Tomonobu Itagaki is leaving Tecmo and suing the company for unpaid bonuses. The Dead or Alive creator cites an unfulfilled Dead or Alive 4 completion bonus, stating, "President Yoshimi Yasuda chose not only to violate this agreement, but also turned defiant, telling me 'if you are dissatisfied with the decision not to pay the bonuses, either quit the company or sue it.'"
Tomonobu Itagaki's translator Andrew Szymanski contacted Kotaku, telling us, "At approximately 2:30 PM Japan Standard Time today, June 3rd 2008, an official statement from Tomonobu Itagaki was sent by fax to major Japanese news outlets. In the interest of fair and expedient reporting of this story throughout the English-speaking world, I have been asked by Itagaki to convey this statement to you. Herein find attached Itagaki's official statement, in English, for the benefit of your readers."
What does this mean for Itagaki's future? Szymanski does not know, adding, "You will likely have questions regarding the content of the statement, or about Itagaki's future plans. I am afraid that I will be unable to answer such questions for the time being; however, rest assured that more information will be forthcoming as soon as it is deemed appropriate to do so." Quitting Tecmo (and suing it) means the chances of Itagaki making Dead or Alive 5 are more dead than alive. Guess he wasn't kidding when he said Ninja Gaiden II would be his Ninja Gaiden swan song. Hit the jump for Itagaki's full statement.