Koji Igarashi, a veteran game producer best known for his work on the Castlevania series, has left Konami. His last day at the Tokyo-based game company was 15 March 2014.
Igarashi joined Konami in 1990, and wrote the hit game Tokimeki Memorial before moving on to Castlevania with the classic Symphony of the Night. With his trademark whip and cowboy hat, Igarashi, or "Iga" as he's called, became one of Konami's most recognisable game creators. He has produced a number of Castlevania games over the years, including Aria of Sorrow, Dawn of Sorrow, and Portrait of Ruin, but he had no involvement in the recent Lords of Shadow games, which were developed by the Spanish studio MercurySteam.
Now Iga's going off on his own.
"I've decided to break out on my own to have the freedom to make the kind of games I really want to make -- the same kind I think fans of my past games want as well," Igarashi said in an official release.
"Leaving Konami was a big decision, and not one I took lightly -- I've spent my entire career there, made many friends, and had a lot of great opportunities -- but I hope all the gamers and fans who have supported me in the past will join me in being excited about what comes next. Wish me luck!"
Igarashi is forming his own development studio. Kotaku recently spoke to Igarashi about his decision; check back tomorrow for the full interview.
Picture: Vincent Diamante