Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki is leaving Tecmo and has filed a lawsuit against the company for "unpaid completion bonuses" over Dead or Alive 4.
Itagaki's translator contacted Kotaku yesterday, telling them: "At approximately 2:30 PM Japan Standard Time today, June 3rd 2008, an official statement from Tomonobu Itagaki was sent by fax to major Japanese news outlets."
In the official statement, Itagaki said: "I, Tomonobu Itagaki, hereby announce that on the 14th of May 2008 I filed a complaint in the Tokyo District Court against Tecmo Co., Ltd. for unpaid completion bonuses, and against the President of Tecmo, Yoshimi Yasuda, for such unlawful acts as unreasonable and disingenuous statements made towards me, claiming damages in total of 148 million yen. I also announce that this complaint was delivered to the defendants on May 22nd of the same year.
"I hereby announce that I have today submitted a letter of resignation to Tecmo Co., Ltd. stating that I will resign as of the 1st of July, 2008."
Itagaki claims that not only did Tecmo refuse to pay him the completion bonus for Dead or Alive 4, but that company president Yoshimi Yasuda said: "If you are dissatisfied with the decision not to pay the bonuses, either quit the company or sue it." Looks like Itagaki took his advice.
Itagaki also added: "I truly feel sorry to all the fans of the games I have made. Ninja Gaiden 2, which will launch on the 3rd of June will be the last Ninja Gaiden I will create. I will also never be able to make Dead or Alive 5."
Which doesn't rule out the possibility of the games being made, sans Itagaki of course. This must have been boiling away in the background when Itagaki revealed last month that he was finished with the Ninja Gaiden series after Ninja Gaiden II.
Jun 3, 2008