Founder Shinji Mikami is leaving Bethesda’s Tango Gameworks studio

Bethesda Softworks senior vice president Todd Vaughn announced the departure of the mastermind behind Dino Crisis, Resident Evil, and The Evil Within.

Shinji Mikami, the founder of Tango Gameworks and its current CEO, is set to leave the studio in the coming months. The news initially broke earlier this Thursday morning when ‌a company-wide email sent to ZeniMax employees surfaced on the internet but has since been confirmed by both Bethesda Softworks and Xbox.

Is a change of direction in store for Tango Gameworks?

The email reportedly came from Bethesda Softworks senior vice president Todd Vaughn, in which he praised Mikami’s contributions to the team saying:

I am writing today to let you know that studio head Shinji Mikami has decided to leave Tango Gameworks in the coming months.

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.

The celebrated video game director started his development career in 1989 with Capcom. He quickly established himself as a creative genius, laying out the foundation for the Resident Evil survival-horror series in 1996, by forging two of the franchise’s main characters in Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine.

His tenure at Capcom lasted until 2007, making his mark as a director on Resident Evil, its GameCube remake, and Resident Evil 4 during that time frame. In the meantime, he also directed the first Dino Crisis game, and several other titles like sci-fi shooter P.N. 03, and beat 'em up God Hand.

Mikami spent the next 3 years with PlatinumGames, where he directed the production of the third-person shooter title named Vanquish, which was released in October 2010. But he was out of there before receiving his flowers, founding Tango Gameworks in March earlier that year. Bethesda quickly pounced at the opportunity, acquiring the studio just a few months later.

Since then it has pumped out four games, with the first one being The Evil Within, which came out in 2014. The studio also developed The Evil Within 2 (2017), Ghostwire: Tokyo (2022), and most recently Hi-Fi Rush (2023).

It’s unclear if the 57-year-old video game developer is thinking about a new venture or planning to retire forever. Mikami’s departure might be tied to Microsoft’s massive layoffs but Bethesda is still kicking strong, planning to hold a showcase in March to present Redfall and Elder Scrolls Online.

As for Resident Evil, a remake of one of Mikami's final games with Capcom, Resident Evil 4, is coming out on March 24. It's widely considered one of the best Resident Evil games ever.

Scott Kostov

A passion for writing and gaming has propelled Scott down the path of content creation. When he isn't scouring every known source on the internet for information, he's a track addict vibing to music in the countryside of sunny Macedonia. Link up with Scott on Twitter and Steam.
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