The Itagaki-Tecmo pissing match may have hit a new level of animosity. 1Up, attributing only "word on the street," reports that as many as 36 key members of Team Ninja are walking, and preparing a class-action lawsuit against Tecmo regarding unpaid bonuses they were due for completed games.
Earlier this month Tomonobu Itagaki, who leads/led Team Ninja, announced his intention to quit Tecmo, effective July 1. In his announcement he was PO'd about a company decision not to pay bonuses on a completed game, so, chances are his comrades feel the same. Tecmo, for its part, says the bonus to Itagaki that is in dispute was approved by a previous management team, not the current one.
1Up also writes:
Another problem for Tecmo is that in Japan, any lawsuit filed against a publicly-traded company must be immediately reported to its shareholders on the same business day. The fact that Itagaki had actually filed a complaint against Tecmo in Tokyo District Court on May 14, but Tecmo management withheld this information from shareholders, possibly as late as when the notorious developer released his high-profile public statement on June 2, creates even bigger problems for the game publisher.
Of course Tecmo still owns Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive, and can hire developers to make all the games it wishes off of those franchises. But if this is true, it's absolutely a fair to wonder what they'll be like without, and how faithful they'd be to the gaming experience so many have come to expect to this point.