Itagaki sues Tecmo…

3 min read

Tomonobu Itagaki

The messy business of gaming has reared it’s ugly head again..

Tomonobu Itagaki, creator of the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series, has resigned from Tecmo and at the same time started a lawsuit against them.

Apparently the president of Tecmo refused to honour a previous agreement and instead told Itagaki to either quit or sue them… So he did both.

I know my wife is going to be upset at the news that there won’t be a Dead or Alive 5 anytime soon but I have to back Itagaki in his actions…

Hopefully this doesn’t get to messy though…. Full press statement after the jump.

[Thanks to JimBob for the tip]


I, Tomonobu Itagaki, hereby announce that on the 14th of May 2008 I filed a complaint in the Tokyo District Court against Tecmo Co., Ltd. for unpaid completion bonuses, and against the President of Tecmo, Yoshimi Yasuda, for such unlawful acts as unreasonable and disingenuous statements made towards me, claiming damages in total of 148 million yen. I also announce that this complaint was delivered to the defendants on May 22nd of the same year.

In addition, I hereby announce that I have today submitted a letter of resignation to Tecmo Co., Ltd. stating that I will resign as of the 1st of July, 2008.

Before the start of development on DEAD OR ALIVE 4, Tecmo Co., Ltd. had agreed to pay a completion bonus to me for this Xbox 360 title, which I produced. However, when the time came for the actual payment, Tecmo Co., Ltd. went against its previous agreement and refused payment. 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 addition, he made demeaning remarks about me to my subordinates and colleagues, causing me significant emotional distress and worsening my personal relationships and work environment. Thus, I have no choice but to resign from Tecmo Co., Ltd.

The conduct of Tecmo Co., Ltd. and its president Yoshimi Yasuda towards me has been unbefitting of a publicly-listed company.

I have filed this lawsuit with a strong intent to question the social responsibility of Tecmo Co., Ltd. and its President Yoshimi Yasuda, as well as condemning them for their unjust acts. Today, in addition to announcing the reasons for this lawsuit, I make clear my reasons for resigning.

To All Game Fans

I truly feel sorry to all the fans of the games I have made. NINJA GAIDEN 2, which will launch on the 3rd of June will be the last NINJA GAIDEN I will create. I will also never be able to make DEAD OR ALIVE 5. I regret the circumstances that have forced me to leave Tecmo, where I had worked for so many years, and I regret the disappointment this will cause my fans.

However, I can no longer continue to work with President Yoshimi Yasuda, a man who chooses not to honor promises even when he is able to do so.

I truly hope that nothing like this happens again in the future.

Tecmo Co., Ltd. Creative Officer

Leader, Team NINJA

Tomonobu Itagaki

Last Updated: June 3, 2008

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • Miktar

    I have to wonder, really, if he was secretly unhappy but couldn’t say anything for political reasons, about the fact that he had to work with 8 year old technology to make Ninja Gaiden II and that’s why it’s full of technical flaws.

    Allegedly Tecmo couldn’t or wouldn’t invest the money to make a new engine. The engine is the same one they’ve been using since DoA2 and Xbox 1, just upgraded. That’s supposed to be why it’s breaking down in NGII. It can’t handle areas past a certain size, so there’s loading mid-fight, slowdown, framerate drops, etc.

    I’d be pretty hacked off if I was forced to keep reusing old tech that way.

  • Interesting.

    I wonder if Microsoft are going t osnap him up and give him his own studio?

    Hmm, here’s a thought, they should put him in Mistwalker. Imagine a combination of Lost Odyssey and Ninja Gaiden! Ten hours in, the game kicks your butt so hard it makes you restart out of spite and by the time you get there again your realise that it’s only the end of the first disc of 8.

    doobiwan’s last blog post..The Games that made the consoles

  • Miktar

    You win 10 internets for that idea. I approve!

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