Itagaki leaves Team Ninja, suing for damages

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by The Teej, Jun 3, 2008.

Jun 3, 2008
  1. The Teej
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    Former Staff The Teej Also known as The Tjalian

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    Itagaki Leaving Team Ninja, Suing Tecmo

    Last month, Team Ninja head and Ninja Gaiden director Tomonobu Itagaki suggested in an interview that he would be done with the franchise after the upcoming release of Ninja Gaiden 2. On Monday night we received a clearer picture of just what he meant with the announcement that Itagaki is leaving Team Ninja and suing Tecmo.

    1UP received the following confirmation of this news from Itagaki aide Andrew Szymanski:

    "At approximately 2:30 PM Japan Standard Time today, June 3 2008, an official statement from Tomonobu Itagaki was sent by fax to major Japanese news outlets. In the interest of fair and expedient reporting of this story throughout the English-speaking world, I have been asked by Itagaki to convey this statement to you. Herein find attached Itagaki's official statement, in English, for the benefit of your readers.

    "...You will likely have questions regarding the content of the statement, or about Itagaki's future plans. I am afraid that I will be unable to answer such questions for the time being; however, rest assured that more information will be forthcoming as soon as it is deemed appropriate to do so."


    The full text of the letter from Itagaki follows:

    "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."

    In addition to the allegations made in the letter, we've heard rumblings that Itagaki believes that Yasuda has focused too much on making a profit without a regard for quality. While Itagaki's official announcement does not point to any specific releases, recent Tecmo ports such as Rygar for the Wii and Ninja Gaiden Sigma for the PS3 are possible targets of Itagaki's anger, which would also explain recent interviews where Itagaki has been especially negative toward Sigma and has said that a PS3 port of Ninja Gaiden 2 would not be good. We've even heard rumors that Yasuda wanted to port Ninja Gaiden Sigma (a PS3 port of a rerelease of an Xbox title) to the Xbox 360 before he was talked out of it by Itagaki and others at Tecmo.

    In the same interview we linked to above, Itagaki mentions that he intends for his next game to be "a brand new action game" that will be violent like Ninja Gaiden. It's safe to assume that this game will not be with Tecmo and probably that Itagaki knew that already when he started discussing it. We cannot speculate further as to what Itagaki might be up to next, but considering the timing, there's clearly some very bad blood between Itagaki and Tecmo. The outspoken game maker waited until the evening before Ninja Gaiden 2's release to make this announcement, which is sure to leave a slightly bitter taste in the mouths of many fans picking up their next dose of blood-soaked action.

    We'll update with further details on Itagaki's departure and lawsuit as they are uncovered.

    Source: Joystiq

    All I can say is... wow. I had no idea this was all going on. I honestly though he stopped doing NG because he felt he couldn't push the series further.
     


  2. Urza

    Member Urza hi

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    [​IMG]

    He will be missed.
     
  3. T-hug

    Chief Editor T-hug Always like this.

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    Well that's a real shame I just hope M$ scoop him up and give him lots of cash to do what he wants [​IMG]
    Was only a few days ago I was reading he was working on new IP even bloodier than NG..
     
  4. skarthebloodchild

    Member skarthebloodchild Keep It Old School

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    It's all about money.
    I hope he will be back with a new company and game.
     
  5. NeSchn

    Member NeSchn GBAPimpdaddy.

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    Oh Noes... Thats pretty poopie.

    People and their money...
     
  6. The Teej
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    Former Staff The Teej Also known as The Tjalian

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    It's not just about the money though, it's about respect. The president was slagging Itagaki off behind his back, which is totally uncool.
     
  7. Anakir

    Member Anakir Project: Melee

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    Aw. Ninja Gaiden is like.. one of the few games I actually finished and really liked for the DS.
     
  8. TanookiSuit

    Member TanookiSuit Game Reviewer/Writer -- formerly Vampire Hunter D

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    It's not just about the money persay. It's about not honoring a contracted agreement to pay up a bonus so he was everywhere already within bounds to sue the turd, the whole talking crap and making him look dishonorable to other associates was just some icing. I hope he gets in this case everything he wants to thoroughly embarrass tecmo.
     
