Tomonobu Itagaki has stepped down from his current position at Valhalla Game Studios. Previously director and chief technical officer, the long-time developer is now acting as lead advisor.
“With my 50th birthday marking a major milestone in my life, I’ve decided I want to change the way I work,” Itagaki wrote in a Facebook post. “My birthday is April 1st – this picture [seen above] was taken just before that, making it the last picture of me in my 40’s. It was taken at Kiyosumi Garden in Tokyo by a friend of mine who is a professional cameraman.”
“Look at the cherry blossoms ready to blossom. There are a lot of developers all around the world just like this. I want to help them bloom.”
Itagaki is better known for his work on the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden franchises. His most recent game, Devil’s Third, saw unfavourable reviews.
He was stripped of his executive position at Tecmo in 2006, following a sexual harassment claim filed by a female co-worker.
In 2008, the developer left his long-time employer. He claimed he had been denied bonuses for previous work. He sued the company, and settled out of court in 2010 for an undisclosed amount. He then created Valhalla Game Studios alongside former colleagues.