Update: Bethesda has confirmed Shinji Mikami's exit from Tango Gameworks in a short statement on social media:
Original Story: Shinji Mikami, founder and CEO of Tango Gameworks, is set to leave the studio "in the coming months". That's according to a new report from TrueAchievements, citing a company-wide email verified by Bethesda.
He will be stepping away from Tango after 12 years. Mikami formed the independent team after an illustrious career at Capcom and beyond, helping create iconic series like Resident Evil and Dino Crisis. Other notable works include God Hand, Vanquish, and The Evil Within.
"Mikami-san has been a creative leader and supportive mentor to young developers at Tango for 12 years through his work on the Evil Within franchise, Ghostwire: Tokyo, and of course, Hi-Fi Rush," reads the email, signed by Bethesda's Todd Vaughn. The latter of those titles, an Xbox exclusive rhythm action game, is described as "one of the most successful launches for Bethesda and Xbox in recent years".
With regards to what's next for the designer/director, his future plans remain unknown for now. Of course, Tango Gameworks falls under Xbox's first-party umbrella these days, so we suppose Mikami may end up developing for multiple platforms once again. That's if he plans to continue working, anyway.
A final statement issued to TrueAchievements reads: "We wish Mikami-san well in the future and are excited by what lies ahead for the talented developers at Tango."
[source trueachievements.com, via gematsu.com]
Had read somewhere he was retiring
Happens all the time, when ms get their grubby incompetent mitts on a studio.
@IAmAshCohen17 and u are correct I read it in a comment linked to an article in gematsu
He is 58 years old (if I remember correctly)
I would not be surprised if he was retiring for good.
And in case he is retiring, hats off Mr. Mikami. You are a legend
Im sorry but xbox acquire them and the director who setup the studio from the ground up, leaves after a year under Xbox leadership.....lets not jump to...OMG what are xbox leadership doing internally!?!?
@IAmAshCohen17 I believe that is only speculation right now, no confirmation he is retiring. He's 57, so could go either way. But most people are in games because they love it.
This is happening again and again. The studios that Microsoft purchase are getting to see what it’s like to work under the Microsoft umbrella and this isn’t the first high profile figure to leave after their studios are acquired. Not long ago there were departures from Playground games aswell. He is only 57, so still a few years left in the industry for sure. These guys are setting up companies to make a mark in the industry, to fight for what they want. When they have Microsoft making them throw all their hard work onto GamePass, there are no rewards for their risks. It has to work differently for the people that make the games.
Either retiring or trying to get away from Microsoft 🤷🏻♂️
It's a shame, however if retirement rumours are true, we all need to do so sometime.
Tango Gameworks were onto something with Evil Within 2, I do hope we get a third some day
Fair enough for leaving on a high, imo he's passing the torch to Johanas who's shown he has the skills to make a good game after Hi-Fi Rush.
People here acting like nobody has ever left a Sony studio before.
Quick, someone handcuff him to a desk and have him make Evil Within 3!
If he is retiring, then thank you Mikami-san for the great experiences and memories over the years. Enjoy retirement.
Of course it would be lovely to see him make something new in the mould of his classic experiences should he decide to move to another studio
I guess he wanted to leave on a high note
I guess that means no TEW 3?
Recently played the first two and they are excellent and very original.
I hope he find a better place where he can express his vision and ingenuity.
He's a rare talent, one of the few that can be mentioned in the same breath with Kojima.
I'm sure it wasn't his decision to have his studio bought my Microsoft. As a Japanese game designer, he probably would want Japanese gamers to experience his games, which is not something that happens a lot when Microsoft locks your games away.
1) M$ take over studio
2) talent leaves studio
3) M$ left with seriously depleted studio
It's like Rare, all over again...
@northofthewall Stop being so sensible. Remember Microsoft = bad. You need to get in line! 😁
I wish Mikami-san well in whatever he decides to do next!
Resident Evil, Dino Crisis, The Evil Within, Vanquish, Devil May Cry just to name a few of his creations. Games wouldn't be what they are today without this Man.
@northofthewall hi-if rush is ***** though
@Artois2 Hi-Fi Rush is high key my current GOTY tbh, and probably only Silksong can top it.
Anyways, Tango will be fine. Though I’m curious how the inevitable Evil Within 3 will turn out.
That tagline makes me think the only way to get hired by Tango Games works is for an orange man to slap you in the face.
