He’s half right
Devil’s Third was hyped for years, but after THQ went bye bye, its future was uncertain. But that was back when Nintendo was trying anything and everything to get people interested in the Wii U, so they snatched it up. In hindsight, Itagaki thinks that might have been a bad idea given the poor reception and sales.
To be fair, he starts off his statement with a degree of respect before getting into what he believes is the core issue: “I generally don’t like to badmouth people and I have nothing but appreciation toward Nintendo for releasing Devil’s Third. However, I don’t believe that they gave this game their best effort in promoting and selling the game. At the same time, I also understand their position… I don’t have any resentment toward the sales team at Nintendo U.S. It’s natural for them to have made the decisions they made. But, I do realize that there was a shortage and I addressed this to Nintendo many times.”
He also doesn’t dig that Nintendo didn’t set up extensive online matches for reviewers, noting that Microsoft would have done it, then goes back to his “you’re playing the game wrong” argument, saying reviewers still “didn’t get it,” but this time with a noble “we learned a lot from the criticism” caveat.
So if you’re reading this Itagaki, personally, I was able to play online pre-launch and enjoyed it — it was the best part! But when that online element has microtransactions and the other half, the campaign, is so poor, it does impact my overall enjoyment of the total package. So next time if you’re really keen on just making a great online experience, do that — and I see that you’ve already made strides in that department with the PC multiplayer-only Devil’s Third Online.
I saw something there in Devil’s Third under that muck, and given that a lot of my issues were related to technical problems, I also don’t doubt that another system (like say, a delay and a PS4 Pro release) would have cleared a lot of that right up.