[email protected] Game Series Director Akihiro Ishihara Leaves Bandai Namco

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Director of 10-year-old idol management game series said he resigned from company amicably

The [email protected] game series director Akihiro Ishihara (often credited in the games as Director 1 or Dire1) announced on the game series' official website on Monday that he left Bandai Namco Entertainment on January 31. He clarified that his resignation wasn't due to a reprimand, quarrel, scandal, or his dissatisfaction with the company, nor a health-related issue, but a decision he made himself. He further explained that there was no single reason for his resignation, but an important reason was that he "wants to see his ideal IP (intellectual property)."

He thanked the game series' fans for their support, and said he hopes that they will continue to support the series even without him.

A letter by Bandai Namco Entertainment producer Yozo Sakagami on the same site noted that the company has raised a number of individuals who can succeed in directing the series.

The [email protected] series casts players into the role of a producer of an idol management agency, and tasks them with training and improving the performance of their idols. Ishihara directed the original 2005 The [email protected] arcade game, and directed most of the various incarnations of the game on arcades, consoles, and smartphones. Bandai Namco Entertainment recently revealed details on The [email protected]: Platinum Stars, the newest game in the series, which will debut this year for the PlayStation 4.

The first game in the franchise inspired Sunrise's 2007 loose television anime adaptation that Sentai Filmworks licensed for North America. The game franchise then spawned A-1 Pictures' more direct adaptation that included a 2011 television anime series, several original video anime, and a 2014 anime film, THE [email protected] MOVIE: Kagayaki no Mukōgawa e! (pictured left). Crunchyroll streamed A-1 Pictures' television series as it aired in Japan.

The spinoff game The [email protected] Cinderella Girls launched its second anime season last year.

[Via Hachima Kikō]

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