Hideaki Itsuno almost left Capcom after DmC: Devil May Cry but a wish list of DMC5 and potential fighting games got him to stay

Batsu has been waiting to enter senior year for almost 20 years now

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • March 22, 2019 at 4:56 p.m. PDT

Hideaki Itsuno has been at Capcom for almost 25 years now, and though he is widely known as the series director for Devil May Cry, he first rose the ranks through some of the company's most notable fighting games.

The ill-fated reboot of DmC: Devil May Cry back in 2013 saw Itsuno join Ninja Theory as a Supervising Director though that role may have led him to almost put in his resignation according to Dante's long-time voice actor.

Reuben Langdon, who has provided the English voice and motion-capture for Dante since DMC3 as well as Ken Masters since Street Fighter 4, joined Toy Bounty Hunters for their podcast where he revealed that Itsuno was not happy with the direction of the reboot / Capcom's direction at the time to the point that he was willing to leave everything behind.

"Well I don't even know if I can say this, but why not. [Itsuno] was ready to leave Capcom. He was not happy, and I think he even put in his resignation. Then they said 'okay wait. You're a valuable guy, and we don't want you to leave. What can make you stay?'"

"He was ready to leave Capcom, said Langdon during the interview. "He was not happy, and I think he even put in his resignation."

Capcom then allegedly gave Itsuno the ability to make games on his wish list on his terms to get him to stay on board where Devil May Cry 5 sat on the top of said list.

"He said 'I'll stay if you give me Devil May Cry, and let me do it the way I want to do it. Not the BS stuff you guys did before with the other thing.'"

This led to the inception of Devil May Cry 5 going back to the original universe and the more classic style the series was known for which appears to have worked well for Capcom and Itsuno's team considering the game's extremely positive reception that had even the CEO saying "Capcom is back."

"Hats off to him for standing up, and hats off for Capcom for going all out," said Langdon "They literally gave him everything he requested and wanted for this game, and it’s paying off."

Fighting games were not directly referenced during this part of the interview, but options for returning to the Rival Schools and / or Street Fighter series were also likely high up on Itsuno's wish list given his prior statements.

The man behind DMC's revival — possibly twice — directed or worked on many of Capcom's fighters in the late 90's and early 2000's with Rival Schools, Power Stone, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Street Fighter Alpha and Capcom vs. SNK though one series in particular appears to be closest to his heart.

"If I was allowed, I’d love to make Rival Schools 3," Itsuno told Dual Shockers in a 2018 interview. "I’d love to make Dragon’s Dogma 2, Capcom vs SNK 3, Street Fighter Alpha 4, Power Stone 3… If I could, even Street Fighter 6 would be amazing. But the big one… the one that we need to get resolution on is Rival Schools..."

Considering the series only has two entries and Japanese high school lasts for three years, Itsuno thinks it'd be awesome to bring Rival Schools back after 20 years for their senior year and then perhaps cap off the game with the fighters' graduation ceremony.

With the critical and hopefully financial success of Devil May Cry 5, perhaps Itsuno will once again be given free reign to pick his next project to helm and finally step back in the realm of fighting games which I'm sure many classic fans would be keen on.

These statements from Langdon do appear to be at odds with some things Hideaki Itsuno has previously said regarding DmC, and DMC5 Producer Matt Walker has since come out to try and clear some things up.

"I think there was a bit of a misunderstanding here- DmC has nothing to do with this conversation," said Walker in a response on Twitter. "Itsuno-san really was proud of what Capcom and Ninja Theory accomplished together on that game. I’m not BSing here."

Matt Walker's Tweet about Itsuno image #1
Click images for larger versions

The director himself expressed similar sentiments in an interview with Game Informer last year.

"Ninja Theory, those guys are style incarnate, man," said Itsuno via Game Informer. "What they did with DmC, that art style, those animations, that is real style, y’know? So we took a lot of what we learned from that. For me, DmC is one of my favorite DMC games, if not my favorite."

Reuben Langdon, however, expresses not quite as positive things about the 2013 reboot and their portrayal of Dante and the other characters. You can listen to the full interview in the video below where the Itsuno subject begins about 13 minutes in.

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