There's two conclusions to draw from this, and both have been covered in the comments above mine. Whatever it is though, it is of his own volition. Congratulations sir, you've made more than a mark in gaming history.
Wouldn’t be surprised if he goes to Grasshopper to work on the Shadows of the Damned sequel with Suda 51.
Nice that he gets to leave on a high note with Hi-Fi Rush being so well received. I still want to get to that game at some point.
Well you certainly can't say he didn't go out with a bang.
My guess is that he'll either hop on over to another studio entirely (he seems to like doing that based off of his track record) or just full on retire. Regardless of what he chooses, he's a legendary game developer that deserves all the praise he's been given!
@Sakisa Just finished Hi-Fi Rush last night.
On the whole I thought it was great, a joyous saturday-morning-cartoon adventure. But also felt it was a potential 9/10, or even 9.5/10, game dragged down by some REALLY annoying elements. Parrying, instant fail sections, annoying QTE's, some of the bosses ESPECIALLY the last one! Expects you to play 5 times for 1000GS, etc.
Still a solid 8.5/10 for me, when it's good it's really great.
He’s leaving over the “coming months” and has been preparing the team for his departure. This doesn’t sound like someone who has bad blood despite all the comments to the contrary here. I think probably is retiring.
Those Tango ads were barmy.
Every time someone leaves an Xbox studio it is because of mismanagement. Give me a break with this comment. Stop drinking the Sony blue kool-aid.
The statement from Bethesda doesn't sound like retirement me. I'm already convinced he'll pop up somewhere else although I don't see him creating a new studio at this point. He'll probably get involved with 1 or 2 more games and then bounce for good.
The man is a legend. Say what you will about Microsoft, but they sure have a great game on hand with Hi-fi Rush which defies the usual bland Bethesda output.
evil within 2 was a commercial failure despite being a way better game than the first one
Weird, I liked everything you called annoying😂
But I'm on level 5 now, so maybe they get annoying for me too
Just one question: what is GS?
The timing definitely feels like leaving on a high note and passing the torch. Their games haven't been selling well. EW2 didn't do so great commercially despite critical praise, and Ghostwire barely came and went with a wimper. He finally has a bona-fide hit with HiFi Rush, and it wasn't his own game but the younger talent. Seems "Very Japanese" to take that peak to pass the torch and step away. He may or may not retire from the industry, but for their studio size they just dropped 2 big games and realistically it'll be years before the next. It's a logical turning point for him. Sad to see when legends step away though.
@Wiiiiiiiii Opinions! Glad you are enjoying it. I did too, just small niggles.
GS is Gamerscore. Not heard round these parts, but 1000GS is the same as the Platinum trophy on PlayStation.
@NEStalgia Evil Within 2, Ghostwire AND Hi-Fi Rush weren't directed by Mikami, last one was Evil Within 1 almost a decade ago. He's been executive producing since.
@themightyant Wow, I didn't even know he'd stepped so far back, and GW seems very "his style." Sounds like he's been pseudo-retired from games for a long time, then, and mostly just working business.
Evil Within Part 1 & 2 are some of my favorite games. I wish him the best.
Well first they aquired his studio, then MS aquires the studio that aquired him. I would speculate he's not in a place he wanted to be in and is either gonna join some other third party or just create another studio.
The big mistake MS apparently made is not contracting the important workforce behind their aquired stuff. What use is a bought studio if all the important people leave it xD
Shinji mikami is cool.he makes a lot of really good games.word up son
@themightyant I actually really liked the parrying and how tough the final boss was, felt appropriate. It’s also a game laser targeted to my tastes though, very much reminding me of a Clover title in the same vein as Viewtiful Joe or God Hand, and they nailed it for me, making it…honestly a 10 by my estimation.
@NEStalgia Always difficult to know how far back they have actually stepped, some EP's are more project managers, others like Miyamoto were far more hands on even after they had handed off full directorial duties.
@Sakisa Glad you enjoyed it so much.
As I said I was close to giving it a 9 or 9.5 but ultimately thought there was enough frustration that crucially disrupted the all important RHYTHM of the game. It wasn't that the final boss was hard that specifically irked, though it was, it's that it felt like it made you abandon most of what you had learned up to that point to focus instead on what works. The rhythm of the game changed. For a game that was so FUN, this was and a real shame after the utterly-brilliant tracks 10 and 11 that felt like a victory lap. Left a slightly sour ending.
