Getting to know Kathy just a little bit better…
I’m bringing you guys something special today – it’s special to me because this is my first interview with someone in the video games industry. A true mover and shaker. A real go-getter. Today’s interview is with Kathy Dongo from Capcom, USA. My questions are in bold and her responses are in italics.
C: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview Kathy, I’m sure the fans and
I definitely appreciate you doing so. Can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the video game industry and what led you to Capcom?
KD: Thank you for having me. I am humbled by the opportunity to do something like this.
I started in 2000, but I have been playing video games since Colecovision. Throughout my professional career, I chose to work for companies with whom I aligned philosophically, and that ultimately led me to Capcom. I have been a fan of their games since I was young.
C: You had the opportunity to work for Amazon, Nintendo, and now Capcom.
If you were to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
KD: Great question! I would not do too much differently because I would not want to change my path however, I do wish I would have taken more pictures and captured the journey better.
C:Out of all the companies you’ve worked at, which project was the biggest and hardest
for you to tackle, and why?
KD: There is definitely a tie for this one. The biggest in terms of financial impact was launching the US Video Game category for Amazon.com and the biggest in terms of scope was the launch of the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS. Both massive, both requiring multi-level coordination, and both were high visibility.
C: I think everyone has that moment where “Eye of The Tiger” instantly plays in their head
and they just get down and dirty, and get to work. Is it the same for you? Can you give us some
quick tips on how to tackle those huge hurdles, and what do you do to mentally prep for that moment?
KD: These “Eye of the Tiger” moments will always happen so it is best to know what you need to handle it when they arise. For me, it starts with physical prep – a workout, a hot shower, comfortable clothes, and a good meal. Mental prep is usually putting on music that fits my mood. I like everything from The Eagles to EDM to R&B.
C: 2020 was pretty much a rough year for practically everyone, I don’t know anyone that can say they had a phenomenal 2020. What challenges did you face with everything almost coming to a standstill in the gaming industry? What were some of the challenges you had to face with releasing games since everything was in such high demand?
KD: I’ve worked in so many entrepreneurial environments that “pivot” should be my middle name. I am lucky to be on a team with other video game veterans and when the pandemic hit, we all adapted pretty quickly.
I want to give a huge shout-out to Mekel Kasanova – I managed to find you through his interview a couple of years ago. In that interview, you recalled the time when you worked on the e-shop while working at Nintendo, and I can imagine that was a huge project. What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on, and why?
KD: Isn’t he great?? I adore him!
–C: Yea he really is! He’s taught me some of what I know, and he’s one of the hardest working guys I know.
KD: I’ve had a lot of projects I am proud of. At Amazon, I worked with Nintendo to bring the Punch-Out!! Heavyweight Contender Kit and the version with the Little Mac green glove to the website as an exclusive. I also conducted a few interviews that Amazon used as content on their website. My first interview was with acclaimed video game composer, Cris Velasco and the other was with Michael de Plater, Creative Director for Tom Clancy’s EndWar which is still on the website.
C: We’re starting to see more barriers being broken down in our not so little world of gaming. We’re seeing a lot more inclusivity for various minority groups and so many beautiful stories happening right before our eyes – what are your thoughts on this, and what else would you like to see happen in the gaming community?
KD: It is an exciting time and I am happy to see the type of change that has started. I would love to see it continue and encourage everyone to get involved with keeping the momentum going.
C: Resident Evil: Village is a success with many outlets giving it great reviews, AND your name appeared in the credits! Can you tell us what that experience was like?
KD: What a gift to see my name in the credits! I never thought to look for my name until a few years ago when my coworker posted a screenshot of his name and I happen to notice my name in the image too. I called the brand manager to thank him and he explained that we are a family and we all contribute to the success of the release so we are all represented in the credits. I cried big ugly tears of happiness for the next couple of hours.
C: Which RE game is the scariest for you, and which one is your favorite?
KD: Resident Evil 4 was the scariest. Every time I had to take out a Garrador, I needed to prep. My favorite was 5 because of co-op.
C: If you were in resident evil: village and could choose any 3 characters from the entire gaming universe to help you get through that monstrosity, who would you choose and why?
KD: Jill Valentine, Ada Wong, and Sheva Alomar. These women are badass! I know they would have my back. I especially love Jill Valentine, she is the character I chose to be on my Capcom business cards.
Quick Fire Round!!
C: Who is your favorite video game character?
KD: Master Chief
C: Favorite console of all time?
KD: It is like asking me to choose my favorite child, I can’t.
C: If you can make any villain to be your sidekick, who would you choose.
KD: GLaDOS (Portal)
C: Favorite: Dante or Virgil?
C: Which do you like more, the city or the outdoors?
C: Favorite anime to binge watch?
KD: Cowboy Bebop (it never gets old)
C: It’s such a classic! That wraps up this interview, thank you so much for doing this.
KD: This was so much fun to do! Thank you for the opportunity. I really appreciate it.
There you have it folks, that’s my interview with Kathy of Capcom, USA. I’m hoping to do more interviews like this in the future with individuals within the gaming industry – to show there are hard working people that help to bring us what we love, behind the scenes.