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Tomonobu Itagaki steps down at Valhalla to take on advisory role

The Dead or Alive and Devil's Third developer says he's stepping down to spend more time helping passionate young developers learn the tricks of the trade.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

August 24, 2017

2 Min Read

Tomonobu Itagaki has resigned from his role as representative director and chief technical officer at Valhalla Game Studios. 

The Dead or Alive and Devil's Third developer says he's stepping away from those roles to spend more time helping young developers learn the tricks of the trade inside and outside of his studio, and taking on a more hands-off, advisory role with Valhalla.

It's a notable move for one of the more recognizable Japanese game developers around. Itagaki made a name for himself as the sunglasses-wearing, leather-clad leader of Tecmo's Team Ninja, the team behind the Dead or Alive fighting series and Ninja Gaiden's revival.

In two separate messages -- one included in a press release, the other posted to Facebook -- the veteran developer explained he wants to change his "place and purpose" within the games industry. 

More specifically, he hopes to break out of his tried-and-tested game dev cycle, which sees him "spend day and night concentrating on the development of one game, molding and polishing it into a product full of excitement" before immediately moving onto the next project. 

"With the passing of my 50th birthday as a personal milestone I will put into effect a change that I have been planning for some time, changing my place and purpose in the game development industry," reads the press release.

"I wish to contribute as much as I can to the game development industry as a whole and help it to grow by passing on my own method of development, my own method of creating games, to those who would like to work with me. 

Although he'll be carrying on at Valhalla in some capacity, Itagaki also plans to create new games with other studios from around the world. In doing so, he hopes he can help as many budding developers as possible realise their own ambitions. 

"You can find young, passionate developers in any country on the globe with aspirations and passion, the drive that makes them say 'I’m gonna make an awesome game!'," he wrote on Facebook. 

"Starting from now on, I want to share with these young developers my own experiences and knowledge and help them build their games together."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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