Tomonobu Itagaki On Dead or Alive 5: “My Daughter Was Totally Ruined”

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Remember Devil’s Third? That’s the third-person shooter being created by Tomonobu Itagaki, formerly of Team Ninja. Nintendo announced at E3 this year that they would be publishing the game, and had Itagaki’s studio, Valhalla, demonstrate it during their E3 livestream.


Of late, Itagaki has taken to Facebook to interact with his closest fans, and has been assuring them that Devil’s Third has come a long way since its E3 reveal, at least in terms of visual quality.


While replying to a fan asking about shooting mechanics, Itagaki stated: “This is a screenshot from the E3 build in June… good news for you guys here. The amount of progress we’ve made since then will surprise anyone. Higher-quality textures, improved weapon and environment models, better lighting… it’s looking completely different now.”


In another reply, Itagaki posted: “Buttons/levers assignment were changed from E3 version. Plus, HUD’s UI was changed, too.”


Prior to co-founding Valhalla Studios, Itagaki used to work at Team Ninja, where he developed Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. Despite the fact he resigned from Team Ninja years ago, Itagaki is still rather attached to the Dead or Alive series, which he helped create, and it looks like he isn’t happy with the way the more recent games have turned out.


In response to a fan complaining about Dead or Alive 5, Itagaki stated: “I have started to find how/what I can do for my daughter/DOA. Straightly speakin’, my daughter was totally ruined, spoiled. I can’t/shouldn’t avert my eyes from that fact. Many DOA fans here are crying, I will do something for DOA after I finished Devil’s Third.”


Itagaki was part of Team Ninja owner Tecmo until 2008, following which he left the company and sued them for unpaid bonuses. Ever since, he has had less-than-flattering things to say about the company, including one story about how he was tricked into releasing Dead or Alive 2 before it was complete.

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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.