@themightyant I kinda get that, the final boss does change up the rhythm aspect in some ways, and I have my own little niggles too in that green enemies requiring Macaron to be called in twice for all their armor when he has the longest cool down...but those can't get in the way of the fact that this is one of those games when I decry 'they don't make them like they used to.'...well this one was made like they used to for me and all 12 tracks are certified bangers to me. Though track 6 is very very short.
To each their own though, glad you enjoyed it too, even if not quite as much as I did.
@Sakisa I was praising that too. They don't make games like this anymore, we need more of it. Games that are just games and not realistic, but crazy and out there and fun. Loved that, just not a few things within it.
But you are tempting me to up my score to a round 9! I'm currently writing a long review of it for PX Game Club, we played it this month, and am flip-flopping on the final number rn
Alright time for Sony to get him finally.
Wow. Not surprised. This seems to always happen at Microsoft. What is Tango without its visionary?
🤣🤣🤣 So many inevitable 'He's leaving because Microsoft are terrible' comments. Pathetic. He's been responsible for so many amazing games. I loved Evil Within 2 and Shadows of The Damned but neither sold particularly well.
Hi-Fi Rush is my GoTY so far (although there's plenty of time for that to change).
Edit - It's Metroid Prime Remastered.
Metroid Prime Remastered, Zelda - Tears of The Kingdom and Hi-fi Rush will not be bettered by any game in 2023.
I love how all the 'this always happens at Xbox crowd' are ignoring the likes of Tim Schafer and Josh Sawyer.
@themightyant Hey, you go with how you feel about the game, but I did see PX gameclub was doing the game this month. 8.5 or 9.0, it's clear that quibbles aside you had a good time and that's always a good thing. I won't lie, even this early on i'm hoping for a sequel that maybe does some fine tuning for a few of the rough edges.
Man. Looks like that retirement is approaching. I wonder if he was able to do that final game he talked about before
@Sakisa I'm definitely hoping for sequel. There was PLENTY I loved, it just wasn't quite there for me.
I've now posted my review, It's long, but you might be interested.
@themightyant Took a read and I think I get where you're coming from on the parrying. For me I loved it, and it never failed to make me feel cool in the game, and the Korsica boss fight is one of THE highlights of the game for me, but at the same time it is absolutely the one mechanic that requires rhythm, which forgive me if I misinterpreted, but at the top you said is something you struggle with.
I could definitely see that being a frustration for someone. The samurai enemies were my absolute favorite in the game in terms of standard enemies, but yeah, when the game tries to be accommodating in the standard combat, it doesn't quite make it all the way in some areas, I can see that.
I uh...I think with Hi-Fi Rush at least I am in that 5% of gamers you described, though Rhythm Master mode is giving me a run for my money at the moment. I also don't think you were too harsh at all.
Interesting, losing mikami games was the thing I was most disappointed about with the Bethesda acquisition.
It seems to me that all these Microsoft moves have only had a negative impact on the industry, and this departure only adds to that sentiment.
@Sakisa You liked all the bits I didn't!
Opinions, man! lol
Good luck with Rhythm Master, I can absolutely see that skill ceiling is high and if you enjoy all those things and attain some mastery it will be pure bliss. Enjoy.
Like most stats on the internet that 5% was made up, but you get my gist, I may be way off base. It might be much higher, certainly 2 or 3 of our small group put it in their favourite games of all time camp. Meanwhile someone else gave up after a level or two. Again, opinions! lol
@themightyant Miyamoto's a special case. I don't think he REALLY stepped back at ALL despite the title change. I think he didn't have as much time and didn't do hands on what with the brand expansion, theme parks, movies, etc, but I think he's still been overseeing a lot of direction, and the "he's not involved" line is investor/optics management because in the past any time he even says the word "retire" their stocks hit the floor, so they have to give the appearance they don't' depend on him anymore, even if his hands are in everything, so investors don't panic when he does eventually leave.
My telltale will be TotK. If it goes back to being anime-ish it means Miyamoto stepped away and Aonuma's going it alone. If it stays grounded, we know Miyamoto's still knee deep in design unofficially
@Sakisa @themightyant FWIW, I was amazed in Hifi rush that the achievement for beating Roquefort (penultimate boss) and Kale (final boss) were "rare achievements" meaning most players haven't even got to the last stage. That does indicate either a lot of people getting frustrated and dropping out, or could just mean a lot of people struggling with winning and are taking a lot longer to go through it, or spending more time looking for the collectibles on their first run through.
