Team Ninja

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Team Ninja
Industry Video game
Founded 1995
Key people
Tomonobu Itagaki (1995-2008)
Yosuke Hayashi (since 2008)[1]
Products Ninja Gaiden
Dead or Alive
Metroid: Other M
Owner Koei Tecmo
Parent Tecmo

Team Ninja (Japanese: チームニンジャ?) is a Japanese video game development studio of Tecmo founded in 1995. It is formerly led by Tomonobu Itagaki and is best known for the Ninja Gaiden action-adventure game series and the Dead or Alive fighting game series.


Team Ninja was originally formed by Itagaki from the best game designers working at Tecmo specifically for the purpose of creating the home versions of Dead or Alive and its sequel, Dead or Alive 2.[2] In 2008, Ninja Gaiden II for the Xbox 360 was published by Microsoft Game Studios, making it the first game created by Team Ninja to not be published by Tecmo. Tecmo Koei later released an enhanced version of Ninja Gaiden II on the PlayStation 3 as Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.

On June 3, 2008, Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki announced that he would be leaving Tecmo and Team Ninja on July 1, 2008, citing difficulties with the company. In the same statement announcing his resignation, he also announced that he was filing a lawsuit against Tecmo over unpaid bonuses for his work on Dead or Alive 4 for the Xbox 360. It was later reported that he was fired from Tecmo on June 18, 2008 in retaliation for his lawsuit.[3] Most of his colleagues at Team Ninja quit as well to join him at his new game development team, Valhalla Game Studios. Some ex-Team Ninja members also helped with Ubisoft's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up.[4]

In June 2009, Nintendo representatives announced at its Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference that Team Ninja was developing a new Metroid game for Nintendo's Wii console, titled Metroid: Other M. It has also been revealed that Team Ninja is working on a PS3 and Xbox 360 game, which was the first time in 10 years that they would have made a multi-platform game;[5] this game turned out to be Dead or Alive 5, released in 2012.


Year Title Platform(s) Note
1996 Dead or Alive Arcade, Sega Saturn, PlayStation
1999 Dead or Alive 2 Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2
2001 Dead or Alive 3 Xbox
2004 Dead or Alive Ultimate Xbox
2003 Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball Xbox
2004 Ninja Gaiden Xbox
2005 Ninja Gaiden Black Xbox
2005 Dead or Alive 4 Xbox 360
2006 Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 Xbox 360
2007 Ninja Gaiden Sigma PlayStation 3
2008 Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword Nintendo DS
2008 Ninja Gaiden II Xbox 360
2009 Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 PlayStation 3
2010 Metroid: Other M Wii Co-developed with Nintendo SPD
2011 Dead or Alive: Dimensions[6] Nintendo 3DS
2012 Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus PlayStation Vita
2012 Ninja Gaiden 3 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2012 Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge[7] Wii U, PlayStation 3 (2013), Xbox 360 (2013)
2012 Dead or Alive 5 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2013 Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus[8] PlayStation Vita
2013 Dead or Alive 5 Plus[9] PlayStation Vita
2013 Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2013 Toukiden: The Age of Demons PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Portable Co-developed with Omega Force
2013 Toukiden: Kiwami PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 4 (2015) Co-developed with Omega Force
2014 Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, iOS Co-developed with Spark Unlimited
2014 Hyrule Warriors Wii U, Nintendo 3DS (2015) Co-developed with Omega Force
2015 Dead or Alive 5 Last Round PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
2015 Dissidia Final Fantasy Arcade, PlayStation 4 (2016)
TBA Ni-Oh[10] PlayStation 3
Canceled Dead or Alive: Code Chronos Xbox 360

■ Ports and/or upgraded versions


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