Tomonobu Itagaki leaving Tecmo

Written by Joe Martin

June 3, 2008 | 09:14

Tags: #itagaki #legal #ninja

Companies: #japan

Tomonobu Itagaki, creator and leader of Tecmo's Team Ninja, has revealed in a rather shocking announcement that he is resigning from long-time employer Tecmo - and that he plans to sue the company as well.

Itagaki, who was the famed creator of the Dead or Alive beat-em-up series and lead designer on the recent Ninja Gaiden games, issued a statement to the press just as the Xbox 360 exclusive version of Ninja Gaiden 2 launches in the US.

Itagaki had previously admitted that he was less that pleased with some of his past work with Tecmo, including the PS3 exclusive Ninja Gaiden Sigma, which Itagaki described as being 'no good'.

As well as resigning from the company - where he started as a graphics programmer in 1993 - Itagaki has announced his intention to sue the game developer where he had until this morning sat on the board of directors. Itagaki is reportedly seeking 148 million yen (1.5m USD) in damages from a court case against Tecmo president Yoshimi Yasuda.

It is alleged that Yasuda refused to pay Itagaki bonuses he had been promised previously and "made demeaning remarks" about him to other Tecmo employees, which resulted in "significant emotional distress" and "worsening [of his] personal relationships and work environment."

In his statement, Itagaki confirmed that he will not be involved with any future Ninja Gaiden or Dead or Alive titles, as the rights to both franchises are retained by Tecmo.

What do you reckon to the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series'? Let us know in the forums.
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