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Tecmo Comments On Overtime Suit, Itagaki Departure Disclosure

Responding to news of a second lawsuit against the company, publisher Tecmo (Ninja Gaiden) has released a statement noting only two employees are involved, also claiming that

Eric Caoili

June 19, 2008

2 Min Read

Following a recent lawsuit filed with the Tokyo District Court by Team Ninja developers Hiroaki Ozawa and Tatsuki Tsunoda alleging that Tecmo placed workers in an illegal "flexible hours" work scheme, Tecmo has released a statement emphasizing that only two employees are involved in the suit, as opposed to the 300 company employees referenced in “inaccurate reports” by U.S. websites. The company also denies reports of "dozens" of its staff resigning. The suit claims that under Tecmo’s work scheme, employees were not paid appropriately for their overtime hours, which often exceeded over 100 hours per month. The suit also accuses the company of creating false documents to cover up the accounting documents. According to Tecmo, the company is currently resolving the matter and previously notified all affected employees in April that they would be appropriately compensated. Tecmo also responded to reports claiming that it had withheld information from its shareholders regarding Tecmo's Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki’s lawsuit against the company and its president, Yoshimi Yasuda. Notably, the company, whose public shares declined after the news that Itagaki was leaving, believes it has “observed the provisions defined by the Exchange and has released information accordingly and in a timely manner.” Itagaki's lawsuit, which was revealed with his announcement that he would be resigning from Tecmo effective July 1st, is seeking ¥148 million (approx. $1.4 million) in damages resulting from unpaid completion bonuses regarding Dead or Alive 4's development. The company went on to state that the bonus in question is "in regards to a claim to an incentive bonus linked to a past project." According to Famitsu, the company shortly afterwards sought and received a court-ordered sanction on Itagaki, prohibiting him from making any statements about Tecmo, its products, its practices, or its employees, either directly or via third parties or press interviews. Tecmo’s statement concluded, “It is unfortunate that false and inaccurate reporting of our organization and employees’ actions have caused some unrest among our development staff members. Tecmo, LTD. would like to assure its partners and loyal fans that its teams continue to focus and work on several projects to be released and announced in the future. The company is committed to providing high quality, entertaining products for our fans around the world.”

About the Author(s)

Eric Caoili

Blogger

Eric Caoili currently serves as a news editor for Gamasutra, and has helmed numerous other UBM Techweb Game Network sites all now long-dead, including GameSetWatch. He is also co-editor for beloved handheld gaming blog Tiny Cartridge, and has contributed to Joystiq, Winamp, GamePro, and 4 Color Rebellion.

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