Former Team Ninja supremo Tomonobu Itagaki has revealed how he came close to leaving the games industry after Tecmo executives released an unfinished version of Dead or Alive 2 on PlayStation 2.
Speaking at this year's DICE summit, Itagaki recalled being approached by Tecmo's general sales manager during the PS2 port's strict two and a half month development period. The manager asked Itagaki if he could borrow the game to play a little; Itagaki complied, but the disc was never played by Tecmo staff — according to Itagaki's tale, the disc headed right to the factory for production and distribution.
As a result, Itagaki began to question his desire to continue creating games: he stayed at home, drank a lot and watched Armageddon over and over again, crying at Aerosmith's iconic theme song I Don't Want to Miss a Thing. After an unspecified length of time — how often can you sit and watch that movie before you start to lose it? — Itagaki returned to work to create Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore, but he looks back on the time pragmatically:
No matter what anyone says, Aerosmith and Armageddon were the ones who saved my life, my company, my friends and my family.
Michael Bay, Diane Warren, Steven Tyler — you have our gratitude.