Koji Igarashi, producer of Castlevania games since the Symphony of the Night days and frequent wearer of cowboy hats and boots, has left Konami to strike out on his own, Polygon reports.
“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 told Polygon in a statement. “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 worked at Konami for over 20 years, cutting his teeth as a programmer for Detana!! TwinBee and Gradius II before becoming a scenario writer on Tokimeki Memoriai and gaining notoriety with Symphony of the Night, on which he served as assistant director, programmer, and scenario writer.
The longtime Castlevania producer oversaw 13 other Castlevania titles in that capacity, including Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow, Dawn of Sorrow, and more recently Harmony of Despair on XBLA and PSN.
Castlevania’s rockstar producer is presenting a talk at GDC this week titled “There and Back Again: Koji Igarashi’s Metroidvania Tale” during which he will provide “an exploration of his experiences and methodology in creating some of the most popular and influential games” in the genre he helped pioneer with Symphony of the Night.
Perhaps Igarashi will rip a page from Keiji Inafune’s playbook and turn to crowdfunding to get an indie Castlevania-style project off the ground? That would not be objectionable.