Veteran Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi has left Konami after more than 20 years at the Japanese publisher. He's leaving to form his own small independent studio.
"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," Igarashi said in a statement provided to Polygon. "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 produced more than a dozen Castlevania titles during his tenure at Konami, beginning with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in 1997. He is known for transforming the series into a more adventure-oriented direction known as "Metroidvania."
During the 2014 Game Developers Conference this week in San Francisco, Igarashi will give a presentation called "There and Back Again: Koji Igarashi's Metroidvania Tale." As part of the hour-long talk on March 21, Igarashi will give attendees an "exploration of his experiences and methodology in creating some of the most popular and influential games in the genre over the last 15 years.
The most recent entry in the Castlevania series was last month's Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC title Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, the third and final entry in developer Mercury Steam's trilogy. For more, check out GameSpot's review.