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Why Is Tomonobu Itagaki Partnering With THQ For Devil’s Third?


Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki’s new company, Valhalla Studios, is working on a new third-person shooter titled Devil’s Third, set to be published by THQ in 2012. Why exactly is Itagaki working with THQ specifically? The outspoken developer recently explained his decision in an interview with Gamasutra.


“The head, the guy I’m involved with, is [THQ’s EVP of core games] Danny Bilson. As you know, he can make movies, he can write novels, scripts, he can do TV, and he can do games as well, and also he’s a businessman as well,” Itagaki said. “He’s that kind of guy, so it’s really fun to do business with that kind of guy.”


“I think it’s rare to have a guy like that. But then again, in the U.S., more so in the U.S. than in Japan, I think there are a lot of top management people who actually know how to make games. I think there are more people here like that, than in Japan. I think it’s a good thing.”


Itagaki continued: “You to have talk about money, when you’re doing business. That’s the business aspect of it. But at the same time, those guys know how to make games, so they also know that it costs money to make good games — especially good games. So those two aspects are on a direct one-to-one relationship. So I think it’s very practical to be that way.”


“In Japan, management people, they sort of pretend they know what they’re doing,” Itagaki followed up. “Those management people, they say, ‘I love games,’ but they don’t know how to make them. So the kind of instructions that they would give to the employees would be, ‘Okay, you’ve got to make it by when, and it has to be within this budget, and you have to sell whatever many copies.’ It’s the opposite of the practical. It’s not practical.”

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.