Team Ninja has multiple announced games in development, but none of them are in the team’s biggest franchises: Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. This seemed to change due a recent statement by Studio Head Fumihiko Yasuda. However, Team Ninja has clarified Yasuda’s words, noting that there’s nothing currently to announce.
As noted by Ruliweb and translated by Video Games Chronicle, this saga began over the weekend as Yasuda spoke at a panel that had a slide looking at the studio’s future. That slide had Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden on it and Video Games Chronicle noted that Yasuda said he was “working to bring fans more news as soon as possible” about rebooting these two franchises.
Those strong words by a senior official would seemingly carry a lot of weight, but the team has since dulled down those statements. The company told VGC that those franchises are important, but it had nothing to announce at this time.
“It goes without saying that when speaking about the development of our past and future projects, both of these important titles cannot be left without mention,” read the statement. “However, there are no details or information to share on either of these franchises at this present time. Like many of our dedicated fans, we share the enthusiasm for the return of these beloved titles. And we will be sure to provide a proper update (if and) when that day arrives.”
It’s not an outright denial, but it isn’t as straightforward as Yasuda’s words. Team Ninja is currently working on Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, which is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC in March 2023, and Rise of the Ronin, a PS5 console-exclusive slated for 2024. The former is set in China in 184 A.D. while the latter is set in 1860s Japan, but both are action games.
This slate might mean that Team Ninja could be too busy to tackle those legacy franchises, but the studio has expressed willingness to at least outsource Ninja Gaiden or give it to a younger internal team. Yasuda previously said both options were “very, very reasonable” and that “all the pieces would need to fit” in order to hand the series off.
Ninja Gaiden‘s last release was 2021’s Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection, which was a modest rerelease of the first three games. The last new game, however, was the critically panned Ninja Gaiden 3 in 2012 and its slightly modified update Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge that came out on Wii U later that year and other systems in 2013. Dead or Alive‘s most recent entry was 2019’s Dead or Alive 6, another installment that many players found widely disappointing because of its more serious tone, highly iterative nature, paltry amount of modes, and expensive DLC.
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