Hideaki Itsuno

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Hideaki Itsuno (伊津野 英昭, Itsuno Hideaki) is a Japanese video game director and video game designer. He has been employed by Capcom for most of his career.[1] He is best known as the director of Devil May Cry 2, 3, and 4, as well as Dragon's Dogma.


Devil May Cry series[edit]

Despite the success of the original Devil May Cry, its director Hideki Kamiya and developers Team Little Devils did not return to work on the sequel.[2][3] Kamiya first learned of plans for a Devil May Cry sequel during its North American and European localization, information which surprised him. Though Itsuno is ultimately credited as the director of Devil May Cry 2,[4] he was only brought onto the project midway into development to replace an unidentified director, as Capcom was dissatisfied by how their work on the game was coming together.[5] Nonetheless, the game received mixed reviews.[6] Since its release, Kamiya has defended Itsuno as not being responsible for its shortcomings [7], and has expressed disappointment at his exclusion from working on the series.[8]

Following the lukewarm reception for Devil May Cry 2, Capcom chose to return to the design philosophy of the series' more successful first entry for Devil May Cry 3, although they hired Istuno again to direct. Gameplay elements such as the size of environments and the game's battle engine were reconsidered, and common criticisms such as decreases to Dante's cockiness and the game's difficulty were brought back in line with the first game.[9] These changes were met with praise and the game was very well-received.[10]

Itsuno returned to direct Devil May Cry 4.[11] He stated in a Famitsu article that the visual design sought to deliver a satisfying sensation of floating in the air, and that the actions of Nero's Devil Bringer could not be done on contemporary generation consoles, necessitating a new generation of consoles such as the PlayStation 3.[12]

The next game in the series, DmC: Devil May Cry, was developed by UK developer Ninja Theory; Itsuno was replaced by Tameem Antoniades by director, but he remained to oversee the project.[13] When discussing this decision, Itsuno said: “With DmC this time, we wanted to avoid the problem that befalls some series where you keep making it with the same team, same hardware, and it tends to decrease and fans move away from it... We don’t want the series to die.” [14] The development team included over ninety members, several of whom were from Capcom. Alex Jones and Motohide Eshiro acted as producers, aiming to help Ninja Theory make DmC play like the previous Devil May Cry games.[15]

Dragon's Dogma[edit]

Itsuno later directed Dragon's Dogma.[16] During the press conference at Capcom's Captivate event in 2011, he stated that Dragon's Dogma was a game he had been dreaming of making since his school days; it was finally a project he could realize now due to advancing technology. At the time of the press conference, he had been directing a staff of 150 people at Capcom Japan for three years of concept and project development.[17] By April 2011, the game was roughly half completed.[18]

Itsuno stated that his team had "made Dragon's Dogma and come up to this point through our experience of action games. We're trying to make a new genre: We're using our action heritage and putting that into an action RPG."[16] He cited the influence of Capcom's previous works (such as Breath of Fire,[16] Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Monster Hunter), other Eastern RPGs such as Dragon Quest, and Western RPGs such as Fable and Oblivion.[16] Itsuno later explained that they had "seen a great deal of open-world action RPGs over the years," but that they still desired "one that really put everything together in the action parts. We figured that if there hasn't been a game made by people who understand how action works, then we ought to do it ourselves. We wanted a game where the player is thrown into the world and needs to figure out how to stay alive via nothing but his own controller." However, the game was designed to allow players to take a less action-oriented approach, with Itsuno stating that they "[made] this game such that you can beat the monsters even if you build up EXP, collect good companions and/or pawns, and sit back and watch the battle unfold"; he elaborated that while it is an action game, "that's not all that it is. You can fully configure your party and put as much thought as you like into battle, which is something we're doing for people who really want to get into this world."[19]

Initially, Dragon's Dogma was intended to be a Western fantasy game.[20] In March 2012, Itsuno said he hoped the game would sell 10 million copies worldwide and one million in Japan.[21][22] It was successful upon release, prompting Capcom to begin development on a sequel.[23] Itsuno reports that the team was only able to accomplish 60-70% of what they had wanted to in the first game, and hope to include those ideas in the sequel.[24]


In October 2012, Itsuno hinted that the Rival Schools and Capcom vs. SNK series may see a revival.[25][26] The former series was once again hinted in the next year alongside the possibility of a new Devil May Cry entry. Itsuno has also expressed interest in developing a fighting game that would recreate the influence Street Fighter II had on the genre.[27]

Video games[edit]

