View Full Version : Interview Tomonobu Itagaki

05-21-2003, 10:51 AM
GameSpy: When will we see Dead or Alive Online?
Itagaki: It will come out this fall.
GameSpy: Only on Xbox?
Itagaki: (Without waiting for his translator) Yes.

(Then going back to his translator) When everybody else uses the phrase, “only on Xbox,” it is more of a business phrase. When I say it, I really mean it because my games will only work on Xbox, not on anything else. I'm forced to say it from a technical point of view.
GameSpy: Do you have any regrets about having gone exclusively on Xbox?
Itagaki: Nothing. My games require the power of Xbox.
GameSpy: Is the difference with Dead or Alive Online that you can now go online to fight?
Itagaki: Of course not. There are many, many additional ways to play than there were before. Also, it uses the more advanced DOA Extreme Beach Volleyball engine. It looks very nice. In fact, it may look better than DOA 3.

I really hate the current trend of doing lazy multi-platform releases of games. Of course, if you take a PS2 game and stick it on Xbox, you will have all kinds of leftover power. Too many developers do not use that extra power. They should use that power to enhance the fun and value of the game.

If you make a game for PS2, it should play on the other machines as well. It's not the developers that will make games look better on Xbox, it's the video chip. It's a lazy approach on the part of the Xbox to let the chip do all of the work.

With DOA Online, we have a DOA 1 and a DOA 2 portion under one umbrella. DOA 2 was developed to show our pride and what we can do from a technological ability. The DOA 1 portion shows our love and our pride toward the origin of the franchise.

The DOA 2 portion of DOA Online was made from scratch. We did not port anything over. When we had left over [processing] power that other people might ignore, we used it for interactive movies and better, smoother control.

Our game concept involves the environment as much as the characters. We were able to capitalize on the environments because of Xbox. This is the kind of philosophy that went into the making of DOA Online. We put a lot of effort into it to challenge the developer community.

One last thing. You may be wondering why DOA needs to be online now. When you look at arcade culture, it's pretty much dying. I feel that it needs to be replaced with something else, and that is online gaming. Online connects the homes around the nation to create an arcade-like experience without going to an arcade.


05-21-2003, 10:53 AM
GameSpy: Do you view the Internet as somewhat of an international arcade?
Itagaki: (Without waiting for his translator) I agree, but there are several problems. For example , there are differences between the frequencies of U.S. and Japanese televisions. (Now going through his translator) There are technical challenges that need to be worked through, but that is what I want. I want the Internet to be an international arcade.
GameSpy: Can you take a fighter from DOA 1 and fight in DOA 2?
Itagaki: There seem to be a lot of people who like that concept. I've been hearing a lot of good ideas that could be added to the game.
GameSpy: Let's move on to Ninja Gaidan. How long have you worked on this project?
Itagaki: About five years. Four or five years. I worked on it in between my DOA projects. Over the last year, we have been working on it straight.
GameSpy: Would you describe this as your best game?
Itagaki: Yes.
GameSpy: Have you met the creator of the original Ninja Gaidan?
Itagaki: I met one of them. My mentor was one of the original guys.
GameSpy: What was his name?
Itagaki: Mr. Inose.
GameSpy: What was his first name?
Itagaki: In Japan we all go by last name. Back in the old days, we only had a few people to work on each game and they were geniuses. These days we have many times more talented people. The end result shows that.

I may be one of the most stubborn people in the industry, but I owe that to Mr. Inose for instilling in me the philosophy that I now have. Mr. Inose pretty much made all of the classic Tecmo games such as Rygar.

When I asked Mr. Inose if he worked on Rygar, he did not remember because he had worked on so many games.
GameSpy: Did he do Bomb Jack and Solomon's Key as well?
Itagaki: (Without a translator) Yes, of course.
GameSpy: But he did not work on Tecmo Bowl?
Itagaki: Tecmo Bowl was created by another guy… another great guy.
GameSpy: Tecmo is an interesting company. It was one of the great companies during the days of the Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System), and now it is starting to come back.
Itagaki: That is why Team Ninja works so hard. When I first joined the company it was in bad shape. Many of the geniuses had left. Inose and Shimoji (Tecmo Bowl) were the only ones who were left from the old school. I was directly below them. I was trained by them.

"Games must be fun to play, even if the characters are only composed of a triangle, a circle, and a square. Graphics are a secondary thing." That was their philosophy. Now, of course, we are a very graphics-oriented company, but I have not forgotten the principles that Inose and Shimoji taught me.

05-21-2003, 11:38 AM
Ninja Gaiden will own me when it's launch but for Dead or Alive Online, it's not what i have expected. Why do we move backstep ? I saw the trailer, looking cool but just the graphics don't meet the capabilities of the Xbox. Why he don't make like a new Dead or Alive with LIVE support ? :huh: