Dead Or Alive creator names new studio after himself

It’s been over five years since Ninja Gaiden director Tomonobu Itagaki has decided to make a new game at a newly formed studio.

Tomonobu Itagaki, creator of Tecmo’s Dead Or Alive franchise, has decided to re-enter game development and has set up a new studio to do just that.

Simply named Itagaki Games, the director/designer has made it clear that it has no relation to Tecmo, his former employer, or Valhalla Games, another studio he formed back in 2008 and later stepped down from in 2017.

The announcement was made via his Facebook page, where he shared an interview he had with Bloomberg about the Xbox’s 20th anniversary.

According to Itagaki, his excerpt had to be cut from the final article due to character limitations, but Bloomberg gave him permission to post it on Facebook.

While on the topic of Microsoft, he talked about his overall positive relationship with the company and even suggested he’d be open to his studio being bought out by Microsoft, referencing its open desire to acquire more studios, especially in Japan.

‘I would start again with questions that I made to Seamus [Blackley] two decades ago. Back then, I asked him, are you confident that you will beat [PlayStation 2]? He said yes. Xbox is called ‘Project Midway’ and I’ll gain the supremacy with it. That’s why I trusted him and actually created Xbox-exclusive games for about 10 years.

‘I know Microsoft is still aggressive. If they reach out to me, it will be an honour for me.’

Though Itagaki is known for his work on Dead Or Alive and helping revive to the Ninja Gaiden franchise in 2004, he’s also a rather infamous figure within the industry.

He and Tecmo had a very public falling out right before the release of Ninja Gaiden 2, with Itagaki accusing the company of unpaid bonuses and even suing Tecmo over it.

His next game, Devil’s Third (which is so far Valhalla Games’ only release), was a Wii U exclusive in 2015 and was met with dire reviews (we called it ‘staggeringly inept on almost every level’).

In a post-launch interview with Polygon, Itagaki made the bizarre claim that a lot of the negative reviews only came from people chasing clout and that Nintendo should’ve put a stop it.

‘This is my assumption, but one person wrote a negative review and [Nintendo of America] didn’t do anything to stop or change the review, so others followed suit. So I don’t really believe that the reviews were credible.’

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