Unless Team Ninja's got a trick up its sleeve this year, we'll have gone an entire console generation without a new Ninja Gaiden title. Fumihiko Yasuda, producer and director of Team Ninja's Nioh 2, says that the studio knows fans want a new Ninja Gaiden, and that veteran developers from that series are eager to move on to a new project.
Speaking with IGN's Matt Kim at a recent preview event for Nioh 2, Yasuda acknowledged that some Team Ninja devotees would've rather seen a return to the hack-and-slash action of Ninja Gaiden than such a quick turnaround on a sequel to 2017's Nioh. "Now we see a lot of nina games like [Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice] as well, and we see a lot of good inspirations in those games," says Yasusa, "so we hope to deliver some good news one day."
Ninja Gaiden 3, the last mainline title in the series, was released in 2012 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. In 2014, Tecmo Koei published Spark Unlimited's spin-off Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. In 2017, Team Ninja's Tom Lee told USG the series needed "to be in the shadows for a while."
Yasuda also tells IGN that core members of Nioh 2's development team who have worked on Ninja Gaiden are already looking to make a new game. That doesn't necessarily mean their next project will turn out to be a Ninja Gaiden title, but its not unreasonable to think that folks who worked on both Nioh titles back-to-back may want to take a break from the Soulsborne genre.
In Kat's recent Nioh 2 interview, Yasuda said it was nice to see Nioh, Sekiro, and Sucker Punch's upcoming Ghost of Tsushima all resonating with global audiences thanks to widespread interest in Japanese culture. As for what's next for Team Ninja, Yasuda told USG that he looks forward to the "opportunities and potential" of the new generation, and that it'll be "great to work on something totally different."
Nioh 2 will be released on March 13 for the PlayStation 4. For more, check out John Learned's impressions from the beta that Team Ninja ran in November.