Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi leaves Konami

Koji "Iga" Igarashi, best known as the producer of Konami's Castlevania series, has left the company. He has been a veteran of Konami for over 20 years. He plans on starting his own small game development studio.

"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," Igarashi said. He has been largely uninvolved with the Castlevania series ever since it went to MercurySteam with the Lords of Shadow games.

"Leaving Konami was a big decision, and not one I took lightly," he said in a statement to Polygon. "I've spent my entire career there, made many friends, and had a lot of great opportunities--but I hope all the gamers and fans who have supported me in the past will join me in being excited about what comes next. Wish me luck!"

Igarashi's departure comes right before a planned session at Game Developers Conference titled "There and Back Again: Koji Igarashi's Metroidvania Tale," which promises to offer an "exploration of his experiences and methodology in creating some of the most popular and influential games in the genre over the last 15 years."