Tomonobu Itagaki was born in Japan in 1967 and is probably best known for his creation of the Dead of Alive series and for his very popular take in the Ninja Gaiden series, since it went 3D.
E3 2004: Tomonobu Itagaki and Paul Gale
I first met Mr. Itagaki at E3 2004 when we were discussing the recent success of Xbox’s Ninja Gaiden at Tecmo’s booth. One of the most fun conversations I had at the big show that year was with him, as we laughed at the difficulty of Ninja Gaiden and how you don’t need to visit a sauna after playing it, because you’ll probably already be sweating bullets.
Tomonobu’s first question to me was if I beat the game and what I thought of it’s difficulty/should it be harder, etc. (That’s what brought up the laughter). He took pleasure in knowing he built a game that’s overall solid, but challenging and rewarding when beaten. I personally love a game that requires a lot of skill and is tough, as long as the mechanics given to me are functional.
At following years’ E3 events, I’d talk a little here and there with Itagaki and the friend he is, always took time to have some fun with me. At E3 2010 in particular, we had a good discussion about the 3DS, 3D gaming in general, and his expectations out of them both. He’s a talented developer and I wish him the best in his new company, Valhalla Game Studios, and with their upcoming action game: Devil’s Third. I have plenty of confidence in him and his team and think the game will deliver as expected to action game fans. Keep up that attitude too, Itagaki, it’s one of a kind.