Hideaki Itsuno (伊津野 英昭 Itsuno Hideaki?) is a long time Capcom employee, having worked at the company as early as 1995, and serves as the current director of the Devil May Cry series, beginning with its second installment Devil May Cry 2 for the PlayStation 2, and its following sequels, Devil May Cry 3, Devil May Cry 4 and Devil May Cry 5.
Itsuno has also worked on a number of other Capcom games as director, such as Rival Schools and Dragon's Dogma.
While details of his early life are unknown, Itsuno's earliest work with Capcom was in 1995, where he worked on Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dream as a planner. He would go on to help develop many other fighting games throughout the 90's, such as Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter III: Third Strike, the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fighting game, Rival Schools, and Power Stone, the latter two where he served as director.
His most recent works include 2009's Bionic Commando as part of the research and development support, Super Street Fighter IV as a part of its fine-tuning staff, and the 2012 video game Dragon's Dogma as its primary director.
Involvement in the Devil May Cry seriesEdit
Following the unexpected success of 2001's Devil May Cry, Capcom immediately set out to begin development on a sequel. However, original series director Hideki Kamiya was not brought on board to direct the second installment, and the game was handed over to Capcom Production Team 1 instead of Team Little Devils, with Itsuno appointed as its director. The new team wished to focus on improving the game by expanding its environments, polishing the gameplay of the first game, and including more playable characters such as Lucia and Trish.
In spite of their good intentions, 2003's Devil May Cry 2, while a financial success at almost 2 million units, was a much different game than its predecessor, gameplay and story wise, garnering it much critical and fan backlash. Itsuno, motivated to improve due to his failure, would later take these criticisms to heart with 2006's Devil May Cry 3, featuring a return to many of the same concepts as the first, with an emphasis on expanding the combat system, tight, detailed environments, and returning to a characterization of Dante similar to the original, while still maintaining a simpler story.
Altogether, these changes and improvements to Devil May Cry 3 garnered Itsuno much praise from critics and fans alike, solidifying his role as the new series director in the eyes of the gaming public. He would once again serve as primary director for 2008's Devil May Cry 4 on the PS3, greatly expanding upon the combat featured in the third game, with his efforts resulting in the best selling game of the franchise at 3 million units sold, despite mixed critical reaction.
Between 2008 and 2014, Itsuno's involvement in the Devil May Cry series became very understated, only serving as a project overseer on the staff of 2013's DmC: Devil May Cry, a game which garnered much less success than previous installments in the franchise.
As of 2015, Itsuno has once more returned as primary director for Devil May Cry with the updated PS4 remastering of DMC4 known as Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition, where he helped implement new playable characters for the game: Vergil, Trish, and playable for the first time, Lady. In an interview with GameSpot, Itsuno stated that the original series was not over, and the reboot did not kill the franchise despite its sub par performance.
After the announcement of Devil May Cry 5 at E3 2018, Itsuno mentioned on-stage that he had been waiting 4 years to share the game with the community, meaning he and his team had been working on the game since at least 2014, one year before the Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition had been released. He also worked as the supervising director alongside Hiroyuki Kobayashi for Devil May Cry The Live Hacker.
- Itsuno owns the official Devil May Cry 2 Diesel belt that was sold in a limited quantity (450 units) around the time the game was released.
- Interview with Destructoid - Fillari, Alessandro. Published 2015-06-18
- Interview with GameSpot - Ramsay, Randolph. Published 2015-06-26
- Moby Games page
- IMDb page