  9. WeaponXxX

    Member WeaponXxX Too F'in Blonde

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    I like his games, I'd say boycott the Tecmo but with Crimson Butterfly coming to the Wii I know I can't make that promise [​IMG]

    It is a shame really, the interviews I have read from Itagaki made me impressed with the way he develops his games.
     
  10. leonheart_a

    Member leonheart_a GBAtemp Fan

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    Ahh crap, that really does suck. I really like the franchise. Who would of thought all this was happening behind the scenes, huh?

    Well good luck to him lets hope he can make an even better game in the future [​IMG]
     
  11. TanookiSuit

    Member TanookiSuit Game Reviewer/Writer -- formerly Vampire Hunter D

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    Oh come now, you have options. You like me want to punish companies when they're bad. This is that opportune time to pick up a used game. Save a few dollars, and if the other owner wasn't a jackass it'll be just like new.

    After the horrendous crap Capcom and Ubisoft have been pulling in relation to Wii I won't be supporting them for the time being, maybe at all now, so for those games I do want I'm looking for used so they don't get a goddamn cent as I'm not going to help them bankroll uses, shovelware, using Wii to bankroll better than B/C rated games, their public attitude problems, etc.
     
  12. Mewgia

    Member Mewgia drifter

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    step 1: mod Wii
    step 2: download Crimson Butterfly when it is released
    step 3: burn the iso onto a DVD
    Congrats! You can now play the game without supporting the company!
     
  13. sfunk

    Member sfunk GBAtemp Regular

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    Now what's so bad about what Capcom is doing to the Wii? I thought that out of all the third parties they're the ones doing the most to do something for the system. Zack and Wiki was pretty good and I thoroughly enjoyed Resident Evil:Umbrella Chronicles. Resident Evil 4, while a port, was still a very well done port and Okami is a great game, although you might not be amused by the removal of the credits (I was kind of angered by that too but I've never had a PS2, so this was my chance to play the game). I also know a lot of people are looking forward to Monster Hunter 3 AND they also just announced a new IP for the Wii called Spyborgs (looks kind of shitty though, just not shovelware shitty. It's supposed to be humourous, we'll see if that's the case). All of this points to them at least trying, which is more than we can say for most third party Wii games.

    Ubisoft on the other hand is unforgivable on the treatment they've been giving the Wii.
     
  14. ojsinnerz.

    Member ojsinnerz. Damned

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    Fuck you Tecmo! I wanted to play DOA 5.......

    There leaves the legendary man.... You will not be forgotten, Tomonobu Itagaki.
     
  15. WeaponXxX

    Member WeaponXxX Too F'in Blonde

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    @ The above two posters
    I could do either option however I feel once I do mod my Wii supporting devlopers would be much tougher as I like money. I have really put a lot of thought into my collection and it is a shame to see two games:
    No More Heroes and Zack And Wiki which I paid $49.99 for drop to $29.99 meanwhile ExiteTruck is still $49.99...same price it was at launch.

    Pirating or buying Crimson Butterfly used is a blow to Tecmo but it is also a blow to Keisuke Kikuchi...and sure I don't know much about the guy but I enjoyed the other Crimson Butterflys...and the bigger blow I believe is Suda 51 is working inconjunction on the Crimson Butterfly Wii game.

    Playing No More Heroes I really really wish Suda could have gotten more WOW...I mean the game has flaws but it has fucking originality dripping out of the eyes, ears, mouth, nose and asshole.
     
  16. sfunk

    Member sfunk GBAtemp Regular

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    Someone really needs to explain to me how video game sales work. Developers are salaried (I think) so how do video game sales (successes or failures) affect them? Does it just crush any hopes for future projects along similar lines?

