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Kekai Kotaki Is Leaving ArenaNet


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#1 Sawk

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:33 PM

After eight years, concept art lead Kekai Kotaki has decided to leave ArenaNet in pursuit of other opportunities. His art has become synonymous with both Guild Wars 1 and 2, and has shaped both games into what they are today. If you're still looking to follow Kekai and his art, you can visit his website here, or follow him on Twitter.

Good luck, Kekai. We'll miss you!

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This is a farewell from me. I am leaving ArenaNet after a little more than over 8 years of being here (my first day was 11/24/2003, it was so long ago that I was 21). This comes with a certain amount of sadness as this was my first job in the gaming industry. I first started doing ground textures for the original Guild Wars and I end it being the Concept Art Lead on Guild Wars 2. I’ve had a pretty good run, worked hard played hard, but all things must eventually come to an end. I am leaving to go search for new endeavors. For all I have done here, this is all I have done.



#2 Slashiroth

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:35 PM

I'm hoping Kekai left on good terms?

Edited by ik7WiZaRD, 24 June 2012 - 07:26 PM.

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#3 Nature Order

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:37 PM

A pity but I quote him "but all things must eventually come to an end."

But dang, Kekai Kotaki will most likely have no difficulty in finding new job thanks to his experience at ArenaNet.

Edited by Nature Order, 22 June 2012 - 07:38 PM.


#4 Hirsty

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:39 PM

I bet it's because Guildwars 2 will release really soon. (next couple of months)

#5 Sawk

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:41 PM

View PostHirsty, on 22 June 2012 - 07:39 PM, said:

I bet it's because Guildwars 2 will release really soon. (next couple of months)
So what? Don't you want expansions?

#6 orcish

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:43 PM

Every artist in video games knows Kekai's phenomenal work. He will have no problem :)

#7 Swift Red

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:43 PM

I loved this guys art, too bad he is going. But I wish him well.

#8 MaZt

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:43 PM

That's why there was a blog post that said that they are looking for character artist designer.

#9 Regina Buenaobra

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:44 PM

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Yes, Kekai is leaving ArenaNet. He has been with the studio for more than 8 years, and his art was a big part of shaping the beautiful world of Tyria.

Kekai wants to take the next step in his professional career and work on different projects, broadening his skill set and exploring new opportunities, and we at ArenaNet wish him all the best in pursuing this goal. Kekai is leaving us as a friend, and we will always have an open door for him.

Good luck Kekai!

#10 CKABEH 3BEPOB

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:45 PM

Well, it is sad, to me, and all i can say is : Good luck in the future Kekai, you have been an inspiration in both game and concept art to me, a lot!

Edited by CKABEH 3BEPOB, 22 June 2012 - 07:46 PM.


#11 Juanele

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:47 PM

Sad to see that. Kekai is one of my favorite artists. Perhaps he is looking to art beyond gaming.

#12 Regina Buenaobra

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:48 PM

View PostMaZt, on 22 June 2012 - 07:43 PM, said:

That's why there was a blog post that said that they are looking for character artist designer.

Character artist is a different position from what Kekai was doing, which was leading the Concept Art Team. :) The blog post is not related to Kekai's post. Those are actually different sub-departments--Character Art Department and Concept Art Departments.

Edited by Regina Buenaobra, 22 June 2012 - 07:52 PM.


#13 Massive Jawbone

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:49 PM

Who gets to be leading artist now? Any takers?

#14 Neo Nugget

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:51 PM

View PostMassive Jawbone, on 22 June 2012 - 07:49 PM, said:

Who gets to be leading artist now? Any takers?

Whoever gets that job is going to have some huge shoes to fill ;)

Anyways, good luck to Kekai. His work is beyond amazing and I look forward to seeing more of his stuff!

"The only difference, Connor - the only difference between myself and those you aid is that I do not feign affection."


#15 CKABEH 3BEPOB

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:51 PM

View PostRegina Buenaobra, on 22 June 2012 - 07:48 PM, said:

Character artist is a different position from what Kekai was doing, which was leading the Concept Art Team. :) The blog post are not related and those are actually different sub-departments (Character Art Department and Concept Art Departments).

