Veteran Castlevania Producer Koji Igarashi Leaves Konami

Legendary producer of the Castlevania series leaves Konami

After more than 20 years as producer of the Castlevania series, it seems that Koji Igarashi is leaving Konami. His last day was march 15. He is leaving with plans to begin his own independent studio.

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In an interview with Polygon:

“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 first joined Konami as a programmer in 1990, and his first Castlevania game as assistant director and programmer was the classic Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. He helped to direct the series into the classic “Metroidvania” style that we all came to know and love.

Igarashi continued:

“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!”

Along with pushing the series along the 2D style that was characteristic of Castlevania from 1997-2010, he also produced some of the 3D games such as Castlevania: Judgment and Castlevania: Lament of Innocence.

Igarashi’s decision to leave Konami to start his own studio seems a lot like the decision Keiji Inafune made when he left Capcom to form his own studio to make games reminiscent of their earlier days.

I am a little excited at the prospect of some old school Metroidvania games coming out. Lords of Shadow 2 came out to a lukewarm reception, so some classic Castlevania type games being released sounds good to me. I wish the best of luck to Koji Igarashi and his new studio.

 At this week’s GDC, Igarashi will present a panel called  “There and Back Again: Koji Igarashi’s Metroidvania Tale.” The panel will be “an exploration of his experiences and methodology in creating some of the most popular and influential games in the genre over the last 15 years.”


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