Designer and producer of Castlevania games like Symphony of the Night, Dawn of Sorrow, and Portrait of Ruin has decided to leave Konami after 24 years at the company. While Koji Igarashi, nicknamed Iga by fans, did not create the series, he was the series' biggest fan. He even wore a cowboy hat and whip when he interviewed for the games.
He said in an interview, "Twenty two of those years [at Konami], I made core video games. For two of them, I made social games." Iga had been curious about the popularity of social games and asked to be put on them. He thought there was something he could learn and that social games would be a good platform for quirky, unusual titles. With the popularity of social media games growing quickly in Japan, he thought that might be a good route to take. So what changed his mind?
"I keep getting messages from fans, via Facebook and such, telling me that they wanted me to make consumer games," Iga said. "The people who like my games tend to play traditional video games." Those messages struck a nerve, it seems. "I'm in my mid-forties. If I don't strike out on my own now, then when will I? The voices of those fans will just get softer and softer over time." Iga thought this was the best timing to make his own road. "I'm not getting any younger, and there are games I still want to make."
Also, Konami handed off the Castlevania series to a spanish group Mercury Steam saying, In an interview at the time, "We needed to make a change, so we did. The Castlevania series wasn't going anywhere, sales were dwindling and it was appealing only to a very small, hardcore fanbase. That's how franchises die... We have to take these risks if Castlevania is to survive, otherwise it's just going to be like Mega Man."
Iga later stated, "I was really inspired by the reaction that Keiji Inafune got with Mighty No. 9," said Iga. "It showed me that if you have the fans, you can provide them the games they want."
Mighty No. 9 did a lot more for gaming than expected. It showed that the creators have more power than they thought. If you have a classic video game series like Mega Man or Castlevania, the fans will support your project. So many of our beloved classic series are being shut down because they can't compete with the blockbuster titles.
I think it is very important for classic gamers to take notice of moves like this. It's nice to see some creators taking risks on their own to keep our favorite game series' alive. We need to support these decision and if (or when) Iga decides to do a kickstarter for a new game, I'll be first in line to support it.