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TrueAchievements says it has seen and can verify an email sent to ZeniMax employees by Bethesda senior president Todd Vaughn, which confirms that Mikami is set to step down from the studio he founded.
In the email, Vaughn reportedly writes: “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.”
Update - Bethesda comments
Bethesda has now confirmed that the email is accurate.
In a statement to TrueAchievements, a Bethesda spokesperson said: “We wish Mikami-san well in the future and are excited by what lies ahead for the talented developers at Tango.”
Update 2 - Further Bethesda statement
Bethesda has published the following statement on its Twitter account:
During a spell working on games for other studios – such as directing Vanquish for PlatinumGames and producing Shadows of the Damned for Grasshopper – Mikami founded Tango Gameworks in 2010, and shortly after this agreed to have the studio acquired by Bethesda parent ZeniMax Media.
In 2020, Mikami stated that he wants to direct one more video game project before he retires, adding that he had no shortage of ideas and they weren’t limited to the horror genre.
Last year Mikami reiterated this goal in a discussion with Resident Evil Village producer Jun Takeuchi, in which he said: “Something else I want to do is make my own game. To make another game. Right now we’re slowly preparing for that, and to make it work I get to give all the annoying jobs to someone else to handle.”
Although Mikami directed The Evil Within, he has been less hands-on with Tango’s other titles, instead serving an overseeing role as an executive producer.
Tango Gameworks has released five games to date – The Evil Within, The Evil Within 2, Ghostwire: Tokyo, mobile game Hero Dice (which ended service five months after launch), and most recently Hi-Fi Rush.
The unexpected cel-shaded rhythm-based action game was critically acclaimed, and reportedly outperformed that week’s other big release, Forspoken, on Steam.