Dead or Alive & Ninja Gaiden Producer Tomonobu Itagaki Shills for NFTs

Another industry veteran falls into the scam.

Tomonobu Itagaki, who you might know as a producer on the Dead or Alive series and the 2004 Ninja Gaiden reboot, announced the founding of Itagaki Games last year. In the roughly 18 months since that announcement, we haven’t heard much about what Itagaki’s team is working on. However, Itagaki has also founded another studio, Apex Game Studios, and it’s working on an MMO called Warrior that is all about NFTs and crypto bullshit.

Itagaki posted about the game on his personal Twitter account and in an announcement posted on CoinTelegraph, explains the monetization scheme with a bunch of buzzwords that will be meaningless to the average Ninja Gaiden or Dead or Alive fan who might have been interested in what Itagaki was up to. The announcement of the studio is so filled to the brim with crypto buzzwords that it stops short of actually talking about what Warrior is, and if that’s not a red flag, I don’t know what is. Looking at the game’s website, it seems the NFTs the game deals with include summonable “servants,” islands, resources, and cosmetics, and the game supports trading between players for all their Very Special and Unique in-game assets.

Itagaki and his team are free to do whatever they want with Warrior, it’s just always feels shitty when a producer of beloved franchises gets tied up into these scams. I was a big fan of Dead or Alive growing up (before I found better fighting games), so it’s a bummer. Even veterans like ex-Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime doubled down on purchasing fake ownership of content in video games after supporting NFTs in his book Disrupting The Game

NFTs and crypto bullshit have continued to bleed into the games industry, but the perceived value of the idea of owning original digital goods (winking emoji) has been plummeting in recent months. Despite that, a lot of projects that have been in development long before things got dire are still launching. This includes companies like GameStop, which just laid off several employees, is entering the NFT market as the entire thing is crashing down. Bigger companies like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft haven’t bitten, but it has bled into a few notable franchises like Ni No Kuni and Ubisoft’s output. Square-Enix has confirmed NFTs aren’t coming to Final Fantasy XIV, but the company has been looking into other possibilities.