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From Ninja To Viking: Tomonobu Itagaki Speaks
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From Ninja To Viking: Tomonobu Itagaki Speaks

July 25, 2011 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

We've been seeing so many of the top Japanese creators flee from Japanese publishers. At this point only Kojima is really at a company. We recently saw Inafune leave Capcom. What do you think of that situation, and why is it happening?

TI: They have their own situations, so I can't really say. Kojima-san's thoughts are Kojima-san's own. Mikami-san, Inafune-san, and a lot of other guys are going independent. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Japanese game development companies have the problems that I described earlier. Maybe they're saying, "Well, I can't deal with this anymore." Those who have confidence in themselves, they can go out and explore their own world.

But I'm not badmouthing the companies that they left. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that might be what they experienced.

This is an important point I want to add. Mikami-san left Capcom, but he's still on very good terms with the owner of that company. They're friends still.

And I'm also still on good terms with the Tecmo owner, as well, so it's not that we just left. It's just that they tried to stop me as well, but they understood that it had to happen -- well, I wanted to do something. There's always something you want to do, and then you go. That's what happened.

Inafune said the same thing that you said about management, that they just don't understand games.

TI: There tends to be many of those people. I like Capcom's management. Tsujimoto-san is wonderful.

If you look at any Japanese publisher, I think they're the one who have done the best lately in terms of technology, finding an audience globally, that kind of thing.

TI: Maybe so.

You talked about how in America you can find people who understand more about games in management positions. Is that what you look for in the company that you want to partner with? Is it a person who you can relate to, speak to? Who understands what you're working on?

TI: First of all, yes. Of course. If that's not the case, who is going to eat it? The gamers. They're the ones who suffer.

Absolutely, and when decisions are made strictly from a business perspective, in a creative medium, you end up with stuff that doesn't push any boundaries.

TI: Right, exactly. In Japan, in this industry, they are lacking not just in technology, but the important thing is the creativity and ingenuity. They're lacking in that. So they complain a lot, they say a lot, but then they don't take action. So before they say anything bad or complain -- "Do something!" is what I want to say.

Devil's Third

With Dead or Alive you wanted to challenge the best fighting games, with Ninja Gaiden, challenge the best action games. I can only assume your philosophy is the same this time around.

TI: You already know the answer.

Yes, I do.

TI: That's how it is.

Your games always have a real sense of physicality in the way the characters react to each other, and to the enemies. I can see that you want to bring that to Devil's Third in a way that we don't see in these kinds of action games so much.

TI: Of course that's how it's going to be. That's my raison d'être.

To answer your earlier question, yeah, I told you that you already know the answer, right? Well, I will do everything I can to achieve that, okay? And to make the best fighting game, it took a long time to do that, but I think I made it. So to make the best game in this genre now, I might take a long time, but I know I'm going to do it.

So you have a single focus. You know that's your goal. You have one goal that you aim at and that's how you approach game development?

TI: Yes. I'll be the first one to go and attack. We're a military force.

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