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Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami left Tango Gameworks to break free from survival horror

Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami has opened up about his decision to leave Tango Gameworks, as he wishes to break free from the survival horror genre.

Mikami left Tango Gameworks – the ZeniMax owned studio he founded in 2010 – in February last year. Then, earlier this year, he founded a new company called Kamuy.

Now, in an interview on Japanese talk show Byking (thanks Automaton Media), Mikami has discussed his decision in more detail.

Resident Evil 4 – Announcement TrailerWatch on YouTube

Tango Gameworks encountered financial difficulties soon after it was founded and was swiftly acquired by ZeniMax Media. Mikami explained: “Tango Gameworks is not the name of a company, it’s the name of a department. The name of the company is ZeniMax Asia K.K.” As such, Tango Gameworks was simply a brand within the company.

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Mikami had actually planned to leave the company eight years before he did so, though he felt responsible for the projects being developed.

So why did he eventually leave? One reason is his desire to create an environment for younger game developers to have more frequent opportunities and gain experience. That would mean shorter cycles between projects, as well as unique, smaller-scale games.

A second reason is to move away from the survival horror genre for which he’s best known. He therefore decided to start a new company, Kamuy, with which to achieve his plans.

These reasons match comments from 2022, in which Mikami admitted in an interview with Famitsu he wanted Tango “to be viewed as a studio that can create a wider variety of games”.

Tango Gameworks created games such as The Evil Within, Ghostwire: Tokyo, and Hi-Fi Rush. As ZeniMax was acquired by Microsoft in 2021, Tango is the first Japanese studio in its portfolio.

Prior to Tango, Mikami created the Resident Evil series at Capcom, as well as work on Dino Crisis, P.N. 03, and God Hand among others.

Since Mikami’s Capcom buddy Bayonetta creator Hideki Kamiya departed PlatinumGames last year, fans have speculated the pair could be planning to work together again in future.

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