Veteran Castlevania producer, Koji Igarashi, has left Konami after over 20 years with the developer, to form his own studio.
Having joined Konami in 1990 as a programmer, Igarashi’s last day at the office was March 15. Igarashi broke the news over the weekend saying that he will start his own studio to make games that fans expect of him.
“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!”
As Polygon notes, the legacy of Igarashi is huge: he first worked as an assistant director and programmer on Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the game which -by many accounts, cemented the term “Metroidvania”, as it added a lot of adventure, exploration, and back-tracking elements to the series.
Igarashi will also be holding a GDC talk this week, titled ‘There and Back Again: Koji Igarashi’s Metroidvania Tale’, the talk will offer “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.”