Itagaki Making Game For Earthlings In Valhalla Game Studios

#1 Edited by Linkyshinks (11407 posts) -


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
#2 Posted by Whisperkill (3046 posts) -

Dead or Alive is the best fighting game in the world? 

#3 Posted by PenguinDust (12763 posts) -

So, what happened to Itagaki's Tokyo Vikings development studio?  Weren't they working on something.  I'm pretty sure I read in one of the various James Meike/Itagaki interviews over on that there was something brewing in the stew pot. 
Also, Famitsu needed to ask the tough questions...will there be boobies in the new game and will they bounce?

#4 Posted by sixghost (1716 posts) -

Man this guy is delusional.

#5 Posted by PenguinDust (12763 posts) -
@Linkyshinks:   Ah, that makes sense.  Vikings...Valhalla, I get it. 
#6 Posted by Fripplebubby (1050 posts) -

Honestly, I find it a bit odd that he specified that he wanted 4 million sales. That's pretty weird and bottom-line-ish I say. We don't know what the game is, when the game is, what platform the game is on, but we do know he wants 4 million sold. Excellent. 

#7 Posted by Eelcire (398 posts) -

Ah, so that's what happened with his 'Tokyo Vikings' studio. Either way it sounds like they've been busy for awhile so hopefully he'll have something to show soon (E3?). I'm fairly certain that the game will be on the Xbox 360 at the very least, and with a smaller studio it is hard to say if it'll be multi-platform. Perhaps whatever publisher picks it up will port it (ala Bayonetta, but hopefully do a better job).
And I also think many people confuse his PR persona with how he actually is. Itagaki likes to get a rise out of people, and is good at it through the media; from what I've read as a developer/director he is actually really nice to work with. I certainly get a kick out of his interviews :D

#8 Posted by VanderSEXXX (564 posts) -

"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."

Ummm..... yeah I may agree with alot of his other statements. But this? ....... :l I think that statement would fit more if he gave that credit to Ninja Gaiden since to me (or many atleast) thats where he really delivered making the best challenging and balanced hardcore action game.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.