‘Ghostwire Tokyo’ ex-director Ikumi Nakamura details why she left Tango


Former Ghostwire Tokyo creative director Ikumi Nakamura recently established a new Japanese indie studio. She also revealed the reason why she left Tango.

Ikumi Nakamura, the feisty creative director from E3 2019, revealed that she started a Japanese indie dev. She also notes that she left Tango Gameworks due to health concerns related to her work with the studio.

Nakamura loves occult, fringe science

In a documentary interview, Nakamura detailed her time with Tango and her decision to leave the studio. She became part of the company since 2010, starting a small indie team with an IP in the works.

Within the documentary, she also discussed her love for the occult and fringe science. The documentary follows her in one of her hobbies – taking photographs in deserted ruins.

“I really like urban legends and everything that touches the occult,” said Nakamura. “Fringe science as well, using science to solve ghost mysteries.”

She notes how many games have inspired her love of video games. She notes that, among her favorites, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Final Fantasy 7 were foundational.

Nakamura has been a part of the game industry for 16 years, starting as an artist for Capcom’s Okami. She also worked on other games like Bayonetta and Scalebound, the canceled PlatinumGames title.

Nakamura: “I had been ill for some time”

Ikumi Nakamura became more prominent after her Bethesda E3 2019 Presentation. She revealed Ghostwire Tokyo to the public, much to the enjoyment of the internet. Even then, she noted how she was already ill by that time, leaving three months later.

“Arriving to that point was like a long dive underwater. I had been ill for some time,” Nakamura says. “You can’t make games if you’re not healthy. 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.”

By the time Nakamura quit, she said that she got thousands of LinkedIn messages. She received everything from job offers, well wishes, and even studio tour invites.

“It was the chance for me to travel and learn what made a good working environment. I decided to use that experience to open my small studio and build my IP,” she notes.

In her new studio, she plans to achieve a gender-equal ratio for her staff. She also plans on hiring foreigners to add diversity to her team.

“Many players think of me as someone drawn by horror or the grotesque,” she comments about her studio. “It’s true in a way. However, one thing I’m aiming for is to stop making games too seriously.

“If I had to compare myself to a Marvel character, I would go with Deadpool, who’s left out of the Avengers. I want to make a game full of dark jokes. I wish I could tell you more.”

Featured image courtesy of IGN/Youtube Screenshot

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