I am sad i am not US citizen, since it is for ( mostly ) them. We, from third world, will never get a chance lol :)

#16 Regina Buenaobra

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:54 PM

View PostCKABEH 3BEPOB, on 22 June 2012 - 07:51 PM, said:

I am sad i am not US citizen, since it is for ( mostly ) them. We, from third world, will never get a chance lol :)

I'm not a US citizen either. We have several people at the company who are not US citizens. :) I was born in the "Third World"  as well. :)

#17 CKABEH 3BEPOB

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:58 PM

View PostRegina Buenaobra, on 22 June 2012 - 07:54 PM, said:

I'm not a US citizen either. We have several people at the company who are not US citizens. :) I was born in the "Third World"  as well. :)

I know that, Dociu stated on blog about primary US citizens. I gave it a shot, apparently a bit too late. Nevermind, work hard and try again :)

sorry for off-topic, ill shut.

Edited by CKABEH 3BEPOB, 22 June 2012 - 08:01 PM.


#18 white_migraine

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:02 PM

aww man I don't like that... out of selfishness. Man had amazing art, I can't blame him for wanting to expand. and who ever said that who ever takes his place is going to have huge shoes indeed. I mean damn.

#19 nilzardo

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:04 PM

This is horrible news. Kekai's art was a staple of Guild Wars 2 and I'm sad we won't see any more GW related Kekai art in the future.
Spoiler
:(

Edited by nilzardo, 22 June 2012 - 08:05 PM.


#20 Arava

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:13 PM

Oh nooo :(
I hate to see him go... but I wish him all the best!

Kekai: Good luck on all your future projects :)
Thanks for making the world of Tyria such a great (looking) place! I love it!

#21 xXx87

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:14 PM

Noooo why he go away!Why, kekai i love your work expecially in gw1.Who will work on the next expansion arts?

#22 jonasklk

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:19 PM

Really sad about this :( but if this is what he wants then i can only wish him the best of luck!

#23 Saleem

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:24 PM

Good luck Kekai ! We wish you the best ! :D

#24 davadude

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:28 PM

Now this makes me sad!  I wish Kekai good luck, and I do hope he will continue to play Guild Wars 2 and provide his invaluable feedback!

Arenanet has an amazing team, but seeing James Phinny and Kekai leave, it's sad!
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#25 PariahX

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:37 PM

awww bye-bye Kekai, you will be much missed.  :( Thank you for all the lovely arts that help bring Tyria to life for us fans.  Can't wait to see what you've got in store next.  ;)

A hui hou kaua,


#26 DrunkenMadKing

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:38 PM

As with all things people need to grow.  Even in a wonderful place such as Anet, an artist must challenge themselves in places unfamiliar or they may feel they will stagnate.

Thank you Kekai for the wonderful work and I hope you find a challenge that will bring you what you desire.  Good luck!

#27 Denny1969

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:38 PM

this is truly a sad day for Guild Wars fans, I have followed your art since I first saw it about 6 years ago. I hope where ever you end up they realize how lucky there are to have you.

#28 splincir

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:38 PM

Good luck Kekai in all your future endeavors. Your work is truly amazing and inspirational. May where ever you go inspire you to achieve even more than you already have.

A real loss for the guys and gals at ArenaNet. Hopefully they can find someone to fill your station. We all know whomever it will be will have their work cut out for them.

I hope one day to be able to hone my skills to a level even close to the talent that you posses.

#29 Fatalplus

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:40 PM

What an incredible legacy for this guy to leave behind.  Everything in GW2s game world has his creative finger on it.

#30 Doctor Overlord

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:42 PM

View PostNeo Nugget, on 22 June 2012 - 07:51 PM, said:

Whoever gets that job is going to have some huge shoes to fill ;)
Very true.  Kekai's artwork and style had such an impact on the look on Tyria. He will be missed.

Edited by Doctor Overlord, 22 June 2012 - 08:45 PM.





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