Ninja Gaiden is a iconic game series that birthed on the NES as a very difficult 2D action/platformer but later evolved on the Xbox as a frantic action title that helped establish the character-focused action game. It was fast, frantic, difficult and rewarding. The series continued for many years but recently, it was put on hold in favor of other projects like Nioh and Dead or Alive 5. Team Ninja, developers on the series gave the following comment on why the series is isn’t getting a new game anytime soon.
The franchise’s last outing was 2014’s rather unfortunate Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z—a silly splatterfest intended to make the series more mainstream. Lee actually winces when I mention it to him, “Hayabusa… zombies… cel-shaded… just throwing a bunch of different things into that. We don’t wanna backpedal on our decisions, but it wasn’t the right move, I think. But we learned a lot. Just like this Nioh experience, you only learn things by failure. And I don’t think we could have made this game if we hadn’t had the Yaiba experience.”
Stated in an interview conducted by US Gamer, Team Ninja creative director Tom Lee stated that the series is put on hold while they learn lessons from past and current productions. That is good thinking, as if a series needs time to rest before coming back, it works out better in the long run. With the upcoming project Nioh from the studio, we will be seeing Team Ninja continue offering great productions for this generation of consoles.