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Koji Igarashi

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KojiIgarashi

Koji Igarashi (五十嵐 孝司, Igarashi Kōji), also simply known as IGA, is a Japanese game designer, director, and former producer of the Castlevania series by Konami. Born on March 17, 1968 in Fukishima prefecture, he joined Konami in 1990 in full-time full-time capacity, after having worked there part-time for a year while he attended school. He left the company in March 2014. On May 11, 2015 Igarashi launched a Kickstarter campaign for his new project Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a spiritual successor to his Castlevania games. He currently lives in Tokyo.

ProfileEdit

Igarashi started his career at Konami just when they established a new wing to the company that focused on creating educational software. Igarashi and a number of other graduate employees were instructed to build a business training simulation, in which the player would learn how to run a successful business. Despite the team's efforts to get the masquerading game built, the project was cancelled after 12 months of development, towards the end of 1990.

Igarashi was moved to a new team and tasked to develop programming tools for the PC Engine game console, where he worked on Twin Bee and Gradius 2. Afterwards, he was moved onto the development team for a new kind of game, the dating simulation game Tokimeki Memorial. Even though he was employed as a programmer, Igarashi was instructed to write the storyline for Tokimeki Memorial.

Despite Igarashi's misgivings, Tokimeki Memorial was a hit. Because of the game's success, his boss requested him to write a sequel, but Igrashi protested. His superiors relented and produced a list of all the game projects currently in development at the company. Because of Tokimeki Memorial's success Igarashi was told he was allowed to pick the game he wanted to work on next. The game that he ended up choosing was Castlevania.

The Castlevania title Igarashi was assigned to ended up cancelled and the team was disbanded. However, several members including Igarashi ended up working on Symphony of the Night, a side-project to the Castlevania series, which later became an important milestone and influenced many later Castlevania titles.

After Symphony of the Night was finished, Igarashi and the rest of the team decided to take a break from developing any sequels as they felt they needed to recover their creative energy. Afterwards, the Castlevania brand was handed to the Nagoya and Kobe branches of Konami. When KCEK's Circle of the Moon was planned for an American release, Igarashi requested to Konami's American president to become the game's producer in America, handling the PR. In return, the president requested Igarashi to produce a Castlevania game every year. [1]

Eventually, Igarashi resigned as Castlevania producer because the series made less of a profit than it used to, making it less of a priority to Konami. [1] One of the reasons he cited were the lowering of game's prices while the base development costs of the games stated the same, while at the same time the fanbase didn't increase enough to compensate for this. [1] Another reason was that around 2008 Igarashi was developing a Castlevania game for PS3 and Xbox 360, but the development was troubled. Igarashi mentioned it was a combination of these factors that resulted in Konami asking him to step down as producer. [1]

Igarashi left Konami in March 2014. Following this depature he stated: "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." On May 11, 2015 Igarashi launched a Kickstarter campaign for his new project Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a spiritual successor to his Metroidvania style of Castlevania.

CreditsEdit

Below is a list of works associated with Koji Igarashi.

Game Name First
released
System Role(s)
Detana Twinbee 1992 PC-Engine Programmer
Gradius II 1992 PC-Engine Super CD-ROM Programmer
Tokimeki Memorial 1992 PC-Engine Super CD-ROM Scenario Writer
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood 1993 PC Engine Special Thanks
Akumajō Dracula (cancelled)

[2]

N/A Sega 32X Programmer
Tokimeki Memorial: Forever with you 1995 PlayStation, Sega Saturn Scenario Writer
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night 1997 PlayStation Assistant Director, Programmer, Scenario Writer
Elder Gate 2000 Playstation Director, System Programmer
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon 2001 Gameboy Advance PR (America only)[1][3]
Castlevania Chronicles 2001 Playstation Producer
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance 2002 Gameboy Advance Producer, Scenario Writer
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow 2003 Gameboy Advance Producer, Scenario Writer
Castlevania: Lament of Innocence 2003 Playsation 2 Producer, Scenario Writer
Nano Breaker 2004 Playstation 2 Producer
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow 2005 Nintendo DS Producer, Scenario Writer
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness 2005 PlayStation 2 Producer, Scenario Writer
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin 2006 Nintendo DS Producer, Scenario Writer
Castlevania: Order of Shadows 2007 mobile phone Special Thanks
Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles 2007 [[Wikipedia:Playstation Portable] Producer, Scenario Writer
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia 2008 Nintendo DS Producer
Castlevania Judgment 2008 Wii Producer
Akumajō Dracula (cancelled) N/A Playsation 3 Producer
Castlevania: The Arcade 2009 Arcade Special Thanks

Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth

2009 Wii

Producer

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

2010 Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network

Producer

Otomedius Excellent

2013 Xbox 360

Producer

Leedmees

2013 Xbox 360, Kinect

Producer

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

TBA PC, Playsation 4, Wii U, Xbox One

Producer

GalleryEdit

 
IGA3
 
Lord Iga
 
Lord Iga Pixel

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 IGA on His Castlevania Spiritual Successor, Konami, More - Kinda Funny Gamescast Special
  2. Electronic Gaming Monthly. Issue 206 (August, 2006). Page 102.
  3. Nintendo Power 145 - Circle of the Moon Preview

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