Dead or Alive director Yohei Shimbori has left Koei Tecmo


DoA head honcho steps down after 16 years

Yohei Shimbori has left Koei Tecmo. Shimbori has headed up the 3D fighting franchise Dead or Alive for a lengthy 16 years, but has decided to take his leave of the developer/publisher.

“As of today, I have left Koei Tecmo Games,” said Shimbori on Twitter (as translated by Gematsu). “I worked on Dead or Alive for 16 years, and while there were times I was pleased, there were also times I was unable to live up to expectations. I would like to take this opportunity to express my utmost gratitude to the many people who have supported and taken care of me. Thank you very much.”

It’s an honest and candid farewell message from Shimbori, who started with the Dead or Alive franchise as a designer for 2004’s Dead or Alive Ultimate, and ends his time with the franchise as the producer/director of 2019’s Dead or Alive 6. While I’ve always been a fan of the pacey, technical, and satisfying fighting mechanics of Dead or Alive, the series has steadily declined into repetition, with DoA 6 going all-in on the shopping cart mechanics.

But, despite the cash-cowing of the franchise, Dead or Alive has always been solid once it comes to The Fight itself; Dead or Alive 5 Last Round being a brilliant entry in particular. It will be interesting to see what direction Koei Tecmo takes with DoA going forward – whether the series returns to its roots, is offered a full redesign, or is simply put to one side for the foreseeable future.