Former Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi, oversaw what many fans considered the “golden era” of the series; He worked as assistant director, programmer, and scenario writer on Symphony of the Night before taking on a more significant role in the entire franchise.
Under the supervision of Igarashigames like Aria of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin would be created, titles that assumed the style metroidvania by SotN. After the interesting but ultimately divisive Castlevania: Harmony of Despair in 2010, Konami rebooted the Castlevania series, with the Spanish studio MercurySteam producing the successful Lords of Shadow.
A year later, Igarashi was moved to Konami’s “social” division, and the company would focus much of its energy on creating games for smartphones. Igarashi said at the time that his skills were not in this particular area, and he left Konami in 2014 to form ArtPlay and work on the Bloodstained franchise, which many people see as the true successor to the titles metroidvania by Igarashi.
Recently, Igarashi spoke about his reasons for leaving Konami during the Monaco International Anime and Games Conferences 2023 (MAGIC 2023)where he spoke with the creator of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi.
Here he explained, when he realized that Konami’s change of focus would mean there would be no more games Castlevania as SotNdecided it was time to say a change of scenery.
“In my case, (at Konami) I was no longer able to make the type of game that I knew the fans were waiting for. Mobile games were gaining popularity in Japan. As a company, I believe it was the right decision to change focus. However, as a result, it was no longer possible for me to make the same type of games. That’s when I heard the voice of a demon inside me telling me to quit. “I think, to a greater or lesser extent, the direction of the companies and what the developers wanted to do began to diverge.”
Igarashi joked that he was involved in one of the games that made the genre so popular. metroidvania:
“I would like to start by telling everyone to please clear my court. But seriously, I think it’s natural that works inspire each other. As for games within the genre, I try to play the good ones. More than me, the director (of Bloodstained) researches these games to see what they do well and learn from their mistakes at the same time. In that sense, I guess he should call our friends. “We all learn from each other in the hopes of creating better games.”
Since leaving Konami, Igarashi has worked on three games in the Bloodstained series (Curse of the Moon, Ritual of the Night, and Curse of the Moon 2), as well as the RTS title Revolve8: Episodic Duelling.
The Castlevania titles that Konami has produced without Igarashi have had mixed reception; While the original Lords of Shadow was both critically and commercially successful, the second game was less successful, and the spin-off 3DS Mirror of Fate remains a divisive title among fans.
Via: Time Extension
Editor’s note: Igarashi is one of the legends of Konami’s best era, however, everything changes and the developer has managed to find personal success on his own.