Konami Vet Koji Igarashi Leaves Company

koji igarashi

The awesome Castlevania producer has cracked his whip for the last time.

I saw this story floating around my Twitter feed, and I couldn’t believe it. But then I checked out the full details over on IGN, and… well, damn.

Famed Konami producer Koji Igarashi (and his fabulous hat) rode off into the sunset on March 15th.

“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,” he said. “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 started working for Konami part-time, and eventually became full-time in 1990. As a programmer, he worked on Detana!! Twinbee and Gradius II, before moving on up and becoming scenario writer, designer, and producer for several Castlevania games, with the 1997 classic Castlevania: Symphony of the Night being the first one he worked on. He’s also been the producer on other non-Castlevania games, such as Nano Breaker in 2005 and Otomedius Excellent in 2011.

I can only wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours. Perhaps he will do the same thing that Keiji Inafune has done with his spiritual successor to Mega Man, Mighty No. 9? I really wouldn’t mind seeing Koji Igarashi doing some sort of Metroidvania-style successor on his own.

That said, now I’m curious to know what will happen to the Castlevania series. MercurySteam are no longer working on the franchise, so does that mean that it’ll go straight back to Konami? Will they shop it around to another Western developper? And if Konami DOES choose to keep it in-house, what will they do with it? What direction will they take the series in? I mean, I know I’m not the only one who’s dying — DYING — to have a game in the series take place during the Demon Castle Wars, the great decisive battle that took place in 1999 where Dracula was finally snuffed out and had Castlevania sealed inside a lunar eclipse. Will someone from Konami actually tell that tale?

Anyhoo, how do you feel about IGA leaving Konami? Share your feelings in the Comments Section!