Game Year of release Role
Quiz & Dragons 1994 Planner
Street Fighter Alpha 1995 Planner
Star Gladiator 1996 Director
Rival Schools: United By Fate 1997 Director
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (video game) 1998 Planner
Power Stone 1999 Co-director
Power Stone 2 2000 Director
Capcom vs SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 2000 Planner
Project Justice 2000 Director
Vampire Chronicle 2000 Director
Capcom vs SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001 2001 Director
One Piece Mansion 2001 Director
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo 2002 Planner
Auto Modellista 2002 Director
Devil May Cry 2 2003 Director
Resident Evil: Outbreak 2003 Special thanks
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne 2003 Miscellaneous crew
Resident Evil Outbreak File 2 2004 Special thanks
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening 2005 Director
Devil May Cry 4 2008 Director
Dragon's Dogma 2012 Director
Project X Zone 2012 Supervision & Cooperation (Devil May Cry Series and Rival Schools Series)
DmC: Devil May Cry 2013 Supervising Director
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen 2013 Director


  1. ^ Yin, Wesley (2012-11-05). "Dragon's Dogma taught Capcom new tricks that give Devil May Cry the feel of 60 frames per second, publisher claims". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  2. ^ Team Little Devils (17 October 2001). Devil May Cry. Capcom Entertainment, Inc. Scene: staff credits. 
  3. ^ Kristan Reed (20 February 2003). "The Devil's in the detail". Eurogamer. Eurogamer Network Ltd. Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  4. ^ Capcom (25 January 2003). Devil May Cry 2. Capcom Entertainment, Inc. Scene: staff credits. 
  5. ^ Bob Mackey (29 June 2015). "The Devil's Own: Capcom's Hideaki Itsuno on a Decade-Plus with Dante". USgamer. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Devil May Cry 2". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-06-14. 
  7. ^ Kamiya, 神谷英樹 Hideki (2016-02-23). "Itsuno joined DMC2 team to rescue it from the crisis, but it was too late. Even if I were him, I couldn't have done better than he did.". @PG_kamiya. Retrieved 2017-06-14. 
  8. ^ Mielke, James (2006-08-18). "The Kamiya Touch". Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-07-20. 
  9. ^ Brightman, James (2005-04-06). "Devil May Cry 3 Poised for Success". GameDaily. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  10. ^ "Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-06-14. 
  11. ^ Christian Nutt (2012-06-23). "Devil May Cry 4's creative minds". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  12. ^ "IGN: New Hero for DMC4". IGN. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  13. ^ "Capcom devs describe the 'long-distance romance' with Ninja Theory that led to DmC". Polygon. 2013-01-30. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  14. ^ "DmC Devil May Cry: “We don’t want the series to die” | NowGamer". NowGamer. 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2017-06-14. 
  15. ^ "DmC Devil May Cry Development Team Has Over 90 Members". Siliconera. October 16, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c d "Dragon's Dogma: How Hideaki Itsuno is taking on Skyrim and the world". VideoGamer.com. 2012-03-20. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  17. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (April 13, 2011). "Dragon's Dogma Revealed". andriasang. Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  18. ^ Anoop Gantayat (April 13, 2011). "A Few Bits About Dragon's Dogma". andriasang. Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  19. ^ Gifford, Kevin (2011-04-13). "Dragon's Dogma Explained By Staff: A single-player multiplayer RPG?". 1UP.com. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  20. ^ JC Fletcher (2011-06-12). "Dragon's Dogma preview: A song of 'ice and fire'". Joystiq. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  21. ^ "A million sales pretty much guaranteed for Dragon's Dogma in Japan". Videogamer.com. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  22. ^ Dutton, Fred (2012-03-20). "Dragon's Dogma can sell 10 million worldwide, reckons Capcom". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  23. ^ Evans-Thirlwell, Edwin (25 June 2012). "Dragon's Dogma 2 on the way, original ships one million worldwide". Official Xbox Magazine. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "Game Creators Are Constantly Looking To The Future. Here's What A Few Of Them Are Looking At". Kotaku. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  25. ^ "News: Rival Schools and Capcom Vs. SNK 2 revivals teased". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  26. ^ "Could There Be ‘Rival Schools’ And ‘Capcom vs. SNK’ Remakes In Our Future?". Multiplayerblog.mtv.com. 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  27. ^ "Dragon’s Dogma Director Wants to Make a Sequel on PS4, Also Rival Schools 3 and Devil May Cry 5". dualshockers.com. 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2016-11-21. 

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