Itagaki's old employer has bitten back by legally limiting his ability to talk about Tecmo while in litigation.
When Team Ninja and Ninja Gaiden guru Tomonobu Itagaki left Tecmo, claiming uncompensated overtime and poor management, the developer turned defensive. Shortly after, lawsuits from two ex-staffers supported the theory that mass resignations were occurring at Tecmo.
Tecmo contacted Kotaku to quell any questions about the state Team Ninja's staff.
The company wrote in a letter, "On and around June 15, 2008, various websites in the U.S. reported a rumor about 'dozens' of development staff members resigning and filing a lawsuit against Tecmo, LTD., following Tomonobu Itagaki's departure from the company. The rumors are false and no such action is taking place at the company."
"In addition, there were reports that Tecmo, LTD., a publicly traded company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, withheld information from its shareholders regarding the lawsuit filed in May 2008 by Tomonobu Itagaki," reads the letter, in reference to rumors that Itagaki's lawsuit was illegally withheld from shareholders. "The company has observed the provisions defined by the Exchange and has released information accordingly and in a timely manner."
A ticked Tecmo has taken Itagaki to court and slapped him a "gag order" hindering his speech about his former employer.
The court order restricts Itagaki from:
- Leaking company information regarding projects or finances
- Criticizing the company in newspapers, magazines or on the internet
- Slandering the company to third parties
- Being interviewed about Tecmo by the press
Tecmo took an opportunity to address the media for alleged journalistic sloppiness:
"It is unfortunate that false and inaccurate reporting of our organization and employees' actions have caused some unrest among our development staff members. Tecmo, LTD. 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. The company is committed to providing high quality, entertaining products for our fans around the world."