Former Team Ninja boss and Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden creator Tomonobu Itagaki ordered by court not to talk to press before Tecmo lawsuit begins.
When Tomonobu Itagaki quit his job at Japanese developer Tecmo at the beginning of the month, he didn't go quietly. The Ninja Gaiden II director released a statement telling the world that he was leaving due to unpaid bonuses and would also be suing the company to reclaim said bonuses, which he claimed amounted to some $1.4 million.
Tecmo confirmed his departure, stating that it would "let the court decide" the verdict and added that popular game franchises, including Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden, would be continuing without Itagaki.
Yesterday, the Japanese press reported that a class-action law suit had been filed at the Tokyo District Court by two other Tecmo employees, on behalf of all 300. The lawsuit was for unpaid overtime wages totaling $77,000 (presumably per person).
Now, in the latest chapter in the saga, Tecmo has slapped Itagaki with a four-point gag order, reports Famitsu. As part of the gag order, Itagaki is not allowed to disclose or leak information regarding Tecmo's game software, sales, development or any other company secrets.
Further, using newspapers, magazines, and the Internet to criticize company software and company employees is forbidden, and Itagaki is also barred from obstructing the company's business through slanderous remarks to third parties. Lastly, he cannot accept interviews regarding Tecmo or talk to the press about the company.
This Reminds me of when Tecmo made that Tetris game without even owning the rights to it. I reckon they got a lot of dirty little secrets.
well...policies are policies when it comes to companies.. itagaki might as well shut-up for the mean time until the court decides other wise he might get accused and make tables turn-around..
Tecmo's success was a result of Itagaki's involment, as well as the other talented individuals actually making the games. Apparently Tecmo doesn't value that talent considering the fact that 300 employees have come forward claiming unpaid wages. I hope Itagaki starts his own studio, he'll have no problem finding a publisher.
I'd have to say this could either be a really good thing (new life in the franchises) or really bad (they devolve into total crap and don't recover). Most likely....bad... :(
I can't wait to see how great DOA and NG will evolve without Itegaki holding their potential back believing his games are so perfect that they don't need to change in the sequels.
Itagaki is Tecmo. Without Itagaki Tecmo is nothing. Their big titles DOA and Ninja Gaiden are only successful do to Itagaki's creative thinking. Those franchises are due for failure without Itagaki. Tecmo's drop in stock after the departure of Itagaki is just the beginning. Even with Itagaki's gag order people already know Tecmo's screwed.
HAH. Serves him right. It's pretty unprofessional for Itagaki to blast Tecmo like that anyway. Which is probably why the rest of the Tecmo team has been incited to riot about lost wages. One thing that is screwed up is that he sunk his own game in Japan. Since people there steer clear of scandalous products & complications associated with them.
I predict Tecmo agreeing to a settlement as quickly and as quietly as possible to try to save face. Both public opinion and company stocks are gonna take bad hits as it is already.
This guy won't comply. He's a megalomaniac. The likely result is Itagaki just disappears after the court rewards him what he's asking for. After leaving Tecmo, I don't see any company wanting to collaborate with him because of his attitude and ego. After all, this is the guy acting as if he "owns" a preexisting franchise.
Sure Itagaki has a big mouth - and I do believe this gag order is in Tecmo's best interest... but man it would be interesting to listen to his remarks and *** talk... Ah well - pretty harsh order though
Yeesh... I could understand not allowing him to divulge software or company secrets, but not allowing Itagaki to publicly speak of his past at Tecmo seems ridiculous. Without the backing of Tecmo, I doubt his next company will be as commercially successful as Team Ninja.
I really dont care for Itagaki, it seems he loves the attention, fame and money but I don't really have much faith in Tecmo either since they don't seems very honest about the situation. I don't think there are any sides to take I only care about the titles that are in jeopardy. We don't need Itagaki since NG and DOA don't belong to him and I look forward to a new guy picking up the series and make something different from it since Itagaki doesnt stray far from his own way. As long as the series don't take a turn for the worst or disappear completely then we'll be ok.
"Itagaki is kindof a dik anyways...." Tru dat. I actually think that Tecmo may be better off without him, however there's still that whole debacle about the unpaid overtime to their employees, which is in their best interest to settle out of court or lose more face with the public. One thing's for sure though, a gag order is going to be hard for someone with as big a mouth as Itagaki's to honor. Don't be surprised if he ends up facing legal penalties for violating it, because he doesn't know how to act professionally. I don't expect that to change in regards to his dealings with the legal system.
Dude, IsmirZone, he and Team Ninja ARE TECMO. Without the DOA and Ninja Gaiden series, they're going to be severly dead in the water. Things like Tecmo Bowl and Fatal Frame are not going to save them.
Tomonobu Itagaki has problems with himself. He thinks the he is Tecmo...for someone who is Japanese that is disrespectful on his part to announce his quitting the way he did. His perverted DOA franchise that was in impressive way back and Ninja Gaiden is works of art to his credit, but forgot that none of it would have gotten to where it is without Tecmo and the fans that supported his projects. Now don?t get me wrong about the claims he makes, but as Tecmo said let the court decide that..
Itagaki does have a big mouth and loves the spotlight. Tecmo knows this, hence why they felt a gag order was necessary. I mean if any of you guys owned a company and fired someone that knew your secrets, who could potentially tell everyone out of spite and greed, then you'd put a gag order on him too. I'm not defending Tecmo, but still, they're a business trying to make money and businesses will fight in court to keep that money.
They will sue him if he releases info. They have legal right which is the sad part. However I hope god is itagaki's side. unpaid bonuses is a bigger crime.
Isn't Tecmo in enugh trouble already? I mean, what's to stop the ones that are suing them now from releasing that sort of information? They can't protect themselves on this one. Somebody other than Itagaki is going to go down on them hardcore somewhere down the road, and it won't be pretty when it does happen.
Shouldn't we be allowed to know of corporate abuse of employees. Why are businesses given such an advantage. It's not as if company technical secrets are being divulged. Congratulations Tecmo, you have yourself a pristine business with an army of faceless minions toiling in obscurity to generate your profits! Greed! Tasteless.
Itakagi is talented, he makes great games and thats what counts for me. Its a shame his career will end this way. I hope he starts a new development team. Just like Jeff Gerstman did with GiantBomb. There is always hope and a future awaiting ahead of you.
Tecmo is apparently one of the worst developers ever. Gag orders are fairly standard when lawsuits like these are involved, but it's pretty obvious they have something to hide.
It's not the first company to slap a former employee with a gag order and they won't be the last either. If they promised to pay these people then they should honor their promise.
Tecmo is actually a ninja training grounds, or so i hear. Rumor also has it, you need enormous breasts and more blood than the average human being has to even be considered a member. Talk about tough. Get the word out Itagaki!
Game time! Ready?..... Guess which company is going to nab this guy..... P.S. One of Tecmo's secrets is.... they FORCE their employees to wear sunglasses ALL THE TIME! lol
A company doesn't file such an extensive gag order unless that employee needs to be gagged. Makes me really wonder just what goes on in the Tecmo studio.
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