Tomonobu Itagaki Resigns as Representative Director of Valhalla Game Studios
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Game developer Valhalla Game Studios announced on Thursday that Tomonobu Itagaki is resigning from his position as Representative Director and Chief Technical Officer of the company, and will take a new position as Prime Advisor. The announcement cited personal reasons for his resignation, but Itagaki elaborated his reasons for the resignation.
Itagaki noted that he celebrated his 50th birthday on April 1, and that with that milestone, he plans to contribute as much as he can to the game industry as a whole, and not just for himself and his company. He will continue to work with Valhalla Game Studios to support its staff.
Itagaki joined Tecmo (later KOEI Tecmo) in 1992 as a programmer. At Tecmo, he would launch perhaps his best known series, the 3D fighting game series Dead or Alive, the first installment of which debuted in 1996. The series spawned four sequels (although Itagaki only worked on the series until Dead or Alive 4), as well as spinoffs such as Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. He also developed the Ninja Gaiden series, based on Tecmo's NES game series of the same name. The first Ninja Gaiden game debuted in 2004, and it spawned two sequels in 2008 and 2012 (although Itagaki only worked on the first and second game in the series). Itagaki resigned from KOEI Tecmo just before the release of Ninja Gaiden II in 2008. He founded Valhalla Game Studios in 2009, and the developer released its first game, Devil's Third, in 2015 for the Wii U. A PC version titled Devil's Third Online launched in 2016.
Soleil — a Japanese game developer previously listed as a subsidiary of Valhalla Game Studios and with staff from Devil's Third — is developing the Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker video game.