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Evil Within's Shinji Mikami is leaving Tango Gameworks

The Resident Evil director founded the studio in 2010

Sebastian's face is wrapped in barbed wire as he looks up in The Evil Within's concept art.
Image credit: Microsoft

UPDATE: Bethesda have now confirmed the news in a statement posted on Twitter, saying, "We thank him for his work as a creative mentor to young developers." They continued to say, "We wish Mikami-san well in the future and are excited by what lies ahead fpr the talented developers of Tango."

Original story: Tango GameWork’s co-founder and studio head Shinji Mikami is reportedly leaving the Evil Within company “in the coming months.” This comes courtesy of TrueAchievements who saw and verified a company-wide email sent to employees by Bethesda’s VP of development Todd Vaughn. "I am writing today to let you know that studio head Shinji Mikami has decided to leave Tango Gameworks in the coming months," Vaughn said. "Mikami-san has been a creative leader and supportive mentor to young developers at Tango for 12 years through his work.”

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Mikami is one of the horror genre’s most influential developers, having directed the original Resident Evil and its remake, before reinventing the genre again with Resident Evil 4. After a brief stint at Platinum Games, Mikami founded Tango in 2010 to direct the action horror throwback The Evil Within, and the company was subsequently acquired by Zenimax (who were then bought by Microsoft.) The email doesn’t state where Mikami will head next, or who will replace him as studio head.

After directing The Evil Within, Mikami took on the role of executive producer while other devs led projects like The Evil Within 2, Ghostwire: Tokyo, and most recently, the musical action platformer Hi-Fi Rush. In his email to staff, Vaughn called Hi-Fi Rush “one of the most successful launches for Bethesda and Xbox in recent years,” and continued to say it “generated significant positive momentum” for Tango.

I still occasionally squirm at the thought of Laura, the six-legged (or armed) boss in Evil Within, and there are countless other moments from Mikami’s games that give me the heebie-jeebies. Regardless, I’m still excited for Tango’s future games, especially if Hi-Fi Rush is any indication.

Also, I was today years old when I discovered Mikami voiced Fallout 4’s Takahashi in the Japanese version of the game. On second thought, I’m not sure Bethesda can recover from his departure.

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