TCG IPs of the modern age, predating games like Vanguard and Shadowverse and still keeping pace with them with the release of Master Duel, making for quite the legacy that Kazuki Takashi has and more than likely, continue to have, in the genre, if not the anime / manga scene as a whole. He won the Comic Con International Inkpot Award back in 2015, an award that recognizes “individuals for outstanding contributions to comics, science fiction and fantasy, film, television, animation, and fandom.”
His official website, Studio Dice, is “on pause”, with any reopening undecided.