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Tomonobu Itagaki establishes new studio

Itagaki Games will mark the director's return to game development after four years teaching

Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden director Tomonobu Itagaki announced the creation of his new studio, Itagaki Games.

He made the announcement on his Facebook page, sharing previously unpublished extracts of an interview he did with Bloomberg. He explained that he's been teaching game development for the past four years but now wants to make games again and just "established a company for that purpose."

He didn't reveal much details about his new studio, apart from clarifying that it's completely separate from previous employers Tecmo and Devil's Third developer Valhalla.

Considering Itagaki's close links with Microsoft -- his Ninja Gaiden games were Xbox exclusives -- Bloomberg asked him how he'd react if he was approached to become a Microsoft studio. He replied: "If they reach out to me, it will be an honor for me."

After the release of Ninja Gaiden II on Xbox 360 in 2008, Itagaki resigned and filed a lawsuit against Tecmo's president Yoshimi Yasuda over unpaid bonuses.

He then co-founded Valhalla Game Studios, before stepping down in 2017 to focus on fostering young developers.

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Marie Dealessandri

Features Editor

Marie Dealessandri joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016 at B2B magazine MCV. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack.