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Former Ninja Gaiden Director Starts Itagaki Games, Open to Working with Xbox Again

ninja gaiden director dead or alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki Games Xbox

On Facebook, Dead or Alive creator and former Ninja Gaiden director Tomonobu Itagaki announced that he recently formed a new studio called Itagaki Games. Itagaki Games is separate from studios that he was a part of in the past, including Tecmo and Valhalla Game Studios, the latter of which released the poorly received Devil’s Third for Wii U in 2015. The game designer also shared some omitted excerpts from Bloomberg‘s Xbox 20th anniversary oral history from earlier this month.

Itagaki mentioned Seamus Blackley, who was an integral part of the launch of the original Xbox back in 2001, which was called Project Midway at that time. When Microsoft was looking for Japanese studios to contribute to the console’s game library, Blackley was confident that it could beat the then-dominant PlayStation 2.

“That’s why I trusted him and actually created Xbox-exclusive games for about 10 years,” said Itagaki. Now that he’s established this new studio, he’s happy to do the same two decades later, adding, “I know Microsoft is still aggressive. If they reach out to me, it will be an honor for me.”

Over the past few years, Microsoft has become known for acquiring studios to bolster Xbox’s first-party lineup against its competitors, namely PlayStation and Nintendo. Most recently, Microsoft bought Zenimax for $7.5 billion back in September, which added high-profile franchises like Doom and Fallout to its portfolio.

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