Ikumi Nakamura, the game developer that made headlines during E3 2019 for her spirited on-stage presence at Bethesda's showcase, announced that she'll be departing from Tango Gameworks. The studio, known for being lead by prolific game director Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil), announced their newest title, Ghostwire: Tokyo, during the showcase. Whereas Tango was once creating survival-horror games with The Evil Within and its sequel, Ghostwire: Tokyo was taking a different approach according to Nakamura (focusing more on action-adventure with "spooky" supernatural elements incorporated within).
Nakamura was working as the creative director at Tango Gameworks. While many players have only recently come to know who she is by name, Nakamura's work can be seen in a wide variety of major video games. She originally designed backgrounds in Capcom's cult classic Okami, then moving on to Platinum Games in 2007, where she worked on concept art for the first Bayonetta. Her biggest role would be working as Shinji Mikami's apprentice on The Evil Within series. It's here she would work as the lead concept artist for the series, designing many of the creatures, characters, and environments found within.
In a report from VG247, Nakamura announced her departure from the studio she has been with for nine years via her Twitter account. What's slightly odd is the fact that she did not give a reason for her departure, and she did not announce any upcoming work. However, in a series of follow up tweets, Nakamura seemed to be in high spirits saying "the huge world is showing me infinite possibilities, like an open-world video game. Life is NOT linear." Typically, these sorts of shakeups can be somewhat concerning given that Ghostwire: Tokyo is still in active development.
After 9 years as Creative director & Art Director at Tango and Zenimax - I felt here is one of ends of the journeys . I learned from the talented people I've worked with and I respect. 🙏😊 Contact me if anyone wants to work with me! → https://t.co/4VKLdY2ejl pic.twitter.com/Hbsuta3Rgo— Ikumi Nakamura @TGS2019 (@nakamura193) September 4, 2019
Ghostwire: Tokyo's E3 teaser trailer gave players a look at an incredibly realistic depiction of Tokyo, Japan. Supernatural events start occurring as people start to vanish in mass and otherworldly figures appear. Tango Gameworks hasn't released any in-game footage as of right now, but hopefully, we'll be seeing some for the first time very soon despite Nakamura's departure.
While studio departures aren't uncommon in the gaming industry, Nakamura's seem a bit odd. What's weirder is the fact that she seemed to have plans for a potential sequel to Ghostwire: Tokyo. Given her portfolio of great work, she'll hopefully find herself in a new position sooner rather than later. As for Tango Gameworks, Tokyo: Ghostwire has an incredibly intriguing premise, being one of the few AAA titles that give players a more real-world depiction of Tokyo. Hideki Kamia is still involved with the project and will likely find someone new to fill Nakamura's role.