Team Ninja says it is willing to outsource its own IP, such as Ninja Gaiden, to other studios as long as the game exceeds fan expectations.
In an interview with VGC, Team Ninja’s Fumihiko Yasuda, director of the upcoming Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, stated, “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.”
Ninja Gaiden is a long-running game franchise that dates back to 1988 on the NES. It gained popularity in the West with the release of the series on the Xbox in 2004 as a fancy 3D action title. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, released for the Wii U, was one of the series’ final mainstream entries.
Team Ninja is well aware of the popularity of the Ninja Gaiden franchise. According to Yasuda, they still “want to please those fans” and “there is that feeling of wanting to create a new entry in those series.”
The issue is that the present team lacks the resources to be compatible with a new Ninja Gaiden game. When questioned if they could hand the franchise to a younger internal team or perhaps outsource the franchise entirely to a new developer, Yasuda said he was “quite keen on the idea”.
Team Ninja is understandably skeptical about such a proposal. The last time Ninja Gaiden was outsourced, in 2014’s Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, developed by Californian studio Spark Unlimited, the series received bad reviews.
Yasuda did add that whoever does end up producing a new game would “really need to fit the Ninja Gaiden pedigree,” Whatever the outcome of Ninja Gaiden is, Yasuda intends to “deliver some good news one day.”