Team NINJA confirmed at the keynote of the G-Star convention in Korea that they are working on the long-awaited reboot of the Ninja Gaiden series.
A Ninja Gaiden reboot is reportedly in the works. Ninja Gaiden is a long-running and popular action game franchise that started in 1988 as a beat ’em-up arcade game and a popular 2D action platformer for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Ninja Gaiden has largely been absent since the 2012 conclusion of the Team Ninja trilogy and a 2014 hack-and-slash spin-off. However, that looks set to change as Team Ninja has confirmed that Ninja Gaiden will be making a comeback.
Although the original Ninja Gaiden action platformers are very popular, most franchise fans probably associate the name with Team Ninja’s trilogy of hardcore 3D hack-and-slash action games. Released in 2004, 2008, and 2012, the Ninja Gaiden games by the Team Ninja trio were both hailed and scorned for their brutally difficult, cinematic combat and graphic violence. The series’ protagonist, Ryu Hyabusa, sliced through incredibly challenging opponents, often dismembering or beheading them – at least until the violence was toned down in Ninja Gaiden 3.
According to Noisy Pixel, the announcement of a new Ninja Gaiden game came directly from Team Ninja and not IP owner Koei Tecmo. Team Ninja presented at the G-Star Conference in Korea, a game trade show. All that was confirmed was that Team Ninja said that a Ninja Gaiden reboot was in the works, but otherwise, no further details were given about the project.
While this is the first time a Ninja Gaiden reboot has been confirmed, there have been significant hints that it was happening in the relatively recent past. In 2021, Koei Tecmo released Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection, a bundle containing the definitive editions of all three Ninja Gaiden titles by Team Ninja for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. This could also be seen as Koei Tecmo testing the return of Ninja Gaiden or Team Ninja warming up to work on the franchise again.
Given the lack of information currently available, it’s unknown when more will be shared about the Ninja Gaiden reboot. The new Ninja Gaiden game may be still in pre-production, which would mean it could be years before it’s released to the public. However, Team Ninja is known for their aggressive game release schedule, so anything is possible.
What a modern Ninja Gaiden title would look like is definitely a mystery. Team Ninja could try to recreate their past successes’ magic, focusing on difficulty and violence. Alternatively, they could do something more modern and make Ninja Gaiden an action RPG like Team Ninja’s recent projects Nioh and Wo-Long: Fallen Dynasty. Either way, there will be plenty of happy Ninja Gaiden fans today.