Itagaki Didn't Leave Tecmo, He Was Fired

This morning about 10:00 a.m. Tokyo Time, the second round of oral arguments for the Itagaki vs. Tecmo case commenced. As we broke early last month, Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki left Tecmo and filed suit for unpaid bonuses. As Itagaki stated then, "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.'"

In a statement Itagaki released today, he has now increased his claim for damages against Tecmo from the previously announced figure of 148,000,000 yen to 164,000,095 yen. In American money, that's an increase from $1.38 million to $1.53 million. The reason for the increase is due to new developments in the case Itagaki revealed today.

In the statement Itagaki released in early June, he announced that he would be leaving Tecmo on July 1st. However, today it came to light that Itagaki was actually fired from Tecmo on June 18th — only weeks after he announced the suit. It's obviously possible to assume this termination was in retaliation to the lawsuit over bonuses he claimed he deserved. What's more, this preemptive act on Tecmo's part could also be seen as a way for the company to get out of paying Itagaki his fixed summer bonus and yearly incentives. According to Itagaki's statement released today, those were to be paid on June 30th. They of course were not.

Apparently, no reason was given for Itagaki's termination, and according to him, he was "terminated without reasonable cause." The claim increase Itagaki is asking for simply reflects the wages he should have earned at the end of this June had he not been fired by the company. Under Japanese law, Itagaki can also claim 14.6 percent per year back interest for the Dead or Alive 4 unpaid wages and bonuses. Itagaki has said he plans to do so.