Tecmo Stays Mum on Itagaki Departure

Illustration for article titled Tecmo Stays Mum on Itagaki Departure

Late last night Tomonobu Itagaki's translator Andrew Szymanski contacted Kotaku to tell us that the famed producer of Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden was leaving Tecmo and suing the company for unpaid bonus.


He blamed his departure on President Yoshimi Yasuda, saying that Yasuda told him that "if you are dissatisfied with the decision not to pay the bonuses, either quit the company or sue it." So Itagaki is doing both.

We contacted Tecmo last night and this morning for comment on the surprise departure and just received their mostly no-comment response:

"We're aware of the statement sent out to the press by Itagaki but do not have anything more to add at this time."

Requests for comment to Microsoft Japan and Microsoft have gone unanswered, but we'll be sure to keep you up to date as this story shakes out.

To read Itagaki's full statement to Kotaku hit up the link.

Itagaki Leaving Tecmo, Suing Tecmo [Kotaku]



If the guy is really as much of a tyrant as he comes across as, Team Ninja isn't going anywhere. They're not going to be following him out the door. It wouldn't surprise me if they're all kicking back and having a little celebration right now.

Also, my guess is the reason Tecmo thought they could get away with this hard line with him is that there's still a stigma attached to quitting a job in Japan. Itagaki can do it, but a random staffer on Team Ninja is not going to want to face that uncertainty - even if they're promised a job in some future Itagaki-led studio. Japan is still a country where most people feel loyalty to their company. And one of the effects of that is that companies also don't just hire anyone off the street, so if any job with a potential new studio fell through, it would be very difficult for a former Team Ninja staffer to find a place elsewhere.

Given that, I doubt this is going to affect a whole lot. Team Ninja will stay mostly intact, and they'll get some new producer in for DOA and Ninja Gaiden. Who knows, maybe it'll finally get some life injected back into these series - DOA was more than a little stale, and the last couple Ninja Gaiden games weren't really anything you'd call innovative.