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Tomonobu Itagaki is a Japanese video game designer who heads Team Ninja, one of Tecmo's development teams. He is widely known for his work on the Dead or Alive series of video games. He has also gained notoriety for his controversial remarks about other developers and titles, specifically rival fighting game franchise Tekken.
Itagaki joined Tecmo in 1992 as a graphics programmer, and initially worked on the Super Famicom/Super NES version of the football video game, Tecmo Bowl. He went on to develop the original Dead or Alive, based in part on Virtua Fighter 2. The release of Dead or Alive 2 greatly expanded the series' popularity, as well as his own. He has since helmed the Ninja Gaiden and DOA Xtreme Volleyball franchises, and is developing a project called "Kasumi Gaiden" of which little is known.
Itigaki is a scathing and outspoken critic of other developers and game series. Itagaki ridiculed the Tekken series, the main competitor of Dead or Alive and more recently mocked the Namco project Death by Degrees. 
At one point in time, he criticized Namco for removing the tag feature from the new Tekken installments, which was widely praised by Tekken fans. In Ninja Gaiden Black, the Intercept ability, a tactic many players used and developed their styles around, was removed. However, Itagaki claims he removed the feature as he thought it made the game too easy. Indeed, Ninja Gaiden has gotten more and more difficult with every upgrade, with the exception of the addition of a "Ninja Dog" mode for players incapable or unwilling to play on normal difficulty.
Many complain that Itagaki "sold himself" to Microsoft by developing exclusive Team Ninja franchises and making strong comments against the Sony PlayStation platform, despite earlier claims that he was going to release Ninja Gaiden for the Playstation 2.  However, Itigaki has always maintained that he develops his games exclusively for the most powerful console on the market at the time of design. This is evidenced by the fact that DOA2 appeared on the Dreamcast and Playstation 2 (as DOA2 Hardcore) when they were the most advanced consoles of their time, and all Itigaki developed games since then (DOA series, DOAX, Ninja Gaiden) have appeared on the Xbox and Xbox 360, continuing the trend. In addition to this, Itagaki has authorized an upgraded remake of Ninja Gaiden for the PS3, Ninja Gaiden Sigma.
On November 7, 2006, Japanese website ZakZak reported that Itagaki had been charged with sexual harassment by a former female staff member at Tecmo. This is alleged to have happened in 2003, and she demands 10 million yen. Apparently, Itagaki admits that something took place, but insists that it was consensual.
* Itagaki is a fan of American rock band Aerosmith, and has used their music in newer installments of the Dead or Alive series.
* He has played guitar and piano since childhood.
* He always wears sunglasses in public.
* He has long black hair.