One of the highlights of E3 in 2019 was Ikumi Nakamura, who made a memorable enthusiastic announcement for (still upcoming) GhostWire: Tokyo, where she was then creative director. GhostWire looked exciting and Nakamura’s excitement was a hit. However, just a few months after the successful reception, she announced that she had decided to leave Tango Gameworks. In a new interview, Nakamura explores some eerie abandoned buildings as he explains the difficult decision to put GhostWire behind him and the plans to open his own studio to work on a game full of dark jokes.
Nakamura begins by explaining his 16-year career, starting with Okami and then moving on to Bayonetta and The Evil Within games. “I enjoyed thinking about new project ideas,”
Nakamura remembers being nervous about GhostWire’s E3 presentation and feared that it would go badly, and found out afterwards how many people had had it. She says it made her realize how important it was to be honest with herself. Her work had begun to affect her health when her E3 debut, says Nakamura, and that “I began to wonder if there was no way for me to make games while feeling better.” Although it was difficult to leave GhostWire, Nakamura says she spent time after leaving Tango Gameworks to travel to other studios and learn about her work environments.
“I decided to use that experience to open my own little studio and build my IP,” she says. “I want to try on an IP again in that studio. This is what I’m working on right now.” She says she also wants to work as a creative director in her new studio. Of course, she does not go into any real details or announcements. Her interview with Cutscenes is more a reflection on her career than a room for marketing.
What she escapes is that while she thinks players look at her as someone “drawn by horror or the grotesque”, she will approach making games a little less serious. She compares herself to Deadpool and says she wants to make a game full of dark jokes.
It will probably take a while before we hear something more concrete about Nakamura’s new studio or what it will work on. However, her excitement for Ghostwire: Tokyo was seriously catchy, so I’m very interested in finding out what she’s going to be involved in next time.