Team Ninja says that it is open to outsourcing its own IP, such as Ninja Gaiden, to other studios as long as the game being developed is able to exceed fan expectations.
In an interview with VGC, Team Ninja’s Fumihiko Yasuda – director of upcoming Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty – said, “If we were to theoretically work with another company on a new Ninja Gaiden title, we would need to make sure that it would be a title that the fans would really enjoy and exceed their expectations.”
Yasuda explained that even though there is a big fanbase for existing IP like Ninja Gaiden, Team Ninja needs to balance its resources within the studio, including seeing what kind of skills members of the development team currently have. From there, they would decide if those skills could fit an existing IP, or perhaps an entirely new one.
He is also open to handing off a potential new Ninja Gaiden game to a team of younger developers within Team Ninja. However, either decision wouldn’t be made lightly. “It’s not just a matter of, ‘hey, let’s just go do this.’ All the pieces would need to fit, and it would need to be the right team…either a younger team internally or another company that would really need to fit the Ninja Gaiden pedigree,” Yasuda explained.
Team Ninja is understandably cautious about such an idea. The last time Ninja Gaiden was outsourced – 2014’s Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, made by Californian studio Spark Unlimited – the series was tarnished with poor reviews, including a 5.6 from IGN.
Ninja Gaiden’s latest entry was the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection back in June 2021. Right now, Team Ninja is focusing on Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, which will arrive on Xbox Game Pass next year at launch, and Rise of the Ronin, an exclusive for PlayStation 5.
George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey