Dead or Alive 5 and 6 Director Yohei Shimbori Is Back, Working on Tekken 8

Fans of Koei Tecmo’s Dead or Alive series will likely remember the name of Yohei Shimbori, who was at the helm of both Dead or Alive 5 and Dead or Alive 6. After some time out of the spotlight, he’s back, working on Tekken 8.

The news started filtering a few days ago as his name appeared in the credits of the Tekken 8 demo, but now it’s confirmed. Shimbori-san has returned in his new role at Bandai Namco as an assistant director and producer on the new and promising fighting game.

He made his new role official today on X (formerly Twitter). 

Yohei Shimbori cosplaying as Bayman and posing during a preview event for Dead or Alive 6 in London.

Shimbori-san’s message did not include many details, but you can read it in full below.

I was going to keep it quiet until the release date, but now that it’s out and the company has given me the OK, I’ve rewritten my profile.

I’m currently helping with the development of Tekken 8. I can’t talk about the details, but I hope to be able to talk about it someday. I hope everyone enjoys our new game.

Shimbori-san worked at Koei Tecmo’s Team Ninja on the Dead or Alive series since Dead or Alive Ultimate, which was released in 2004. He then gradually climbed the ladder until he worked on Dead or Alive 5 and its re-releases as director and the excellent Dead or Alive 6 in the dual role of producer and director. 

He announced his departure from Koei Tecmo in 2021, and he has been pretty quiet since. As it turns out, he was busy working on Tekken 8. Now that the cat is out of the bag, fans of his style are starting to recognize his touch on Bandai Namco’s promising new game. 

Tekken 8 will be released for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S on January 26, so we’re just a little more than a month away. If you’d like to read more, you can enjoy our latest dedicated preview and an interesting interview with the developers.

As for the Dead or Alive series, following the rumored cancellation of an early Dead or Alive 7 project, we know nothing of Koei Tecmo’s plans, if any exist. Its beloved characters survive in the free-to-play game Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation, which has been going strong for a few years, but there’s no information on new fighting games.