After leaving Tango Gameworks in 2019, Ikumi Nakamura is back with a brand-new “small studio.” Though the name of Nakamura’s development house remains unknown, she is already building out her first IP.
The news comes via an Archipel documentary, which followed Nakamura as she traversed abandoned, dilapidated warehouses and facilities. During the 17-minute video, Nakamura discussed her motivations for leaving Tango and how traveling around the world shaped her ideas of what makes a good work environment.
“I made a tweet saying that I had quit,” Nakamura said. “On that same day, I received about 2,000 messages on LinkedIn. There were messages of encouragement, support, and job offers as well. Many people were also offering me to come and visit their studios. It was a chance for me to travel and learn what made a good working environment. I decided to use that experience to open my own small studio and build my IP.”
Nakamura didn’t provide many details about the studio or the project, other than saying she wants to “make a game full of dark jokes.” She expects to serve as director and creative director, while learning to entrust her teams more often. Additionally, Nakamura intends to “hire many foreigners” to “learn about new cultures,” as well as “achieve full gender equality” by leveraging the expertise and talents of her individual staffers.
Leaving Tango was difficult, Nakamura said, but her health came first. She described feelings of burnout.
“You can’t make games if you’re not healthy,” Nakamura said. “I started wondering whether there wasn’t a way for me to make games while feeling better. I took the decision to quit before it was too late. I was running away in a way.”
Nakamura also talked about Ghostwire: Tokyo, a project she led as creative director before leaving Tango in September 2019. It was previously suggested that Ghostwire: Tokyo would launch on October 21, but Sony has since recanted that release date. It’s still planned to launch on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.
Nakamura captured fans’ hearts with her E3 2019 presentation, where she announced Ghostwire: Tokyo during Bethesda’s conference. Her plucky personality and unbridled enthusiasm made her an instant star, catapulting her to internet fame.
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