Tomonobu Itagaki Leaving Team Ninja; Suing Tecmo
When Tomonobu Itagaki announced last month that Ninja Gaiden II would be his “swan song” for the series, may speculated that the infamous mastermind behind the series was talking just to hear himself as usual and did not take much stock his words. Yesterday though, he announced that he was leaving Team Ninja which seemed to give credence to his previous statement.
Today however, we have learned that not only is he in fact leaving Team Ninja, but he is suing Tecmo for unpaid completion bonuses. Here is the fully monty via Itagaki’s own mouth:
“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
There ya have it – straight from the horse’s mouth. Much speculation as to where he is headed next is expanding across the internet like John Goodman’s waist line, but as soon as something more is announced we will be sure to inform you.
Meanwhile, the demo for Ninja Gaiden II should be up on XBL later on as it is already available in Europe – so if you are a Ninja Gaiden fan you better get your fix now because this is the last time you will get to walk in Ryu’s stealthy footsteps.