Tango Gameworks

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Tango Gameworks
Tango (2010)
IndustryVideo games
  • 1 March 2010; 10 years ago (2010-03-01)
  • Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan
FounderShinji Mikami
Shibaura, Tokyo
Key people
Number of employees
65 (2012)
ParentZeniMax Media (2010–present)

Tango Gameworks is a Japanese video game developer based in Tokyo. Founded in March 2010 by Shinji Mikami, previously of Capcom, the company was acquired by ZeniMax Media in October that year. Tango developed The Evil Within, a survival horror game released in 2014, and its sequel, The Evil Within 2, released in 2017. Its newest game will be Ghostwire: Tokyo.


Shinji Mikami had been with video game developer Capcom since 1989, working on several of its franchises and creating the Resident Evil series of horror video games.[1] Over time, Capcom grew too large to Mikami, who also wished to develop games based around concepts other than horror, as he had for Capcom.[1] For some time, he worked on a freelance basis, directing the action game Vanquish for PlatinumGames and producing the action-horror game Shadows of the Damned for Grasshopper Manufacture.[1] He was repeatedly inquired by Sega to develop a horror game for them, which he rejected.[1] On 1 March 2010, Mikami (at the time aged 44) and a team of twelve developers founded a new studio, Tango, in Odaiba, Tokyo, where he moved to from his previous office in Osaka.[1][2] Shigenori Nishikawa, the director of MadWorld for PlatinumGames, joined the company in May 2010.[3] Tango immediately began work on multiple projects, with one small team working for six months on a joke game that would have starred a cockroach standing on two legs and shooting a gun.[1]

Their primary project was Noah, a sci-fi open world survival-adventure game inspired by the 1984 film Dune.[1] In this game, Earth had become mostly uninhabitable and humankind moved to other planets, where one colony loses contact with the others and a research team is tasked with finding them.[1] Shortly after development on this game began, Tango ran into financial issues; according to Mikami, "something happened".[1] American video game publisher Bethesda Softworks stepped in to assist and had its parent company, ZeniMax Media, acquire the studio, which was announced on 28 October 2010.[1][4] Tango was merged into ZeniMax Asia K.K., ZeniMax's Asia-Pacific branch based in Tokyo's Aomi area, and reorganised as a division under the name "Tango Gameworks".[2][4] For the acquisition, ZeniMax used a part of the US$150 million it had previously raised in private funding.[5] Mikami agreed to the acquisition because he felt as though Bethesda and ZeniMax would provide the "most independent" development environment for Tango.[6] In November 2010, composer Masafumi Takada (formerly of Grasshopper Manufacture), as well as artist Naoki Katakai and programmer Shinichiro Ishikawa (both formerly of Capcom) joined Tango.[7] By March 2012, Tango had 65 employees, with Mikami expecting to eventually employ 100 staffers.[8]

Following the acquisition, Mikami envisioned Tango to continue developing multiple games at a time.[1] Noah was cancelled and development on a new AAA project, Zwei, commenced.[1] Initially, this game saw a man and woman chained together hunting down a vampire, with either two players controlling each character individually, or one player both simultaneously.[1] Zwei was formally announced in April 2012.[9] Over time, the game evolved into a single-player survival horror game and was rechristened The Evil Within, which was announced in April 2013.[1][10] In August 2014, Tango moved from Aomi to the Shibaura district.[2] The Evil Within was released by Bethesda in October 2014.[11] It was the last game directed by Mikami so that future Tango games could provide opportunities for other people.[1] A sequel to The Evil Within, The Evil Within 2, was announced in June 2017, during E3 2017, and released by Bethesda in October 2017.[12][13] In June 2019, during Bethesda's press conference at E3 2019, Mikami and creative director Ikumi Nakamura announced Ghostwire: Tokyo, an action-adventure game with horror elements.[14] Nakamura later resigned from Tango in September 2019, leaving the studio after nine years.[15]

On September 21, 2020, Microsoft announced that it had agreed to acquire ZeniMax for US$7.5 billion, with the deal to close by the second half of 2021.[16]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Publisher
2014 The Evil Within PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One Bethesda Softworks
2017 The Evil Within 2 PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
2021 Ghostwire: Tokyo PlayStation 5, Windows


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Leone, Matt (20 February 2014). "Shinji Mikami and the fountain of youth". Polygon. Archived from the original on 23 April 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Company". Tango Gameworks (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 18 June 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  3. ^ Jenkins, David (10 May 2010). "MadWorld director leaves Platinum Games". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 30 August 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b Kietzmann, Ludwig (28 October 2010). "Shinji Mikami to develop games for Bethesda, as Zenimax acquires Tango". Engadget. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  5. ^ Martin, Matt (28 October 2010). "Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami joins ZeniMax". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 30 August 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  6. ^ Cullen, Johnny (3 November 2010). "Mikami chose Bethesda for Tango buyout because it had "the most independent development environment"". VG247. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  7. ^ Fletcher, JC (5 November 2011). "Former Grasshopper composer, ex-Capcom staff join Mikami's Tango". Engadget. Archived from the original on 29 August 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  8. ^ Cullen, Johnny (13 March 2012). "Tango's first game coming in 2013 at earliest, uses external engine". VG247. Archived from the original on 13 October 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  9. ^ Walker, John (26 April 2012). "Bethesda Announce New Shinji Mikami Horror: Zwei". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on 19 July 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  10. ^ Ivan, Tom (19 April 2013). "Bethesda reveals Shinji Mikami game The Evil Within". GamesRadar+. Archived from the original on 18 February 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  11. ^ Williams, Mike (20 October 2014). "The Evil Within PS4 Review: Trapped in the Past, With an Eye Towards the Future". USgamer. Archived from the original on 18 June 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  12. ^ Sliva, Marty (12 June 2017). "E3 2017: The Evil Within 2 Announced, Release Date Revealed". IGN. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  13. ^ Fenlon, Wes (12 June 2017). "The Evil Within 2 brings back the horror this October on Friday the 13th". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 26 July 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  14. ^ O'Connor, Alice (10 June 2019). "The Evil Within studio spooking us again with GhostWire: Tokyo". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on 11 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  15. ^ Hall, Charlie (4 September 2019). "The star of E3 2019 is leaving her big Bethesda game, GhostWire: Tokyo". Polygon. Archived from the original on 5 September 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  16. ^ Bass, Dina; Schreier, Jason (21 September 2020). "Microsoft to Buy Bethesda for $7.5 Billion to Boost Xbox". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 21 September 2020.

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