Bethesda has confirmed that Tango Gameworks studio head Shinji Mikami is officially leaving the company. After 12 years at the studio that he helped form, Mikami will exit it later this year. The news of Mikami’s departure originally came from an email sent to ZeniMax employees (via TrueAchievements) from Bethesda senior president Todd Vaughn, which thanked the veteran designer for his work at the studio.
“I am writing today to let you know that studio head Shinji Mikami has decided to leave Tango Gameworks in the coming months,” Vaughn wrote. “Mikami-san has been a creative leader and supportive mentor to young developers at Tango for 12 years through his work on the Evil Within franchise, Ghostwire: Tokyo and, of course, Hi-Fi Rush.”
Bethesda confirmed the news on Twitter, and added that it wished Mikami well in his future endeavors. Mikami leaves behind a solid body of work at Tango Gameworks, as the studio has developed cult-classic games since its formation more than a decade ago. The Evil Within, The Evil Within 2, and Ghostwire: Tokyo have all been well-received, while the surprise-dropped Hi-Fi Rush has received critical acclaim.
— Bethesda (@bethesda) February 23, 2023
Mikami himself has had a long and illustrious career outside of Tango Gameworks, with credits on cult-classic games such as Vanquish, Shadows of the Damned, as well as the legendary Resident Evil 4. Back in 2020, Mikami also spoke about how he has the desire to direct one more game before he retires from the game industry, as he still has plenty of ideas to bring to life. “I am getting old, and so it would be more of a matter of how much energy I have,” Mikami said to Variety then.
In a similar move, Silent Hill director Keiichiro Toyama left Sony to form Bokeh Game Studio back in 2020. Joined by Kazunobu Sato and Junya Okura, who worked on The Last Guardian and Gravity Rush, respectively, the studio’s debut game is Slitterhead. A survival-horror with some very unnerving imagery, the first gameplay for the title debuted back at The Game Awards 2021.