Then again, only something like 2/3 of HZD players made it past the Proving and 3/4 made it past the Rost prologue, and it seems like only about half kept going past the ZD project site and only like 20% made it to level 40. People really don't play through games to conclusion like we tend to think. I get the picture the majority play just until they see enough story to get the gist of it then move on. Achievements/trophies are a triple-edge sword. They easily reveal just how little people really DO play games, even the big tentpoles.
Same with Yakuza Kiwami on Xbox. The majority seemed to get the story completion trophy. But almost all the quests of the second half were rare achievements. People seem to skip most content and just bee-line the stories. GP may contribute somewhat to speedrunning things, but it doesn't seem that different even with the big Sony games (though, admittedly, are also on subscription by and large.)
@themightyant eh, made up statistics are spotty but yeah, I got the gist. It's all always opinion in the end so again, respect to you for it and with you on hoping for a sequel that shaves off the weaknesses, I need more of Chai, Peppermint, 808, Macaron, CNMN, and Korsica.
@NEStalgia I'd like to think Miyamoto is hung up with his enthusiasm for Pikmin until retirement personally. Also yeah, the roughly 1% achievement I popped for beating Kale was a little concerning, but it was also in the first week of release so I wrote it off.
Go back to Capcom for one last resi!
@Sakisa It made it up to 5% or so last week...so....better? Maybe? It's hard to gauge because it's kind of a tentpole release on a subscription so virtually everybody is going to try it even if they find out early they just don't enjoy a rhythm based game. I don't even mind the kale stat because, that fight is kind of annoying BS where most of the time you can't even damage him and have to just wait. But the SAME 5% that beat Roquefort also beat Kale more or less, so people gave up earlier on. Although it seems like Roquefort/Finance was kind of the brick wall where a lot of people suddenly stopped, so maybe it's just the difficulty spike of a lot more mandatory parry encounters and the admittedly tough Roquefort fight itself that keeps stats down.
Also, a moment to acknowledge that HFR is a fun fest for Roger Craig Smith fans. He's both Kale, and the trenchcoat noire detective/manager you find periodically in levels, and I never even recognized either was him.
@NEStalgia I agree Miyamoto was probably a bit a different, but I think it's important to highlight the difference between a director and what Miyamoto was doing later on.
I'm led to believe he was there with a few ideas, concepts and occasionally to judge the game and make suggestions. But I don't think he was doing the daily graft of leading, creating and keeping it on track that a director usually does. I think he was overseeing many projects rather than focusing on one. Probably similar for Mikami.
@Sakisa @NEStalgia These trophy/achievement stats are always way off for Game Pass and PS+ games, especially early on. I find, when i've looked at it before, they're not usually representative compared to people who bought the game.
There's a lot of people who will play it once or twice to see if it's their jam and then either delete it or keep it for later. I've definitely done both before and it's one of the joys of subscription services, many more people can just give it a go.
EDIT: They probably gave up ON Korsica Effing parrying.
I literally posted on pure yesterday stating about COD and that I'd imagine in a year or two, those Devs would move on. Today, this happens. It could just prove my point.
@themightyant Similar to Mikami except with like 8x the number of projects, while also managing IP, theme park design (he did the "level design" of the theme parks himself), and consulting on movies, all while "semi-retired" lol Miyamoto's idea of "retired" is my idea of "meat grinder"
Yeah, in a lot of ways since virtually most major games end up on subscriptions at some point now, the percentages are kind of meaningless across the board. OTOH, that's the same way I play my back log library I mean I JUST finished HZD after starting it in 2017 I was that 25% that didn't even finish the prologue for 5 years (Now it's a platinum....one of my only two, lol)
The rare/percentage factor on trophy/achievement probably needs to go away though since the way people consume games really changed since PS360 let alone with GP/Plus/Now.
LOL, Yeah, Korsica was an annoying fight. I mean I SUCK at rhythm games and made it through, but I can't say that battle was particularly fun for that reason
@NEStalgia Oooh! Spill the beans, what was your other plat?
I don't think the rare/percentage needs to go away, it's a fun aside. I just think we need to stop reading too much into it, especially on sub services.
Yes you're right about Miyamoto. Workaholic even in semi-retirement.
I read your review.
I agree with you about "Bosses makes you replay cut scenes when you die.", but I liked other things you considered annoying, as you said, opinions!
