Famitsu Magazine have been speaking to Tomonobu Itagaki, in their latest issue the ex Team Ninja boss confirms he's now working as "C.T.O" at "Valhalla Game Studios", a development house set up by former Tecmo employee, Satoru Kanematsu. Itagaki-san will oversee the companies game development division.
Itagaki told the magazine he ultimately left Team Ninja in order to gain greater creative freedom elsewhere, and so that he could focus more on game design itself, rather than wasting time on the business side of things, which he feels can impact a games development negatively:
“I think success in games comes when you satisfy all three pieces of the game business,” he said, “the players, the developers, and the links between them – the retail and media people. I’ve been making games for nearly 20 years and I’ve done that maybe two or three times.“It’s definitely hard, but it’s not impossible – all three groups are there for the games, after all.""The thing is that I think the Japanese industry has made achieving that all but impossible these days. There’s an equation you can use to satisfy all three groups, but once money enters the picture, you start neglecting the things that’re most important and the equation winds up unsolvable. My friends and I went independent because we were wasting our time wrangling with issues like that.”
Itagaki also went into more detail about the set up at Valhalla:
“Valhalla is about 50 people right now,” “That may expand a bit, but it’s not going to be a 100-person company. Fifty people working for two years can produce something better than 100 people working for one year: 100 times one and 50 times two may produce the same number, but not in creative businesses like this one."
“I know nobody means any harm by it, but publicly-traded companies have to prove their worth to the stock market on a year-by-year basis, and that means they can’t focus all-out on quality. We’re creators here; we like making things more than doing math.”
Famitsu naturally tried to squeeze him for details on his upcoming game also. Valhalla's C.T.O was asked if his new game will be announced formally soon, Itagaki-san replied with:
"At this stage, I cannot say. However, I believe the game I'm making now will be a little bit like nothing anyone has ever seen."
When pressed to give some details about the game, he replied with the following, shirking the request:
"If you ask who I've been developing for, it's for Earthlings."
He was then asked if he could reveal the platform or platforms, at the very least:
"There could new hardware released in the future. Also, not just consoles -- I'm interested in PC's also."
When asked how many copies he aims to sell of this game, he replied by saying:
"The highest selling of the games I've made is Dead or Alive 3". "It was 2 million. So, this time, I'd like to make a game that can be played by, at the very least, 4 million people. I mean, there are people who make games that sell 10 million units, so 4 million isn't that reckless a number."
Itagaki was also asked if he plans on making a new fighting game in the future, Itagaki replied with:
"At my previous company, I made the best fighting game in the world, Dead or Alive. Fighting games have once again reached a dead end, although to be honest, if there was no Dead or Alive, fighting games would have ended a long time ago."
Haha, I think he's trying to wind up a few people with that nonsense statement :)
Thanks to VG247