Shinji Mikami is to leave Tango Gameworks, the studio he founded back in 2010. Mikami is best known for his work on the Resident Evil series, as well as directing the 2014 survival horror game The Evil Within while with Tango Gameworks. It's not clear what he'll do next.
Mikami's departure was officially revealed by Bethesda on Twitter. After rumors that Mikami would depart Tango circulated earlier today, Bethesda subsequently confirmed that the industry legend will be leaving his studio "in the coming months". The publisher goes on to thank Mikami for his work "as a creative leader and supportive mentor" to the young developers who worked on games like The Evil Within and Hi-Fi Rush for Tango.
No reason was given for Mikami's departure, either by Bethesda or by Tango itself. In addition, Mikami's next steps aren't clear either. Bethesda merely wishes him "well in the future" and expresses excitement for what lies ahead for Tango Gameworks, without making any reference to where Mikami will go next.
Shinji Mikami originally founded Tango Gameworks back in March 2010, meaning he will likely have been with the studio for more than 13 years at the point of his departure. The studio's first project was 2014's The Evil Within, which Mikami directed. The game was seen as something of a spiritual successor to Resident Evil 4, featuring a similar over-the-shoulder perspective and action-horror gameplay blend.
Following The Evil Within, Mikami switched to a more producer-centric role at Tango. He was credited as an executive producer on the studio's next three projects, including The Evil Within 2, which was directed by game designer John Johanas (who would later return to direct Tango's most recent project Hi-Fi Rush).
Whether Mikami will move to another studio, found a brand new company, or simply retire remains to be seen. Back in August last year, during an interview with Capcom's Jun Takeuchi, Mikami said he still hasn't "properly made the game [he wants] yet", but he's "slowly preparing" to embark on that project. Could he have decided to go it alone without Tango's involvement? We'll have to wait and see what's next for Mikami, and for Tango as well. Stay tuned for more.