News Article

Koji Igarashi, Best Known for the Castlevania Series, Departs from Konami

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"I've decided to break out on my own"

It's possible that gamers relatively fresh to Nintendo hardware won't know much of Koji Igarashi's work, but Castlevania fans that enjoyed the terrific series entries on the Game Boy Advance and DS — in particular — may mourn the formal passing of an era today, even if it's been on the cards for a significant period of time. The producer has confirmed that he's left Konami to pursue his own projects, which in itself may excite fans of his previous work.

Often known as IGA, Igarashi-san came to prominence due to his role as assistant director for classic PS1 game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the title that brought us that well-worn 'Metroidvania' term. He would go on to be producer for the Castlevania franchise for a number of years, bringing us some terrific games in the process.

This run included six excellent games across the Game Boy Advance and DS, ending with Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. He also produced the thoroughly enjoyable Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth on WiiWare and Wii title Castlevania Judgment, the latter of which certainly divided fans and spelling pedants. Unfortunately, dipping sales of these games saw Igarashi-san moved onto other things, and he's played no role with the Lords of Shadow series.

After a spell out of the spotlight, Igarashi-san has told IGN that he's formally left Konami and plans to form his own studio; in pleasing news for fans of his work, he aims to get back to making games about which he's passionate.

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. 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!

Are you a fan of Koji Igarashi's work on the Castlevania series across Game Boy Advance, DS and Wii? What would you like to see him do next? Let us know, as always, in the comments below.

[via uk.ign.com]

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User Comments (54)

sinalefa

#1

sinalefa said:

Best of luck to him. And looking forward to whatever project he announces.

bezerker99

#2

bezerker99 said:

Peace, IGA. Those GameBoy Advance Castlevania games were great!

Also..."and he's played no role with the Lords of Shadow series." I can certainly tell! :D

Zorox88

#3

Zorox88 said:

Nintendo should hire this guy! Give him his own team and make them a 2nd party developer.

Kroisos

#4

Kroisos said:

I hope he's still interested in making 2D Metroidvania games; I'm still interested in playing them.

DarkKirby

#5

DarkKirby said:

Another developer sick of Capcom's crap and abandoning all his creations to make it on his own.

MrKenta

#6

MrKenta said:

Sounds like he might pull a Keiji Inafune in the future, I like that a lot.
A spiritual successor to the 2D Castlevanias would be great in these days where both "Metroid" and "vania" seem to be missing from the genre they defined.

Pixel-Perfect

#7

Pixel-Perfect said:

I probably wouldn't be a Castlevania fan at all without this guy. I think he'll be better off at this point.

RedRocBoy

#8

RedRocBoy said:

@Zorox88 Yes. You need put this comment on their Twitter and spam it. They really need to open up. Hope he does some stuff for the Wii U.

Einherjar

#11

Einherjar said:

The concept of the "big tripple A devs" is crumbling litte by little.
Most of them just forget WHY they are making games, and for whom. Focus groups wont cut it, your doing it for your fans, and they are who keep you fed.

ToxieDogg

#12

ToxieDogg said:

The Castlevania series wouldn't have suffered too much in the way of declining sales if he hadn't tried to mess with it too much...his 2D games were excellent, it was just Castlevania: Lament Of Innocence, Castlevania: Curse Of Darkness and (especially) Castlevania: Judgment that were a bit....rubbish (arguably the 2 N64 Castlevania games as well, but I didn't think they were quite as bad as many people say they are). I do like the recent Lords Of Shadow games by MercurySteam but they'll never in a million years be as good as IGA's 2D classics.

Stu13

#13

Stu13 said:

I passed on the DS Castlevania games initially and I'm regretting it now that I finally picked up a copy of Dawn Of Sorrow. I will definitely be on board for whatever he does next.

8bitforever

#16

8bitforever said:

He is responsible for the best game ever! (Symphony of the Night) I hope he goes out and makes great games and beat luck to him. Castlevania wouldn't even be around if not for this man!

Play_It_Loud

#17

Play_It_Loud said:

this could be great news for us the gamers. I hope the Koji starts a indie label and releases some of the classic style greatness he is known for.

haniwa

#19

haniwa said:

Nooo now Igavania is definitely dead. ( ´,_ゝ`)
M-muh Battle of 1999.
Guess I should go get a used copy of Portrait of Ruin then to play on my 3DS.

Hy8ogen

#20

Hy8ogen said:

First Keiji Inafune and now IGA.....something must be seriously wrong with those company. Best wishes to IGA and do hope to see more metrodvania type games!!

In the ideal world I would love to see Nintendo hire both Keiji and IGA. That would be OP.

cheetahman91

#21

cheetahman91 said:

So I guess this is the final nail in the coffin for any new Metroidvanias? Shame, those 3D Castlevanias never did look all that appealing.

Rawk_Hawk

#23

Rawk_Hawk said:

I blame Capcom and EA for this! Just kidding but man those GBA and DS Castlevania games were magic

QuickSilver88

#24

QuickSilver88 said:

@Kroisos

I so agree and still enjoy platformers even with all the new stuff we have today. Enjoying DKTF right now. The best one I have played in years is a Microsoft exclusive called Mark of the Ninja. You can get it on x360 and also pc. I just loved that game and it was my GOTY for x360 last year. It has a great story, art style, gameplay and replay value. Try it if you haven't already.

