Following his falling out with publisher Tecmo relating to broken completion bonus agreements for Dead or Alive 4, former Team Ninja leader Tomonobu Itagaki has formed his own studio according to a new interview with 1UP.
Even more exciting with this news, then, is the revelation at least 22 former employees of the studio ("enough people to make an American football team", they say) are now ready to work at the new studio, tenatively and jokingly named "Tokyo Vikings", seemingly after an amateur Japanese football team. Happily, "all of the leads and directors and such" from Team NINJA have moved to the new outlet.
Former art director for the Dead or Alive (DoA) and Gaiden series' Hiroaki Matsui, who is onboard, states simply, "I wanted to get into an environment where I can really concentrate on making games I like. So we made our own company to do just that."
While Tecmo owns the rights to DoA and Ninja Gaiden, we expect nevertheless this new formation to produce some excellent work -- already in the making is an altogether new title that will not be in the fighting genre, though members of the Virtua Fighter 5 team are involved now. Itagaki says, "It'd be more fun if we made something new, right?"