Itagaki almost quit after DOA2

Tomonobu Itagaki has revealed that he almost quit the industry after an incomplete build of Dead Or Alive 2 was released for PlayStation 2 without his permission.

Speaking at last week's Dice Summit in Las Vegas, reported by Joystiq, Itagaki explained that the PS2 port of Dead Or Alive 2 was behind schedule and unlikely to make its intended release date when a sales manager came to him and asked to borrow a copy of the incomplete build, on which the team had only spent two and a half months.

"Instead," Itagaki said, "it was taken into a factory for production on that day without me knowing it. I thought I would quit making games; some of the staff, including me, were so depressed by this fact."

He spent the next "three or four months" at home, drinking and watching movies. "No matter how much I drank," he said, according to VentureBeat, "I could never get drunk." Nor did he pay much attention to what was on screen: "It was more like just looking at the screen than watching movies."

There was one exception: 1998 Michael Bay flick Armageddon, which he watched over and over, singing along with his three-year-old daughter to Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," sung by Steven Tyler for his daughter, Liv, who starred in the movie. "If I close my eyes now and recall Armageddon," he said, "tears still come out."

Eventually, Itagaki's daughter asked him to stop watching the film, as the father dies. It was then he realised his mistake.

"What a stupid decision I had made," he said. "I died as a game developer without even making something for my daughter."

Itagaki returned to Tecmo and continued work on the Dead Or Alive series, licensing Aerosmith songs for the soundtracks. He left in 2008 over unpaid bonuses and joined Valhalla Studios, whose first project, Devil's Third, is to be published by THQ.