Tecmo loses its head

President Yoshimi Yasuda steps down for "personal reasons" in midst of legal battle with Ninja Gaiden creator Tomonobu Itagaki.


It's been a tumultuous summer for Tecmo. Just as the publisher's Ninja Gaiden II for the Xbox 360 was arriving on store shelves, star developer Tomonobu Itagaki quit the company and announced his intention to sue his former employer for roughly $1.4 million. That was followed by a second lawsuit, this one filed by a pair of Tecmo employees upset over unpaid overtime.

That litigation is ongoing, but Tecmo now has to deal with another high-profile upheaval. A statement from the company today announced the resignation of company president Yoshimi Yasuda, effective on September 1.

Although Yasuda is a focal point of Itagaki's lawsuit, the company didn't indicate the spat as a contributing factor in the executive's departure. Instead, Yasuda is citing personal reasons. Replacing Yasuda at the top of the Tecmo brass will be Yasuharu Kakihara, the company's current chairman.

Itagaki claims that Yasuda refused to make good on promises of a completion bonus for the 2005 Xbox 360 fighting game Dead or Alive 4. Tecmo shares slid more than 10 percent overnight on the news of Itagaki's departure, despite reassurances from the publisher that new installments of the developer's signature series--Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive--were already underway.

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Avatar image for GaRdYbOy

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for NejiKusa

well its offical, Itagaki is finally threatening to burn down yasuda's house

Avatar image for nar-uto-25

Dead or Alive 5 should come out for the PS3

Avatar image for dthurk

All of his interviews of him are unbearable to think that a man could be so full of himself is baffling. The Japanese are known to be humble but Itagaki tries so hard to be like an American rockstar and his perception of them is that they only think of themselves. And really what does he do he didnt come up with the idea for RYU the original wasn't his idea for the nes and tenchu did the 3D ninja game first and he obviously didn't invent the idea of a 3D fighter with unrealistic women all he came up with is DOA Extreme and honestly who the F*#& cares

Avatar image for jets78

i will lose my head if ninja guiden 2 isnt on ps3 in a few months

Avatar image for xMADxDOGx

i think they tuke a bit to much alcohol and drugs this time =I

Avatar image for drangel_jam

"personal reasons"... the new way of falling for grace (back then it was the way of the samurai), thus he saves face. NOT!

Avatar image for LightEclipse

Maybe they could remake some of the older games for ds to prolong the possible suicide. Or, make a DOA for ds and psp with wi-fi.

Avatar image for world69star69

Itagaki is an ass! He is an arrogant bastard that takes all the credit for everything. When the 2nd in command made Sigma for PS3 he denounced it, because it wasn't made by him (although sigma was incredible!!) The guy is an arrogant prick and its only good for Tecmo that he is gone, and the Team Ninja team can start fresh! Now without ITagaki they can make games for the PS3, as that guy was clearly being paid buy micor$haft!

Avatar image for Paladin_King

Tecmo is really in a bad situation here. Once the dust is settled, they might no longer even be a big player. Another classic japanese dev gone...tragic really.

Avatar image for starf0x999

ooh, suicide

Avatar image for Publaty

when will this end!!!!

Avatar image for vestafiregoddes

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for xXrebel666Xx

The game went from PS3 exclusive to the 360 in the latest edition and sucked at the same time = Developers losing thier heads.

Avatar image for toadman682000

I just can't get over how hilarious the title is, ROFL!

Avatar image for Axe_336

"Personal Reasons" liiike the fact that you're being sued by your top developer because you were a jerk to him? My guess is that its classic Japanese attempt to save face and he was asked to resign because of the situation.

Avatar image for 360player_eq12

""personal reasons."" ... sure.

Avatar image for greedom

Well someone had better snatch him up quick.

Avatar image for Sydwynder

I'm still not sure why Microsoft hasn't offered Itagaki a job heading up Microsoft Game Studios in Japan.........

Avatar image for Intrakitt

Was Ninja Gaiden 2 the last game from this once great company? Only time will tell, but Tecmo's future isn't looking too promising :|

Avatar image for Junsei

Itagaki put tecmo back on the map with "dead or alive". that name title says it all. alive with Itagaki, now they are dead without him. lol I dont think a next gen monster rancher game would even things out.

Avatar image for joshua6775

NG2 wasn't exactly a quantum leap forward for the series, so I gotta wonder if Itagaki-san spends more time pruning that exquisite mullet of his over actually trying to raise his own bar in making games. I'd like to see him land with Microsoft and start a fresh IP, not a regurgitated one with strikingly similar plot lines and gameplay each time (insert jiggly girl part comment here)

Avatar image for N0-

they should stop making ninja gaiden games because the 2nd was terrible IMO

Avatar image for footfoe2

damn they're falling apart

Avatar image for pigilikepoe

Tecmo keeps shooting them self in the foot.