It is a good review, and I don't think you were too harsh
Just one thing you didn't mention, Lovely characters! They're really likeable، but maybe you don't like them that much, that's not a problem
@Wiiiiiiiii It's true! I didn't mention Chai, and Peppermint, 808, et al. and my favourite CNMN. They were really great, I hope we see more of them.
To be honest there were loads of things I didn't mention, and wanted to, but it was already so long...
One thing I found weird is that voice acting was generally fantastic, but the actor playing Macaron seemed to slip in and out of a British English from time to time. Kept putting me off. (very minor quibble)
All this chat about it and I feel maybe I should have gone a 9. There IS a lot to love. Flip-flop, flip-flop
@themightyant Haha, the other one was far less impressive, just Astro's Playroom. I never bother with trophies/achievements, the whole thing seems silly to me. Astrobot was a short game, and I didn't want it to be done so I figured no time like the present to see what all the trophy fuss is all about. So I did it. It was the most rediculous possible grinding with a phone on my lap figuring out what things I needed to do and decided it would be my only plat ever.
Then I played HZD naturally and realized I had only 3 things left to do to get the plat, so I might as well do them! Two were just in-game quests I left unfinished because they annoyed me (power armor missing one power cell, and the last darned stealth hunting ground trial I couldn't get a blazing sun in so I abandoned.) After I wrapped those up with the frozen wilds gear easier, the only one left was the stupid grindy one of shooting all the training targets in the sacred lands, and bingo magic platinum from just playing a game normally and then doing one silly annoying task for the plat
I'm sure that will be my only two plats ever unless by chance I'm 3 tasks away from another one
RE the actor for Macaron, yeah I just looked that up and he's Texan. I really wish companies would stop having Americans fake British accetnts and Brits fake American accents. They rarely fool anyone. I know accents/dialoects are part of an actor's job, but....some just don't translate faithfully enough. I don't think anyone would have minded if Macaron wasn't British considering he's the only Brit in the game
if this means he is joining a new, independent studio to flex his creativity again, that is good news. it would be neat if he joined ex studio japan members who have since formed bekoh studio and can operate without interference. tango being acquired by zenimax was a big mistake at the time but apparently tango was in financial trouble and had no other path. i doubt this was the outcome shinji had envisioned for the studio and wouodn't be surprised if microsoft is now testing his patience. all the best for one of the legendary designers and pioneers of the gaming industry.
So much MS hate on here , grow up ffs
@NEStalgia I should have guessed Astro's Playroom! Fun game, I replayed it they other day. Need more joyous, short sweet, experiences like that.
To be fair many VA's manage it well, and this guy seems like he's done plenty of work. But as a Brit the voice was a little jarring, and seemed inconsistent. It's a bit like when you have someone who's lived in another country for so long, but every now and again the syllables come out slightly different. To be fair those people DO exist, they could just say he was a Brit who's been living and working in America under Vanderlay for 20+ years, it fits.... but it was still annoying.
As he oversees games these days (at least I assumed) besides having some director input I guess not much to say. I mean he goes between Tango and Platinum (no idea if other studios) so not sure what to think really. His ideas and direction has been great to see though in many projects over the years. Will see what he plans on if not with Tango anymore though. Whether with Platinum still, another Indie studio as Tango is built up enough.
I don't think it's much of Microsoft in this at all it could be but it's not the only factor again no one mentioned Platinum at all, he has a hand in Bayonetta after all and let I forget her name but still for Ghostwire Tokyo. It could be many things. If retirement I think we'd hear about it but if a new studio or focus on Platinum then sure I wouldn't be surprised.
@themightyant That's the problem I have with Frey in Forspoken, too. As a yank, that NY accent is just irritatingly off and exaggerated. Why but just hire a new Yorker? Or Ohioan that can fake it. Or just make Frey a Londoner? It's not like Yakuza actors from Kanto faking Kansai dialects, it's just too subtly different.
I wish him nothing but the best, whether he's moving onto another career/studio, or truly retiring like some people are speculating.
@Sakisa yeah should have added that it was my opinion just really couldn’t get into and don’t understand the hype. but good to hear so many enjoy it.
@Bionic-Spencer You know how strange if the people who left Playground Game left cause of Microsoft? Basically “Im gonna leave this studio cause it was bought by the company who was paying my bills for the last 13 years”. That studio wouldn’t even be where it is if it wasn’t for Microsoft… They’ve basically been a Microsoft studio for years.
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