Ikumi Nakamura, iconic game artist and director, has announced that she’s opening a new independent studio after leaving her former employer, Tango Gameworks, in 2019. She also revealed she’s working on a new game project, though she’s not giving any details at the moment.
Nakamura is known for her bright personality and stage presence — she won over a lot of new fans during the E3 presentation of Ghostwire: Tokyo. She’s worked on a variety of different games in studios besides Bethesda, including Bayonetta for Platinum Games and Okami for Capcom. During her time at Tango Gameworks, she also worked on The Evil Within and The Evil Within 2 as a concept artist, before being promoted to creative director on Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Nakamura announced the change in a YouTube documentary called “Remnant Tour.” The documentary follows Nakamura as she explores abandoned buildings, taking pictures and talking about her experiences with game development. In particular, she mentions that game development began to take a toll on her health and that was her main reason for leaving Tango Gameworks. She said she received several invitations after leaving Tango to tour other studios, and she used that opportunity to travel and “learn what made a good working environment” in game development for her new studio’s sake.
She also talks about the role of women in the games industry, and how she received multiple messages from women after her Ghostwire presentation who were happy that a woman was on stage, talking about her project. She’s determined that her new studios will have a much more equal balance of men and women, as she says both bring different things to games. She also said she’s hoping to address the problems in the industry where women are treated badly. Lastly, she said she’s going to, “Stop taking games too seriously.”