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.