Itagaki and Tecmo settle lawsuit

Former Team Ninja developer and previous employer reach an agreement in 2008 dispute over unpaid Dead or Alive 4 bonuses.

Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki and Tecmo technically parted ways in 2008, but the two have been tussling in court ever since. When he split from Tecmo, Itagaki claimed the publisher owed him about $1.4 million in unpaid bonuses for development of Dead or Alive 4 on the Xbox 360 and filed suit to get it. At the time, Tecmo said it would "let the court decide" on the bonuses.

Tomonobu Itagaki and Tecmo have resolved their legal differences.

The courts won't get the chance to decide after all, as Tecmo and Itagaki have reached a settlement agreement. The news was originally reported by 1Up and later confirmed by Tecmo representatives for GameSpot. In a statement provided to 1Up, Itagaki mentioned the dispute involved compensation for dismissal, while in 2008 he said he had resigned from the company. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

The settlement marks an end to a partnership that saw the publisher and Itagaki produce a number of hits, including the 3D revamps of the Ninja Gaiden series and the Dead or Alive fighting franchise. Since leaving the company, Itagaki has established a new studio tentatively referred to as Tokyo Vikings. Meanwhile, Tecmo and Team Ninja have pushed on with the series he developed, releasing Ninja Gaiden Sigma II for the PlayStation 3 and preparing Dead or Alive: Paradise for the PSP. Perhaps most notably, Team Ninja is also developing Metroid: Other M for Nintendo.

While the Tecmo-Itagaki pairing produced some blockbuster successes, it was not without friction. In 2006, a former coworker of Itagaki's filed suit against the developer, claiming he sexually harassed her on multiple occasions. She also accused Tecmo of mishandling the situation when she complained about Itagaki's behavior, telling her to handle it herself.

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113 comments
greasemonkey42
greasemonkey42

agreed with the ninja gaiden 3 requests. Stop making pseudo games like DOA: Paradise and get back to making real games

jammer06
jammer06

fine, fine, just make a dead or alive 5 and a ninja gaiden 3 already

Kai0nTheMoon
Kai0nTheMoon

@chefstubbies my PS3 plays all my PS1 games.

infektious94
infektious94

Yeah yeah, fine fine. Now hurry up with Dead or Alive 5 and Ninja Gaiden 3.

bibbo
bibbo

He made some good games...but you gotta admit..you wouldn't be surprised to see him on an episode of "To Catch a Predator"

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

@ TheTHCGamer That's great, he saved Tecmo and helmed an amazing team that made some great games. If he was so crucial though, why didn't the company agree to pay him a seemingly reasonable $1.4 million in bonuses in the face of the hits and "company saving titles" he's been producing? Does that add up to you? His departure left with much fanfare, to leave behind a team that still has the opportunity to make some great games, without him. Remember John Romero? Remember Bill Roper? Guys with huge egos who left great development shops and failed. Don't get me wrong, there are examples of individuals who've gone on to do great things, but it's not unreasonable to say that this guy's relevance is in question. We'll just have to wait and see...

chefstubbies
chefstubbies

@joksterz78 the PS3 doesn't do everything until it can play my PS1 Dragon Warrior 7

joksterz78
joksterz78

ps 3 still sucks, get a pc, essentially its the same thing i mean...heh it does everything.

dicegamer
dicegamer

people know it was coming he gone i hate him for moving DOA to xbox which i love now tecmo can now move on and making better games and NG3 and DOA5 i hope it be on both PS3 and XBOX360 disagree if ya want

was2
was2

tecmo dont do good .... for moment must wait to ninja gaiden 3 and dead or alive 5 for decide... for this complication tecmo no make and sell more games .. tecmo need more time .... and now fans can be dessapoint and create bad vibes is no good for a multinacional ... this games must be all multiplataform ...sigma series too ..

joksterz78
joksterz78

sex sells... sex sells sex sells...just look at bayonetta. This guy was a pioneer of bewbie physics that made all nerds tremble with fear or ehm, ecstasy?? And I'm sure that lady he touched was leading him on anyways ...pfft. Its a conspiracy I tells you!

tenka1212
tenka1212

Nooooo! I was hoping they would take him back after the lawsuit. I guess this means it is finally over and now I'm stuck with dumb iterations of Ninja Gaiden. DAMN!

wiidominance
wiidominance

My god, it really has been two years. I vividly remember this news story. Oh well, I guess not too bad of an ending.