Bizzyb

#26

Bizzyb said:

Wow.. so what does this mean for the castlevania series?? I wish him all the best of luck and look forward to his next project

Hordak

#27

Hordak said:

I still don't understand the term "Metroidvania" for some reason. Iga basically took Castlevania and used the Metroid format. Shouldn't they just be referred to as games like Metroid? Granted, Metroidvania sounds cool, but it seems as though Castlevania is getting credit for doing what was already done to perfection in Metroid 1, 2, and Super Metroid.

paburrows

#28

paburrows said:

So I'm hoping that he goes and creates a Metroidvania type game like the Megaman guy is currently doing a Megaman type game.

TySoN_F

#29

TySoN_F said:

Iga's Castlevania games are definitely some of my favorite. Metroidvania style games are some of my favorite, sad to see him leave :c but hope he starts making more games with his own dev team!

Spectator

#30

Spectator said:

Yikes, at this rate the only games that will be available from Konami
will be MGS remakes.

EarthboundBenjy

#31

EarthboundBenjy said:

Wait so this means Castlevania is actually dead now? I mean, once the whole Lords of Shadow malarkey is over, what could possibly come out that would be true to the Castlevania series?

Hy8ogen

#32

Hy8ogen said:

@Bizzyb If Konami pulls a Capcom, basically yeah....sadly. I loved the castlevania series so much.

@EarthboundBenjy Castlevania dating sims. You play as Alucard's gay brother and get harem with succubuses.

ThreadShadow

#34

ThreadShadow said:

@Hordak "Metroidvania" is a term that refers specifically to a Castlevania game made in the exploration style of the Metroid series. People are playing fast and loose with the term these days using it for any other game that uses the Metroid style. Any game (not a Castlevania) that uses the Metroid format isn't a "Metroidvania". It's a game in the Metroid style, and would need it's own hyphenated name. Contra + Metroid style equals Controid, or something like that.

Can someone tell me what's holding Konami together?

BertoFlyingFox

#35

BertoFlyingFox said:

Whatever he does next, I hope it sees a release on a Nintendo platform. I love Igarashi's work on the Castlevania series, heres hoping he eventually gets back to the Dracula mythos.

unrandomsam

#39

unrandomsam said:

@Hordak The most annoying parts for me of at least Super Metroid is all the messing about with no enemies. (If they just were everywhere and respawned all the time I would like it loads more). I do like Super Metroid but that is the bit that seems to be common to almost all games that identify themselves as Metroidvania. (La Mulana being the exception which is why I like it much more than the rest).

Symphony of the Night was supposed to be a combination of Rondo of Blood and Super Metroid but it took away the best part of Rondo of Blood the only thing that gets better is the player not the powerups that you get.

warlordovblood

#40

warlordovblood said:

That's funny cause i was wondering what happened to IGA and now i hear he's breaking away from konami? I loved all the castlevania titles he worked on with the exception being judgement. Lords of shadow wasn't bad except for the fact that it felt like a god of war game instead of a castlevania title. Really looking forward to whatever he's got in store for us in the hopefully near future. Good luck IGA!!

Mahe

#41

Mahe said:

Cool pic, and good news. Konami just can't put out good games these days.

Henmii

#42

Henmii said:

Maybe he is sick of what they did with the Castlevania series! I mean Lords of shadows 2: What where they thinking?! Modern setting with neon streets and sewers, everything looking VERY bleak?! Evil corporations?! Insert random modern horror-movie here! Mirror of fate had lots more color then this one!!

I still would like a futuristic Zelda someday, but absolutely NOT like this! Looks like a big failure to me (reminds me of Bomberman Zero), and could easily mean the end of the series!

MamaLuigi

#43

MamaLuigi said:

A new 2D Metriod or indie title by him would do wonders. My money's on the indie title though. :P

JaxonH

#45

JaxonH said:

Yes, crawl out of your ravenous holes and depart from your modern-focused publishers, little devs. Flock to Nintendo, where your original concepts are still appreciated. Flock to us little devs- the modern gamer does not want your product, but we do. Come, bring your games and your ideas. We welcome you back, and won't throw you out with the trash as popular demand has done to you elsewhere...

LDXD

#46

LDXD said:

A proper side scrolling old school difficult castlevania game would be awesome like mega man and mighty#9

ecco6t9

#47

ecco6t9 said:

I just hope that whatever is going to be made is made on the 3DS as well.

It seems these Kickstarters are $100 for PC Edition, $1000 for PS3/360 version, $1500 for PS4/One, $2000 for Vita, $1,000,000 for Wii U, $10,000,000 for 3DS version.

I would donate to more of them if the 3DS versions had more realistic goals.

ECMIM

#48

ECMIM said:

@ThreadShadow real estate and health clubs, the vast, vast majority of their business for the past decade--games are nothing more than a sideline for Konami these days.

Deathgaze

#49

Deathgaze said:

This is great news. Konami, like most Japanese companies have stagnated and are now irrelevant. Koji seems to be the only Japanese who will not be stubborn and listen to fan's requests. I hope he makes a spiritual successor to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

"the same kind I think fans of my past games want as well." I hope more Japanese developers/publishers will think like you good sir, godspeed.

ThreadShadow

#52

ThreadShadow said:

@ECMIM Well, that explains why they haven't disappeared completely, and also why they aren't a force in the industry anymore .

Hey, anyone have any good Tak Fujii clips?

MeloMan

#53

MeloMan said:

The world is definitely an uncertain place with the fathers of Megaman and Castlevania gone and the franchises left to their respective companies of Capcom and Konami. Both franchises are in limbo and are either just going to be pimped out as cash grabs unless directors can come along and carry them to a new level. I'm a cautious optimist, and even though nothing is ever like it's original creator's vision, I believe with the right people, Megaman and Castlevania "can" go on.
Who knows? maybe in the near future, IGA will spawn a series that will go head up with Castlevania just as Inafune has Mighty No. 9 up against Megaman. Fun times ahead.....

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