Earlier this year, after the break-out success of Hi-Fi Rush, Tango Gameworks surprised us all when studio lead Shinji Mikami announced he was leaving the company. Mikami has been very quiet since then, but it seems he’s about ready to break that silence. Recently, the former Evil Within and Resident Evil director shared that a “spell of non-competition” was broken and he might be returning to work soon, signaling a likely re-entry into the games industry.
Shinji Mikami shared a brief note about his return to games on his personal Twitter on October 11, 2023. There, Mikami mused that he should get back to work.
“Now that I've broken the spell of non-competition on myself, I guess I should get to work,” Mikami wrote.
The supposed “spell of non-competition” likely refers to a non-compete clause related to Tango Gameworks and, by extension, Bethesda and Xbox Game Studios. Shinji Mikami left Tango Gameworks in February 2023, closely following the successful launch of Hi-Fi Rush. At the time, Mikami had no comment as there was likely little he could legally say about the matter at the time thanks to said clause.
Many found it odd that Shinji Mikami would leave right after presiding over a hit like Hi-Fi Rush, but it seems the veteran developer and studio lead isn’t done with the games industry yet. Given that the “spell of non-competition” being broken mostly likely applies to working in the games industry space, Mikami’s tweet could be seen as him preparing to jump into something new. Whether that ends up with him working at an established company or kicking off a studio of his own will be interesting to see. It’s also worth noting that fellow ex-Capcom dev Hideki Kamiya has teased he will also return to the games industry in about a year after having left a lead role at PlatinumGames.
As we watch for what happens next with Shinji Mikami, stay tuned to Shacknews for further updates.