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Tomonobu Itagaki discusses new studio, game plans

March 3, 2010

Have you wondered where and what Tomonobu Itagaki has been up to for the past two years? No? Me neither. However, after two years of working on new game concepts, taking photographs and building model-train layouts, Itagaki “figured it was time to get back to games, my main line of work” he said to Famitsu, a Japanese gaming magazine.

In the interview, the first Itagaki has given to Japanese press in two years according to, he announced the name of his new studio, but we will still have to wait for any concrete details on what they’re working.

Valhalla Studios is the name, and 50 people is how many they’ve got on deck for whatever it is they’re working on. Itagaki said that number may expand but it may not go up to 100 people.

50 people working for two years can produce something better than 100 people working for one year. 100 times 1 and 50 times 2 may produce the same number, but not in creative businesses like this one.

Satoshi Kanematsu, a friend of Itagaki’s from Tecmo,will run the studio, and Itagaki will serve as Chief Technical Officer according to Kotaku. Kanemtasu is responsible for franchises such as Monster Hunter and Rygar, according to 1UP.

Itagaki guaranteed that whatever they are making won’t be a fighting game.

I already made Dead or Alive, the best fighting game in the world, in my last company. Trying to compete against my own daughter wouldn’t be worth the fight.

I suppose it won’t be another two years before we even get a glance at Valhalla’s first game.

Itagaki left Team Ninja, the development studio responsible for the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive games, after he filed a complaint to Tokyo District Court against Tecmo on the grounds of unpaid completion bonuses. He also filed against Tecmo’s president, Yoshimi Yasuda, for “unlawful acts as unreasonable and disingenuous statements made towards me,” according to a letter Itagaki released to the press in June of 2008. He claimed damages in total of 148 million yen, about 1.6 million dollars.

But, again, that was two years ago. Let’s move on and get to those bouncy, jiggling ninjas.

[Thanks 1UP and Kotaku for the heads up.]

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