TheDromader
TheDromader

@neeerd: Did you even bothered reading what I listed? Or even done a little bit of research on both games? Seriously, pleople saying ,,WAAAH yu dunt lik it cuz der iz no blood!!11!!'' are more ignorant than people who list lack of blood as the only reason they dont like Sigma 2,but both are equally pissing. People dont like it because its a castraded version of the original lacking many great features, with difficulty being the most obvious and painfull one. And again, all sigma 2 gets is so half-assed bonuses which are cool and all, but could have been better and dont recompense the missing content. Seriously people....... As for Itagaki being pervert..... well, sex sells well, expecially in Japan (huge anime bewbs anyone?) so I see what was on his mind.

Neo_Sarevok
Neo_Sarevok

@ acer_062: No one has ever seen Itagaki's glasses off and lived to tell the tale. I kid, but seriously, this guy was a pioneer in the notion of "sex sells." The rudimentary booby physics he incorporated into the Dead or Alive series early in its infancy propelled Tecmo into what they are today. The man is a genius. Some may call him a pervert, but to me, he's my hero =).

acer_062
acer_062

What a scary looking guy. Sure glad he's a game developer and not the pizza delivery guy. Then again, he looks like he's fallen alseep on a few pizzas in his time .... get this man a pillow!!!

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

woah - Itagaki has one of the most drug-ravaged faces I've ever seen... or at least it looks that way. His skin looks like every PCP user I've ever seen.... shame.

AlmaDanny
AlmaDanny

@sensei_hEnRY It's obvious that whether itagaki is there or not, team ninja is still creating girls with huge brests, they are now even shakeable not to mention upcoming Dead or Alive Paradise.

AlmaDanny
AlmaDanny

We don't even know if the sexual harassment was real in the first place. But we do know for a fact that that he is a pain in the ass, judging from what he has been saying in his interviews. We also know that he is a damn good game developer. Ninja Gaiden Black is the best beat them up action game ever created to date. You may not agree with me but that's how i see it anyway.

sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

what a pervert. No wonder He make girl characters with overly huge breast

coldsauce09
coldsauce09

bayonetta will beat out of the crap of team ninja

neonblueshadow
neonblueshadow

lets hope his new company doesn't hire girls, for the sake of the girls

vgbum
vgbum

If Itagaki wasn't the type of guy to go sexually harrass girls, we wouldn't have all the boobs in NG and DOA. In other words, I approve of Itagaki hahaha.

-HCMF-
-HCMF-

sounds like he is a bit of a prick and the company is a bit on the evil side - a no win for anyone

DEATH775
DEATH775

I hope Ninja Gaiden 3 would be as good as NInja Gaiden Sigma 2 but with more blood.

Cephrien
Cephrien

Itagaki sounds like a total prick

Hanzoadam
Hanzoadam

@neeerd Sigma 2 was missing blood, but had extra levels and had new modes and bosses, along with you being able to play as Ayane

neeerd
neeerd

at the end of the day, ng2 and ngs2 is the same game. seriously, no blood on sigma? "omg i'mma commit suicide because there's no blood, i need my blood" wtf?. the moves are all the same, still fun jumping around and choppin' off body parts with the same exact story. a little extra in for sigma but STILL the same. quit arguing children, sigma just let's other play who don't own an xbox and would like to play on ps3, no biggy right? :D

TheDromader
TheDromader

Its not about the blood itself, but 70% less enemies per encounter, no windmill shuriken, no offline mission mode, no manual saving, no shadow walker and biometal costumes, no alternative colors for existing costumes, cheap deaths replacing difficulty (like IS ninja grabs), some parts of the game like enemy encounters, bosses and even entire scenes COMPLEATLY removed, no test of valor, no new game +, and so on, and so forth..... And what for? 3 lame characters with only 1 short mission per each? Co-op that we even cant play offline? The only good thing about is mission select, but NG2 was good without it.