    If this is the case then I don't feel cheated for buying Zack and Wiki on day one as me buying early tried to indicate that this is a game worth having. It having a price drop just indicates that it has been deemed failure, meaning my effort wasn't successful but I can at least say that I tried to have my opinion heard through my money. While I like my money too, I also like video games and I would like to see video games developed that pertain to my interests; not just guaranteed blockbusters that I tend to find boring (Final Fantasies, GTAs, FPSes). If buying games with uncertain futures is my only outlet to do so, then so be it; I will run the risk of losing some money in order to support these ideals.

    On the other hand, if I'm mistaken about the structure of video game sales and I was just cheated out of $20 dollars for no good reason, then I'm a little more disappointed [​IMG].

    I knew No More Heroes wasn't my sort of game so I bought that after the price drop. I was right, it wasn't, but, I am still glad to have it in my collection because it definitely is a very original and creative game.

    Edit: Heh, on a second reading I guess I realize I'm kind of a hypocrite. If I really supported original gaming then I'd have bought No More Heroes on day one just to show my support for creativity. Now I'm starting to feel a little bad [​IMG].
     
  17. Prophet

    Member Prophet Resident Black Militant

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    I assume there is some sort of royalties connected to certain developers. Most developers might not receive royalties for the sales of their games but the bigger ones such as Itagaki might. Ofcourse a man like Hideo Komjima is entitled to royalties from Metal gear solid sales, but he ofcourse owns a lot of the production too.
     
  18. CockroachMan

    Member CockroachMan Scribbling around GBATemp's kitchen.

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    I never liked Dead or Alive anyway [​IMG]

    Will miss Ninja Gaiden though :/

    Well, I'm sure that he will continue doing a great work in any other company. He should have hundreds of proposals by other companies by now
     
  19. gacktgacktgackt

    Member gacktgacktgackt GBAtemp Regular

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    Hopefully Itagaki will get a new job elsewhere...

    Unfortunately, with the way Japanese developers and companies run, I doubt they'll be jumping at the chance to hire someone who just quit their job and is suing the company.

    I say he should start his own studio, or team up with Suda51
     
  20. TanookiSuit

    Member TanookiSuit Game Reviewer/Writer -- formerly Vampire Hunter D

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    SFUNK
    To try and answer your questions...
    On Capcom... Basically go find a website or whatever that shows up and coming games from Capcom for the Wii and DS vs the PS3/360/PSP ...and also hit retail(gamestop.com is helpful as it has publisher search) and see what does exist now.

    Do you for starters notice the types of games they're targetting between the two outside of some ports(RE4 Wii) and safe bets (Phoenix Wright, RE Umbrella Chronicles)? They're giving all their established franchise stuff, even things that could work on the Wii well to anything other than Nintendo and I think it's sick. Yes some games really do require HD, I get that, but when stuff like Street Fighter IV which they admitted would work on the Wii, just that they'd have to resample the visuals into non-HD sized pieces that's bad. What makes it worse is their own sales data shows their SF series titles sold a lot more copies on the virtual console so there's a good sized base. Mind you there's plenty more but I'm using this recent one as example. yes I think it was nice they gave zack and wiki to the Wii, but you could argue they were targetting the 'kiddy' market or at least the laid back non 'core' types.

    Also with capcom you can go back 10 years with slaps they've done on the console front. With the N64 they bailed after making promises just to show up at the end of there with 2 ports (RE2 and MMLegends) making a promise if they sold well they'd really do the goods on Cube. They appeared to do that with the 'Capcom 5' but in the 2nd we got the Capcom 1 1/2 with PN03 and then RE4 the so-called exclusive. They delayed the hell out of it knowing PS2 would get more cash for them, then two weeks pre-GC launch they announce the PS2 copy with more modes, more gear, more everything and hosed some GC sales.

    That's my beef...they're twofaced and dishonest, they try to pigeonhole stuff with in many cases no good reason just stupid excuses. Yah I seem bitter a bit, but I used to respect them second to none other than Nintendo back in the 8 and 16bit days...same with Konami. That's why I was mad and said screw them, buy used as they don't deserve cash on B-C level games so they can fund AAA stuff on other hardware as it's slimy and wrong.
     

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