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Itagaki surfaces at Valhalla Game Studios

Former Team Ninja developer reemerges as chief technical officer at new studio; longtime Xbox loyalist interested in PC development.


Last week, former Team Ninja developer Tomonobu Itagaki settled a long-standing lawsuit against Tecmo. With the legal spat with his former employer behind him, the developer is ready to focus on making a game for his new employer, which finally received a name today. According to an Andriasang report, the latest print version of Famitsu reveals the developer's new outfit to be Valhalla Game Studios. Previously, the group had been known by the thematically similar but tentative title "Tokyo Vikings."

Knowing Itagaki, Valhalla Game Studios could be a reference to Led Zeppelin as much as the Norse afterlife.
Knowing Itagaki, Valhalla Game Studios could be a reference to Led Zeppelin as much as the Norse afterlife.

Itagaki will serve as chief technical officer for the company, which was founded by another former Tecmo employee. The developer didn't reveal a name or release window for his current project, but he did tell Famitsu that the game "will be a little bit like nothing anyone has ever seen," according to Andriasang.

One genre the new game will likely avoid is fighting games. As he told the gaming magazine, "At my previous company, I made the best fighting game in the world, Dead or Alive. Fighting games have once again reached a dead end, although to be honest, if there was no Dead or Alive, fighting games would have ended a long time ago."

The fighting genre might not be the only familiar waters Itagaki leaves behind with Valhalla Game Studios. The developer was a vocal supporter of Microsoft's original Xbox as well as the Xbox 360, but would not commit his next game to any specific platform. He indicated that it might arrive on hardware that hasn't yet been released, and specifically expressed an interest in PCs.

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