The director and president of Team Ninja has said that “all the pieces would need to fit” for a theoretical future Ninja Gaiden game to be developed.
“We’re not announcing anything,” Yasuda replied, “but both of those ideas sound like great plans and are both possibilities in a sense. Those are both very, very reasonable ideas for potentially a sequel in any series, not just Ninja Gaiden.
“But what I want to say is, 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.
“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.”
When asked how Team Ninja manages to keep its existing player base happy while still introducing new IP like Wo Long, Yasuda added: “We’re so happy that people are big fans of our existing series, and so there is that feeling of wanting to create a new entry in those series.
“But a lot of it is about balancing that desire to create these new games for these big fanbases that some of these existing IP have, along with seeing what kind of resources there are within the dev team: seeing what kind of skills the current members of Team Ninja have, and then deciding from there if that would work for a particular series.
“Would that work for an existing IP? Or would that be better suited to a new IP? We’re really happy there are so many fans, and we want to make a new title for those existing series. But it’s all down to seeing if that’s a possibility and if there are skillsets there in the team to make use of that.”
In an earlier interview with VGC that took place in January 2021, Yasuda told us that he had no plans for a new instalment in the Ninja Gaiden series, but reiterated his desire to one day return to the series.
“[There are] no plans currently, but I’ve always wanted to make a new instalment in the series, so here’s hoping for that,” he said at the time.
The Tecmo action adventure series hasn’t seen a mainline instalment since 2012’s Ninja Gaiden 3. Yasuda, who is the director of Nioh and its sequel, was a level designer for Ninja Gaiden 2 and directed the series’ third instalment – its first since the departure of lead creator Tomonobu Itagaki.