Tomonobu Itagaki’s confirmed his new studio is called Valhalla Game Studios, and that the outfit is now 50-strong.
Itagaki dropped the info in the latest edition of Famitsu.
“Valhalla is about 50 people right now,” the ex-Team Ninja lead told the mag. “That may expand a bit, but it’s not going to be a 100-person company. Fifty people working for two years can produce something better than 100 people working for one year: 100 times one and 50 times two may produce the same number, but not in creative businesses like this one.
“I know nobody means any harm by it, but publicly-traded companies have to prove their worth to the stock market on a year-by-year basis, and that means they can’t focus all-out on quality. We’re creators here; we like making things more than doing math.”
Itagaki famously quit Tecmo two years ago, and has only just resolved a dispute over supposedly owed money.
He said that moving onto Valhalla from Tecmo boiled down to creative freedom.
“I think success in games comes when you satisfy all three pieces of the game business,” he said, “the players, the developers, and the links between them – the retail and media people. I’ve been making games for nearly 20 years and I’ve done that maybe two or three times.
“It’s definitely hard, but it’s not impossible – all three groups are there for the games, after all. The thing is that I think the Japanese industry has made achieving that all but impossible these days. There’s an equation you can use to satisfy all three groups, but once money enters the picture, you start neglecting the things that’re most important and the equation winds up unsolvable. My friends and I went independent because we were wasting our time wrangling with issues like that.”
Valhalla’s first game is under wraps as yet. Thanks, 1UP.