It is probably safe to say that it has not been a great month so far for Tokyo-based developer Tecmo. First, Tomonobu Itagaki resigned from the company days before the release of the highly anticipated Ninja Gaiden II. He also slapped the company with a lawsuit, alleging that he was owed unpaid bonuses of some $1.4 million. Next, rumours started circulating that other members of Team Ninja had also handed in their resignations, and finally, that two employees filed a class-action lawsuit for unpaid overtime.
Following an initial statement after the departure of Itagaki, Tecmo had maintained a "no comment" on the following reports, but today it chose to break its silence with a statement released to the media.
First, Tecmo states that it is simply not true that "dozens" of development staff are resigning following Itagaki's exit, and that it isn't true that they are all suing the company. The statement reads, "The rumours are false and no such action is taking place at the company."
Earlier this week, various Japanese Web sites reported that two employees representing the entire 300-person Tecmo staff had filed a lawsuit against the company for not paying overtime. According to Tecmo, "Although a lawsuit was filed by the two employees, on April 1, 2008, Tecmo did notify all affected employees that they would be appropriately compensated, and is currently in the process of solving the matter. There are several inaccurate reports stating that all 300 company employees are named in the lawsuit, and the company would like to clarify that only two employees are involved in the suit."
It also rebuffed claims that it withheld information from shareholders regarding Itagaki's lawsuit, which was filed in May. According to Tecmo, "The company has observed the provisions defined by the [Tokyo Stock] Exchange and has released information accordingly and in a timely manner."
It concludes, "It is unfortunate that false and inaccurate reporting of our organisation and employees' actions have caused some unrest among our development staff members. Tecmo 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."