Renowned Japanese video game director Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil, Vanquish
), in the first interview since his studio Tango Gameworks was bought by Bethesda parent ZeniMax
, has said he chose the partner as it offered “the most independent development environment to work with.”
Speaking to Japanese magazine Famitsu (translated by 1UP
), Mikami said: "I had been looking for a new business partner before all this, so I contacted ten or so companies during E3, both Japanese and elsewhere."
He continued: "Bethesda was the best match among them because they gave us the most independent development environment to work with as we pursue our goal of producing Japanese games that work worldwide -- that, and their track record when it comes to overseas sales."
Asked why he needed a buyer at all, Mikami said: "We didn't want to have to live hand-to-mouth as a studio."
"If we did that, we'd have to take on work we weren't interested in just to pay the bills. That would then force us to expand our staff, and before you know it, we'd be thinking 'This isn't how we meant it to go.'"
"I gathered the people around me now in order to create the best worldwide-market-driven development studio possible -- the independence of that studio is secondary to that goal," he continued.
"I decided that we'd all be happier if we could take this shortcut to creating the great games we want to create." Mikami added that his newest project with Tango will be his last as a director. “That’s something I was planning for from the start,” he said.
“I can only last for so long handling both director and company president duties, and besides, I want to give our younger developers a chance. Knowing that, of course, makes me want to put all of my experience, my energy, and everything else I’ve got into this game.
“I’m pretty lucky that [Bethesda] was willing to accept that, too. Too many publishers are only interested in the very near future, after all.”