And he wants to make games again.
Tomonobu Itagaki has established a new video game studio, he’s said.
In a post on Facebook, the famed Japanese developer said he recently founded Itagaki Games. This is not Tecmo, nor is it Valhalla, Itagaki said.
Itagaki, of Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden fame, revealed the news as part of a self-published Q&A interview between himself and Bloomberg that didn’t make the cut for a January article on the original Xbox.
Itagaki has a long history of working with Microsoft. While at Tecmo, Itagaki directed OG Xbox launch title Dead or Alive 3, 2003 OG Xbox exclusive Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, and 2004 Xbox exclusive Ninja Gaiden. A reworded version of the latter, Ninja Gaiden Black, came out exclusively on the Xbox in 2005.
Itagaki then directed 2005 Xbox 360 exclusive Dead or Alive 4, 2006 Xbox 360 exclusive Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, and 2008 Xbox 360 exclusive Ninja Gaiden 2.
After Itagaki left Tecmo in 2008 he founded Valhalla Game Studios and, in 2015, released the poorly-received Devil’s Third for the Wii U.
Itagaki said he’s spent the past four years teaching, “but now I feel like I want to make a game again and just established a company for that purpose.”
Itagaki was asked how he’d react if Microsoft expressed interest in buying this new studio.
“I know Microsoft is still aggressive,” he replied. “If they reach out to me, it will be an honour for me.”