Shinji Mikami （三上 真司 Ｍｉｋａｍｉ Ｓｈｉｎｊｉ）, born in 1965, is a Japanese games designer best known for creating the Resident Evil franchise. Shinji Mikami was an external board member for PlatinumGames, as one of the founders of SEEDS Inc, and a former employee of Capcom and Clover Studio. He currently works at Tango Gameworks, the developers for The Evil Within.
Shinji Mikami originally graducated from Doshisha University where he studied merchandising, he joined Capcom in 1990. His first title at Capcom was a quiz game released for the Game Boy named Capcom Quiz: Hatane? no Daibōken, which took over three months for it be be developed. He later worked on Disney-licensed games, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Aladdin and Goof Troop; and an F1 racing game named Super Lap, which was canceled eight months in to development.
Soon after Goof Troop was released, Mikami began development on a horror game for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn set in a condemned mansion. The finished game was Biohazard, an action-adventure game which combined 3D polygonal characters and objects. The game was retitled Resident Evil during its English localization under Capcom USA's suggestion and was released in Japan and North America on the 22nd March 1996 and became one of the PlayStation's first popular titles.
Resident Evil was largely successful and also led to a series of Resident Evil films. Shinji Mikami had creative control over the screenplay and script of the first movie, being called a creative consultant. Screen Gems had Shinji in this position to make sure the films didn't differ too much from the games. He then dropped out of the later movies because he believed that the movies were heading in the right direction.
After the success of Resident Evil, Mikami was promoted from planner to producer, becoming more involved in the business side of the company. As producer, he oversaw the development of the Resident Evil's sequel, Resident Evil 2, he later oversaw the development of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and also directed another survival horror title Dino Crisis, both of which were released in 1999.
Mikami has revealed that he formed a private development studio called Straight Story in 2006, shortly before the fall of Clover Studio which was dissolved in 2007. The name of the studio is taken from a 1999 David Lynch film. Their works are under the PlatinumGames brand name and he was a contract employee and external board member of PlatinumGames. He also collaborated with Grasshopper Manufacture's Goichi Suda on Shadows of the Damned. After the release of Vanquish, Straight Story was shut down. Straight Story was later replaced with Mikami's new studio, Tango Gameworks, which has already been established and is currently working on The Evil Within.
Shinji Mikami has said that he created the first Resident Evil game in response to his disappointment with Zombie, a gory 1979 film by Italian director Lucio Fulci. Mikami was determined to make a game with none of the problems of the movie.