Tomonobu Itagaki has reportedly left Tecmo under a cloud, leaving a hefty lawsuit and a personal attack on company president Yoshimi Yasuda in his wake.
1UP has relayed a statement - sourced from "Itagaki aide Andrew Szymanski" - in which Itagaki says he has filed a lawsuit claiming damages of 148 million yen (GBP 750k / EUR 915k).
In the statement, he also apologises to his fans, pointing out that Ninja Gaiden 2 (due out this Friday in Europe) will be his last ever Ninja Gaiden. "I will also never be able to make Dead or Alive 5," he added.
Itagaki seems to blame Yasuda primarily for all this. He says he was promised a completion bonus for Dead or Alive 4 (released in Europe back in January 2006), which Yasuda then denied him, telling him to put up or shut up about it. Itagaki says this caused "significant emotional distress and worsening [of] my personal relationships and work environment".
He claims Yasuda acted in a way "unbefitting of a publicly-listed company", and says he wants to "question the social responsibility" of Tecmo and Yasuda "as well as condemning them for their unjust acts".
"Thus, I have no choice but to resign from Tecmo," he concluded.
You can check out the full statement on 1UP, which is now appearing in a few places.
When you're done, you might like to check out one of Itagaki's final interviews - a video chat with Eurogamer TV at Microsoft's recent San Francisco showcase event.