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A veteran Zelda developer has reportedly left Nintendo to work on a new open-world adventure game.
According to Dr Serkan Toto, CEO of Japanese games industry consultancy Kantan Games, Nintendo’s Kentaro Tominaga has joined Chinese developer Papergames.
Tominaga will reportedly be working on an open-world take on mobile dress-up game Love Nikki.
The new game, titled Infinity Nikki, is described by its developer as a cross-platform open-world dress-up adventure game.
Infinity Nikki - announcement trailer
The game’s first trailer, which is viewable above, has some visual elements that appear similar to modern Zelda titles, most notably The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Tominaga’s first role at Nintendo was as the assistant director on The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker in 2002.
Since then he’s been involved in every other main console Zelda title – as sub-director on Twilight Princess, planner on Skyward Sword and game designer on Breath of the Wild. He also directed the Breath of the Wild expansion pass.
As well as his Zelda work, Tominaga was assistant director on Mario Kart: Double Dash and was a planner on Mario Kart Wii.
The move is the latest example of notable Japanese developers turning to China for game development work and funding.
No More Heroes studio Grasshopper Manufacture was also acquired by NetEase last year, with Grasshopper CEO Goichi Suda (aka Suda51) saying the deal would lead to “even higher quality” games from the studio going forward.