64-bit
64-bit

tecmo board is greedy and sux they almost killed the company not to mention bad rep.

King-Tigre
King-Tigre

@eveyone who hates sigma 2 "OMG there is no blood, now I can't enjoy the game." @XanderZane Your life must be a anime if you think humans have that kinda pressurized blood like in Ninja Gaiden 2.

totaleklypse
totaleklypse

@drangel jam Cash rules everything around me.. not runs. guy with Wu Tang pic fail. that is all.

MoK86
MoK86

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

At the end of the day it's all about the game. Honestly, I'm over it, completely. Although I was a big fan of Itagaki, (I even wrote a blog about his leave), and now it's all about the games. If Team Ninja keeps making great games, such as Ninja Gaiden Sigma II (although a remake), that's all I can ask and expect from them. I just hope that they take the DoA and NG franchises to new, interesting, and bold pastures. As for Itagaki San, whatever he's doing, I hope it great. If Sakaguchi (Lost Planet), and the guys who made the new games at Sega--Madworld, and Bayonetta, did well after parting ways with their original parent company, I don't see why Itagaki will turn out any different. All he needs is a competent close team that can sever as the core and catalist for a bigger team, which he already does, and good dev-ideas. I personally have a gutt feeling, that MSFT didn't sleep on Itagaki. And that whatever he's cooking is either something small for the DS/Wii/XBL/PSN, or something big for the curent gen consoles--being exclusive for either console if one of the first parties is publishing, if it's a third party, it'll probably be multi-platform. And lastly, and certainly not least, C.R.E.A.M. Cash Runs Everything Around Me.

XanderZane
XanderZane

Ninja Gaiden II was great. All Sigma did was add some prettier graphics and remove the realistic blood.

Drkr_Zen
Drkr_Zen

Its really too bad that Itagaki was so focused on this issue... if he was more focused on Ninja Gaiden II, it probably would have been as good as Sigma 2.

Bowser05
Bowser05

As long as this doesn't affect the quality of the next Ninja Gaiden then I will be happy. Now if Tecmo/Team Ninja and Tokyo Vikings both start churning out quality games then that is even better. We will see.

wolfyrabbit
wolfyrabbit

@guile_charlie dead or alive paradise is about to be released on psp, i consider that part of the DOA series.

WaterLord0
WaterLord0

@blazey09 hey what ever I'm just not a fan of any thing he made.

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

@MoK86 i dont know... the DoA for PS2 was pretty awesome with the tag time matches especially for 2 players. definitely did a better job than Tekken Tagteam game, BUT everything else was better on Tekken. LoL.

solidusdeus1
solidusdeus1

@ 1uP_OnYou LOL. Cliffy B is the main d-bag behind gears of bore

guile_charlie
guile_charlie

@wolfyrabbit - I don't know about DOA coming back to Playstation, I honestly just don't see it happening, but I really, REALLY hope it does! I agree with Princess_Rectum (Your name makes you my new hero!), I really think that everyone is giving Sigma 2 sh!t only because it's not as blood-gushing as it 'should' be. It's still an awesome game, and I'm damned if it doesn't play better on PS3 than on 360, and Sigma 3 will kick ass whether it's gory or not. They're just mad that we got 3 extra characters to mess around with!

Princess_Rectum
Princess_Rectum

@ TheDromader: $5 says the reason you thought Sigma 2 was such an abomination was because of the lack of blood. Off yourself.

1uP_OnYou
1uP_OnYou

@solidusdeus1 Abbnormmal is being sarcastic with his previous comment.

Mickeplask
Mickeplask

The creator of Dead or Alive in a sexuall harassement lawsuit?!? I really did not see that one comming ;)

King9999
King9999

Wow, $1.4 million dollars in bonuses? That's crazy.

MoK86
MoK86

thats a bold statement invinate_access i mean the DOA games are ok but its all about TEKKEn i think that game was alot better