Ironically, Yoko Taro’s attempts to try and avoid becoming popular as a games developer have only contributed to him becoming one of the most recognizable faces within Japanese video games (if he’s wearing his mask, of course). When Square Enix agreed to publish NieR: Automata, they wanted him to press for it in the same way that Tetsuya Nomura does interviews about Kingdom Hearts and Naoki Yoshida does presentations on new developments in Final Fantasy XIV.
Yoko Taro’s never quite enjoyed doing press though, and instead would rather have the game speak for itself. As a compromise, it was agreed that Yoko Taro could wear a mask for all of his appearances. He’d done something similar during press for Drakengard 3 where he used a sock puppet instead. Fans have embraced Yoko Taro’s honest and fun attitude to games press so much that he’s an exciting figure at any event, even if he’s not actually there and just talking through a call.
That’s likely why he’s decided to take on a new part-time role as a Virtual YouTuber, making appearances on the “JAM GEM JUMP!!!” VRadio program on NicoNicoVideo. He’ll be making his first appearance in March in one of the Tuesday programs that air at 8 PM JST.
Yoko Taro’s long-suffering producer at Square Enix, Yosuke Saito is involved in production for the VR idol group program and has had Taro bugging him about joining the program using a model of Emil, much like his stage costume. It seems that Saito finally gave in. During the announcement on the NieR: Automata 2nd anniversary livestream, composer Keiichi Okabe joked that he’d have to come up with a new song for Yoko Taro to sing.
So make sure to tune into the JAM GEM JUMP!!! live-streams to get the chance to see Yoko Taro himself interact with other virtual idols. And maybe sing?