Team Ninja

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Not to be confused with Ninja Theory.
Team Ninja
Native name
チームニンジャ
Division
Industry Video games
Founded January 1, 1995 (1995-01-01)
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Tomonobu Itagaki
Products Dead or Alive series
Ninja Gaiden series
Parent Tecmo (1995–2009)
Koei Tecmo (2009–present)
Website teamninja-studio.com

Team Ninja (Japanese: チームニンジャ?) (stylised as Team NINJA) is a Japanese video game developer and a division of Koei Tecmo, founded in 1995. It was 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.

History[edit]

Team Ninja was originally formed by Itagaki from game designers working at Tecmo, specifically for the purpose of creating the home versions of the fighting game Dead or Alive and its sequel, Dead or Alive 2.[1] In 2008, the action-adventure game 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Gaiden II for the Xbox 360 was published by Microsoft Game Studios, making it the first game created by Team Ninja to not be published by Tecmo; Tecmo Koei later released an enhanced version of Ninja Gaiden II on the PlayStation 3 as Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.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.[2] Many 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.[3]

Team Ninja also worked on multiple titles for Nintendo. In 2010, Team Ninja co-developed a new Metroid action-adventure game for Nintendo's Wii console, titled Metroid: Other M (a playable Stage from Other M later appeared in Dead or Alive: Dimensions). They collaborated with Omega Force for Hyrule Warriors, an action game set in The Legend of Zelda universe, in 2014.

In 2013, following a reconstructing of Koei Tecmo, Team Ninja was split into two distinct development teams, one led by Ninja Gaiden Sigma director Yosuke Hayashi, the other by Fatal Frame producer Keisuke Kikuchi, dubbed Ichigaya Development Group 1 and 2 respectively.[4]

In 2016, Team Ninja garnered public attention after their decision to not release Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 in North America or Europe, resulting in a controversy within the video game industry about the sexualised portrayal of female characters within their games.[5][6][7] Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Shuhei Yoshida said in a statement; "It's due to cultural differences. The West has its own thinking about how to depict women in games media which is different from Japan."[8]

In 2017, they released Nioh, which has infamously received multiple revisions and has been in development since 2004,[9][10] to great critical response.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17]

They're currently working with Square Enix on the Arcade game Dissidia Final Fantasy, as well as Fire Emblem Warriors with Nintendo and Omega Force.

Games[edit]

Title Release year Genre Platform(s) Notes
Dead or Alive 1996 Fighting game Arcade, Sega Saturn, PlayStation
Dead or Alive 2 1999 Fighting game Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2
Dead or Alive 3 2001 Fighting game Xbox
Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball 2003 Sports, Party Xbox
Ninja Gaiden 2004 Action-adventure, hack and slash Xbox
Dead or Alive Ultimate 2004 Fighting game Xbox Remake of Dead or Alive and Dead or Alive 2.
Ninja Gaiden Black 2005 Action-adventure, hack and slash Xbox Enhanced version of Ninja Gaiden. Includes original NES Ninja Gaiden trilogy.
Dead or Alive 4 2005 Fighting game Xbox 360
Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 2006 Sports, party Xbox 360
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2007 Action-adventure, hack and slash PlayStation 3 Enhanced version of Ninja Gaiden Black, featuring additional stages.
Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword 2008 Action-adventure, hack and slash Nintendo DS
Ninja Gaiden II 2008 Action-adventure, hack and slash Xbox 360 Published by Microsoft Game Studios.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 2009 Action-adventure, hack and slash PlayStation 3 Enhanced version of Ninja Gaiden II, featuring additional stages, as well as the removal of gore.
Metroid: Other M 2010 Action-adventure, metroidvania Nintendo Wii Co-developed with Nintendo SPD, published by Nintendo.
Dead or Alive: Dimensions 2011 Fighting game Nintendo 3DS
Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus 2012 Action-adventure, hack and slash PlayStation Vita Handheld version of Ninja Gaiden Sigma.
Ninja Gaiden 3 2012 Action-adventure, hack and slash PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Dead or Alive 5 2012 Fighting game PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge 2012 Action-adventure, hack and slash PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U Enhanced version of Ninja Gaiden 3, featuring additional stages.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus 2013 Action-adventure, hack and slash PlayStation Vita Handheld version of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, featuring the re-addition of gore.
Dead or Alive 5 Plus 2013 Fighting game PlayStation Vita Handheld version of Dead or Alive 5
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate 2013 Fighting game PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Enhanced version of Dead or Alive 5, featuring additional characters and stages.
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z 2014 Action-adventure, hack and slash PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows Co-developed with Spark Unlimited and Comcept.
Hyrule Warriors 2014 Action, hack and slash Wii U Co-developed with Omega Force, published by Nintendo.
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round 2015 Fighting game Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Enhanced version of Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, featuring additional characters and stages.
Dissidia Final Fantasy 2015 Fighting game Arcade Published by Square Enix.
Hyrule Warriors Legends 2016 Action, hack and slash Nintendo 3DS Handheld version of Hyrule Warriors, featuring additional content. Co-developed with Omega Force, published by Nintendo.
Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 2016 Sports, party PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita Only released in Asia.
Nioh 2017 Action role-playing PlayStation 4 Based on a script by Akira Kurosawa and originally announced in 2004.
Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia 2017 Role-playing Android, iOS Published by Square Enix.
Fire Emblem Warriors 2017 Action, hack and slash Switch, New Nintendo 3DS Co-developed with Omega Force, published by Nintendo.
  • Dead or Alive: Code Chronos - A prequel to the Dead or Alive series, which was going to focus on the backstory of Kasumi and Ayane, and reportedly was not going to be a fighting game. It was cancelled in November 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Icons: Dead or Alive.
  2. ^ Ashcroft, Brian (2008-06-23). "Itagaki Didn't Leave Tecmo, He Was Fired". Kotaku. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  3. ^ "Hands On: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up" (News). The Escapist. 
  4. ^ "Team Ninja splits into two groups following Tecmo Koei|restructuring" (News). Polygon. 
  5. ^ Rob, Crossley (November 25, 2015). "Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Won't Ship Worldwide Due to Sexism Backlash Fears". GameSpot. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  6. ^ davidjenkins2012 (25 November 2015). "Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 cancelled in West because of sexism - Metro News". Metro. 
  7. ^ "Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Won't Ship Worldwide Due to Sexism Backlash Fears [UPDATE]". GameSpot. 
  8. ^ "Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 Not Coming West Due to Cultural Differences, Says Sony Boss - Niche Gamer". Niche Gamer. 
  9. ^ Corriea, Alexa Ray (16 September 2016). "How Nioh Evolved from a JRPG to an Action Game". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 8 November 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  10. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (30 September 2016). "Nioh director Fumihiko Yasuda on difficulty, player feedback and what's changing". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 7 October 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  11. ^ Carter, Chris (2 February 2017). "Review: Nioh". Destructoid. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  12. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (2 February 2017). "Nioh review - A gaiden light". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  13. ^ Tack, Daniel (2 February 2017). "The Soul Of The Samurai - Nioh - PlayStation 4". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  14. ^ Sullivan, Lucas (6 February 2017). "Nioh Review". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on 6 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  15. ^ Rad, Chloe (2 February 2017). "Nioh Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 6 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  16. ^ L Patterson, Mollie (8 February 2017). "Nioh review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Archived from the original on 9 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  17. ^ Concepcion, Miguel (8 February 2017). "Nioh Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 9 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 

External links[edit]