Tomonobu Itagaki’s all about the Xbox 360

Tomonobu Itagaki - the man behind the Ninja (pic from Wikipedia)This is the core of 1UP’s interview with the “outspoken” (as they describe him) head of Team Ninja. And this is his reply to 1UP’s question regarding Ninja Gaiden Sigma, which would be appearing on the PS3.

  • “I am the core of Team Ninja. I am the chief software designer of Team Ninja and I will be making new games for the Xbox 360.”

  • “At the same time we also recognize that we have the Team Ninja brand and we want to bring that to different people and in different ways.”

They’re not necessarily mutually conflicting statements. In the first part, Tomonobu Itagaki‘s committed to developing new games for the Xbox 360, 100%. He feels it’s that level of attention he gives that assures gamers a high-quality gaming experience. That commitment is part of the reason why he could not agree to a port of the Xbox’s Ninja Gaiden for the PS2. “Team Ninja will never lower its standards and it wouldn’t play on that platform.” On the other hand:

If a young guy comes up to me and says “Hey, I want to expand horizontally to expose our brand and community to more people,” then I am not going to stop him. If it is not going to slow me down or prevent me from blazing new trails, then there’s no reason for me to stop him.

And that’s exactly what happened with Ninja Gaiden Sigma. One of the young gentlemen on his team, Hayashi, came up to him and simply said, “I would really like to take Ninja Gaiden and spread the franchise out to bring in more people.” Itagaki replied that so as long as it doesn’t distract the team from its commitment to high-quality games for the Xbox 360, then “why not?” (And the next-gen, he believed, could take the quality he would demand for such a port.)

Read the rest of the interview at full article.

Tomonobu Itagaki - the man behind the Ninja (pic from Wikipedia)This is the core of 1UP’s interview with the “outspoken” (as they describe him) head of Team Ninja. And this is his reply to 1UP’s question regarding Ninja Gaiden Sigma, which would be appearing on the PS3.

  • “I am the core of Team Ninja. I am the chief software designer of Team Ninja and I will be making new games for the Xbox 360.”

  • “At the same time we also recognize that we have the Team Ninja brand and we want to bring that to different people and in different ways.”

They’re not necessarily mutually conflicting statements. In the first part, Tomonobu Itagaki‘s committed to developing new games for the Xbox 360, 100%. He feels it’s that level of attention he gives that assures gamers a high-quality gaming experience. That commitment is part of the reason why he could not agree to a port of the Xbox’s Ninja Gaiden for the PS2. “Team Ninja will never lower its standards and it wouldn’t play on that platform.” On the other hand:

If a young guy comes up to me and says “Hey, I want to expand horizontally to expose our brand and community to more people,” then I am not going to stop him. If it is not going to slow me down or prevent me from blazing new trails, then there’s no reason for me to stop him.

And that’s exactly what happened with Ninja Gaiden Sigma. One of the young gentlemen on his team, Hayashi, came up to him and simply said, “I would really like to take Ninja Gaiden and spread the franchise out to bring in more people.” Itagaki replied that so as long as it doesn’t distract the team from its commitment to high-quality games for the Xbox 360, then “why not?” (And the next-gen, he believed, could take the quality he would demand for such a port.)

He’s actually rather proud of his subordinate. “Hayashi is a rookie but I think he did really well this time around for a rookie. I hope that veterans at other companies who are making action games on the PS3 won’t lose out to our rookie.”

The lengthy 1UP interview reveals a lot about the man behind the (Team) Ninja. Itagaki comes across as a decisive and committed developer and leader (he usually only takes five seconds – at worst thirty – to make a decision), completely mindful about what goes into a game and the quality of the work put into one.

So if you want to know more about Tomonobu Itagaki, chief designer and leader of Team Ninja, there’s the read link below. The short of it is, though, that (#1) Itagaki is fully committed to developing high-quality, bar-raising games for the Xbox 360. And (#2) that doesn’t necessarily mean that other consoles will miss out on Team Ninja’s wealth. So as long as the effort doesn’t distract Itagaki and the team from (#1).

Speaking of which: Itagaki says that right now, Team Ninja’s committed to getting DOAX2 out in time for Thanksgiving. 1000%. That’s what’s in the 1UP interview – and given the kind of guy Itagaki-san is, that ain’t a typo, either.

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