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Castlevania maestro Koji Igarashi strikes out on his own

The developer most closely associated with the "metroidvania" genre has left Konami to found his own independent studio.
Today, Koji "IGA" Igarashi has announced that he is forming his own independent development studio and is hinting that he will make a game in the vein of his most popular works. In a statement released to the press, he has revealed that his last day with longtime employer Konami was March 15. He is in the process of creating a "small" studio. In a statement, Igarashi said, "I've decided to break out on my own to have the freedom to make the kind of games I really want to make -- the same kind I think fans of my past games want as well. "Leaving Konami was a big decision, and not one I took lightly -- I've spent my entire career there, made many friends, and had a lot of great opportunities -- but I hope all the gamers and fans who have supported me in the past will join me in being excited about what comes next. Wish me luck!” Igarashi released no further details. He came to fame as the producer of the Castlevania series after joining it during development of Symphony of the Night, the 1997 PlayStation classic. He is best-known for producing games in the exportation-based "metroidvania" style, but has not worked on the franchise since 2010's downloadable multiplayer title, Harmony of Despair. Of late, development on the franchise has been taken over by Spanish studio Mercury Steam. Notably, Igarashi is delivering a talk this Friday at GDC in which he discusses the genre he was instrumental in popularizing -- and may drop hints about his future plans. Keep your eyes on Gamasutra for more.

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