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Report: Team Ninja Exodus Follows Itagaki Departure, More Lawsuits on the Way

by Aaron Linde, Jun 16, 2008 1:15pm PDT
Related Topics – Ninja Gaiden 2, xbox 360, Tecmo, Legal

As many as three dozen members of Team Ninja may be following former studio chief and Ninja Gaiden II (360) director Tomonobu Itagaki after his sudden resignation and lawsuit against parent company Tecmo earlier this month.

According to a report from 1UP, the departing team members will also serve Tecmo with a class action lawsuit over unpaid bonuses for previously completed games. In filing his own lawsuit last month, Itagaki claimed damages of more than $1.4M in unpaid bonuses.

Moreover, the report adds that Tecmo may have violated Japanese law by withholding information about Itagaki's suit from its shareholders. Corporate law in Japan states that any lawsuit filed against a publicly-traded company must be reported to its shareholders on the same day, but Itagaki's suit—filed on May 14—was not revealed until the developer himself issued a public statement on June 2.

In addition to unpaid bonuses, the developer also cited "significant emotional distress" caused by Tecmo president Yoshimi Yasuda as impetus for the legal action. Following Itagaki's departure from Team Ninja and subsequent litigation, Tecmo's stock tumbled more than 10%.





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