Avatar image for KnightwingX7

Here is hoping with the cause of the problem leaving the company, Itagaki comes back to Tecmo, and Team Ninja. I would hate to see a DOA or Ninja Gaiden game made by anyone else.

Avatar image for mrkame16

Im not a fan of DOA anyway, i like Soulcaliber 4 better.

Avatar image for jknight5422

I wonder how big his golden parachute is for stepping down? I can hear that song lyric in my head "Go on, take the money & run" for this article.

Avatar image for majere613

I'm a big DOA fan and I quite like Ninja Gaiden, so for me there are 2 possible scenarios: 1)- Team Ninja are fine without Itagaki, and Itagaki makes a new team which are also damn good at whatever he does next. 2) Team Ninja suck without Itagaki, he sucks without them. Come on, number one!

Avatar image for okassar

Wow,tecmo pwned itself...:/ that's sad. Anywayz,I love the title -.- "tecmo loses its head",comeon,rofl.

Avatar image for klugenbeel

Tecmo sucks. There is nothing more despicable than them having employees work extra hours or offering them bonsues and then not paying out. Don't make promises you can't keep you money grubbing whores!

Avatar image for raahsnavj

"Yeah, the head and main designer have quit, but don't worry. We still are producing wanna-be sequels to your franchise favorites regardless of losing all our talent" - Tecmo Representative.

Avatar image for phatjuv

i have to agree with blancobo but also with Zoomer30 they do work some outrageous hours

Avatar image for YoJim8obaJoe

Tecmo shares slid more than 10 percent overnight on the news of Itagaki's departure, despite reassurances from the publisher that new installments of the developer's signature series--Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive--were already underway. Thats just like trying to comfort MGS fans if they discovered Hideo had quit,not going to work

Avatar image for n0s2004

Maybe Tecmo will reveal them at TGS 08.

Avatar image for blancobo

His personal reasons are simple... he does not want shares to continue dropping any more. He has to cash in and his departure will allow him to save his interests in TECMO. This is OFF COURSE A conspiracy theory... just joking... but it is simply too bizarre that he would step down at such critical time... law suits and all.

Avatar image for Zoomer30

Those Japanese companies play hardball: 20 hour work days, your lucky to get 5 mins a day to eat, its not wonder people are quitting.

Avatar image for otanikun

They just digging themselves a grave aren't they? I'm all for Itagaki, anybody?

Avatar image for dth_dlr

more bad news for temco, hopefully it wont affect the quality of Ninja Gaiden

Avatar image for gamer082009

Tecmo needs to use their creative brains that I know they have and create something new and just as fun as the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series. Get it together developers.

Avatar image for lamprey263

I hope Tomonobu Itagaki gets the money he deserves and gets back into game making soon. I absolutely loved Ninja Gaiden II and was looking forward to him doing Dead Or Alive 5. That sucks though, if he doesn't go back to Tecmo we'll lose out on the Tecmo IP Itagaki was known for.

Avatar image for sivasiva

This problem may get so serious that the company may have to close down!!!

Avatar image for zombey1333

HAH. Developing titles with the same name but not the same creative mind is a gamble. Honestly, when's the last time you've played a game that was developed by a different person/team than the original and it was still on par?

Avatar image for MichaeltheCM

woah! seems like quite the chaotic time in that company :|

Avatar image for GTOplaya89

so when is ninja gaiden 2 coming to the PS3?

Avatar image for zombey1333

all that can really be said here is: lulz, Tecmo.

Avatar image for shabulia

This might be a good time for Itagaki-san to swoop in and take his rightful place as the head of Tecmo; a company that owes everything they are to him!

Avatar image for ctg867

Yup. Bottom line: it's related. You guys need to take a line from Insomniac and treat your employees better. Itagaki leaves for the way he's treated. The president of Temco doesn't like the way that went down, even though he's partially responsible for not doing anything, so he leaves. No offense, but this is why Japanese gaming is in the crapper now. Developers are working too much, getting paid too little, and being treated like crap. Under those conditions you're less likely to innovate or even make a good product. I believe it's part of the reason the quality of Japanese games have gone down, and why they aren't evolving much.

Avatar image for Pete5506

This should be over with very soon

Avatar image for I1yodsyo1I

Can someone please buy Tecmo before it self destructs?